Man Who Championed Claims of Widespread Voter Fraud Gets Brutally Embarrassed on CNN
This is probably not how Gregg Phillips wanted his morning interview on CNN to go.
Phillips, the founder of an advocacy group called VoteStand, was the initial source of a quickly-spreading “fact” that millions of illegal votes were cast in November’s general election. In the days after the election, he took to Twitter to proudly proclaim, “We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens,” a claim that was quickly scooped up by right-ring websites looking to justify Donald Trump‘s popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton.
We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) November 13, 2016
Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations.
Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million.
Consulting legal team.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) November 11, 2016
But today, Phillips came toe-to-toe with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who eviscerated the VoteStand’s founder on these unverified claims and his bizarre methodology of information gathering. What transpired was fourteen minutes of excruciating embarrassment about an unprovable falsehood that has worked its way straight into the Oval Office.
Phillips recounted Friday morning that he and his operation use a database of 189 million voting records, adding this nonsensical statement:
“We’ve augmented that database with everything from geocoding, and all kinds of identifying information. We’ve developed algorithms that first allow us to verify identify, we can verify residency, we can verify citizenship status, and all of the other factors that making a legal registered voter.”
He further alleged that many revealing details in an interview he did with The Statesman in late November that countered his claims were “wrong.”
The full weight of Cuomo’s prosecutorial style of questioning is evidenced by this exchange, showing Phillips’ utter inability to provide any proof:
CUOMO: You said we know that 3 million people illegally voted. You did that already.
PHILLIPS: We didn’t name a soul though. We didn’t name a person.
CUOMO: …and you still haven’t.
PHILLIPS: But we will.
CUOMO: Do you have the proof?
CUOMO: Can you provide it?
CUOMO: Can I have it?
Then, remarkably, Cuomo pressed Phillips to reveal that he hadn’t even finished his search of the database just yet, despite his claims of voter impropriety. The full interview was a series of missteps and backtracks on the part of Phillips, who seemed to be consistently exposed as a fraud by the New Day anchor. He attempted to argue that as part of the VoteStand method of accruing voter information, someone might “mistype a name for example” — using his own name’s spelling to prove his point — adding that they used “a type of algorithm called ‘fuzzy logic.'”
Fuzzy logic indeed.
And when Phillips compared his work to that of polling, Cuomo called out the significance of the implications at stake. “It better not be a survey,” Cuomo said. “It better be a fixed number of votes that were cast… this is about the legitimacy of a democracy. You have put it on the line, saying it was illegitimate.”
Of course, much of Cuomo’s urgency was driven by the fact that the President of the United States is still clinging onto a conspiratorial romp that millions of “illegals” voted on November 8th, therefore causing him to lose the popular vote totals by a margin of 2,864,974.
Phillips revealed little else about his claims, adding only that he would release the finalized proof, “When the time’s right.” Cuomo pushed him further, and after a ridiculously long and painfully awkward pause to consider the question, he meekly offered, “We believe that it will probably take another few months.”
And if you think that this entire exchange was simply between a CNN anchor and a crackpot conspiracy theorist with little backing or importance, take a look at how our Cable News Watcher in Chief responded to the interview just minutes later:
Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
“Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand,” the most powerful man in the world wrote.
Don’t hold your breath, Mr. President.
J.D. Durkin (@jivedurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.