Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) pushed back on Democrats and their allies in the media who have criticized the Trump campaign for questioning the election results and pursuing efforts to ensure election integrity, telling Breitbart News that they are the same group of individuals who have struggled to accept President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory as legitimate and spent years peddling the Russia collusion hoax.
Kelly, who recently introduced the Protect Election Integrity Act of 2020 as a companion piece to Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) measure in the upper chamber, told Breitbart News in a Tuesday interview that Trump has “every right to question what’s going on and to look at anything that could have possibly happened in this election.”
The same people who spent years attempting to delegitimize Trump’s presidency — even moving forward with a failed attempt to remove him from office — are now the individuals telling Trump and his supporters to accept the results of the election as is, he explained.
“What the American people have been through since 2016, a party that has questioned since the day that the president was elected — when he was president-elect Trump, every day including today — that it was an illegitimate election. That somehow Trump was elected and shouldn’t have been elected. These are the same people that are now saying, ‘Well why can’t you just accept what the networks are telling you? Why are we questioning these things? You have no proof.’”
“I said really? What was the Russia collusion? What was that? What proof did we have there? Really? So the phone call to the Ukraine president,” he said, mentioning the Democrats’ failed impeachment effort.
“There is a lot we need to question in this election and the President of the United States, the sitting president, has every right to question what’s going on and to look at anything that could have possibly happened in this election,” Kelly said, emphasizing that Democrats should welcome the checks and balances.
“In fact, I think if I were a Democrat, and I was confident that it was on the up and up, I would ask for that kind of scrutiny to take place. As you remember, the Russia collusion, the investigation into that, took place while President Trump was in office. That wasn’t an odd thing. That was actually, the administration itself, when you look at how that all came about, when you look at it, you start to think to yourself, ‘My gosh. This is so one-sided, and there’s such a double standard right now,’” he said.
Kelly, however, believes that the American people see the double standard and simply expect fairness and equality in our election process.
“For anybody to deny somebody’s looking into something and say, ‘Well they just need to accept this … they’re ruining our faith in the system.’ Say, ‘Really, no. Questioning it didn’t ruin it,’” Kelly said.
The Pennsylvania lawmaker, who described the situation in Pennsylvania as a “hot mess,” said a number of people have approached him, telling him that lawmakers “can’t let this happen” and asking what he plans to do about the integrity of the election moving forward. One of his answers is found in his Protect Election Integrity Act of 2020, which would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002, requiring states to implement a series of election procedures. That includes a ban on ballot harvesting and guaranteed access for poll watchers.
“Senator Hawley’s piece is out and we said, ‘You know what? We need to have a companion in the House to this that would show the American people that we’re going to do everything that we can legislatively to return integrity to our election process,’” he said.
“The question is, if that many people are questioning that [the election], why wouldn’t legislators look into something that would somehow — to restore the integrity that we need to have in our process,” Kelly said. “When people lose faith and trust in the system by which our political leaders are elected, that’s a really bad sign.”
Kelly likened the current situation to a banana republic, telling Breitbart News that it “looks worse than any banana republic election or matches up with just about any one that we’ve read about.”
“And we look and say, ‘Oh those poor people. I can’t believe that they’re going through this.’ At least in America, we have fair elections where every legal vote gets counted. Then we look at this one and say really? Do the math on this one. This is impossible. There’s no way you can come up with these figures. Statistically, it’s not probable for it to happen,” he said.
The people of his district, Kelly added, deserve to have answers to the questions they are posing.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey released Wednesday showed that 67 percent of Republicans doubt that the election was “free and fair.”