As House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy struggles to garner the 218 required votes to obtain the speaker’s gavel, Democrats are repeatedly delivering votes for incoming Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who has a history of denying the legitimacy of elections.
The final tally in the fourth round of voting on Wednesday was 201 votes for McCarthy, 212 for Jeffries, 20 for Rep.-elect Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz’s lone ‘present’ vote. All Democrats voted for Jeffries in the last five votes and no other Democrat has been nominated by the party to serve as speaker.
President Biden and other prominent Democrats, as well as White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, have fumed over individuals who question or deny the legitimacy of elections, referring to them at times as ‘extremists’ and threats to democracy.
But Jeffries, who was first elected to Congress in 2012 and now has widespread support among members in his party, has a history of displaying the very behavior that many in the Democratic Party now accuse their opposition of.
In multiple tweets, ranging from June 2017 to January 2018, Jeffries seemingly refused to acknowledge Donald Trump as the rightful winner of the 2016 presidential election.
‘Climate Change is NOT a hoax. But 45’s election may have been,’ Jeffries wrote in a June 2017 tweet, nearly five months after Trump entered the White House.
Jeffries — who was elected in November by his Democratic House colleagues to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as leader — has faced scrutiny from high-ranking Republicans over previously resurfaced remarks he made apparently denying the legitimacy of Trump’s presidential election victory. But numerous times in tweets during Trump’s presidency, Jeffries repeatedly suggested that Trump’s election was fraudulent.
In September 2017, Jeffries stated in a tweet that Trump’s ‘Election Integrity Commission is the real FRAUD’ and that it ‘should investigate his so-called victory.’
That same month, Jeffries, responding to remarks made by the president on Twitter, issued a similar tweet and called Trump’s ‘so-called election victory’ a ‘hoax.’
‘The real hoax is likely your so-called election victory,’ Jeffries claimed at the time. The congressman also included ‘#RussianHacking’ in the tweet, appearing to suggest that Russia helped to elect Trump in the 2016 presidential election by hacking into America’s elections.
Other tweets denying Trump’s election victory from Jeffries have also been made public, primarily from the Republican National Committee, which criticized Jeffries as an ‘election denier’ and posted tweets that Jeffries had posted in 2018.
President Biden has expressed particular criticism of ‘MAGA Republicans,’ who he claimed ‘refuse to accept the results of a free election.’
‘Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic,’ Biden said during a September speech in Philadelphia. ‘MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of the law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election.’