GOP Senator Calls Election Rigging Claims From Trump Campaign 'Outrageous': 'I Do Take Offense to That'

On Thursday, Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst blasted accusations made by the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump as "outrageous" and "offensive." Trump's campaign had claimed that Republican and Democratic political leaders had colluded with foreign governments to commit widespread voter fraud to win their races and help President-elect Joe Biden win the presidency.

In a November 19 press conference, Sidney Powell, an attorney with Trump's campaign, claimed that "massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China" had compelled Republican and Democratic lawmakers to rig the election.

The rigging, according to Powell, occurred by various Democratic and Republican candidates paying foreign governments to alter voting machines to switch Trump votes into Biden votes and to switch enough other votes to help other individual candidates to win their election races.

"We have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state across the country, paid to have the system rigged to work for them," Powell said. Powell didn't present any evidence to back up her claims.

Joni Ernst Sidney Powell election rigging Republicans
In a Thursday Fox News radio interview, Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst (pictured here) called allegations of vote rigging and collusion with foreign governments made by Sidney Powell, an attorney for President Donald Trump’s campaign,“offensive” and “outrageous.” In this October 31, 2020 photo, Ernst speaks at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa. Mario Tama/Getty

"Senator," Fox News host Guy Benson asked Ernst, in a Thursday radio interview, "did you or any of your Republican colleagues in the Senate, pay to have their elections rigged?"

Ernst, who won her 2020 race by 110,138 votes, took offense to Powell's claims.

"No," Ernst responded, "and that, that is an offensive comment for those of us that do stand up and represent our states in a dignified manner."

"We believe in, honesty, we believe in the integrity of our election system, which is why I do believe that if there is fraud out there, it should be brought to the court's attention and the truth, should be brought forward," she said.

"But to insinuate that Republican and Democratic candidates paid to throw off this election," she continued, "I think is absolutely outrageous and I do take offense to that."

She added that she is a former veteran who has fought to protect "the values and freedoms that our nation espouses."

"To have that accusation offhandedly thrown out there just to confuse our voters across the United States, I think that is absolutely wrong," she concluded.

In her Thursday comments, Powell suggested that Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, two election software manufacturers whose products were used in various counties for the 2020 election, "were created in Venezuela at the direction of [former president] Hugo Chávez," thus suggesting that the South American country used the systems to rig the election.

However, Dominion Voting Systems is a Canadian company with its headquarters in Denver, and Smartmatic is a U.S. company with its headquarters in London. Both companies have disavowed any connections to Venezuela, according to The Washington Post.

Newsweek contacted the Trump campaign for comment.