- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 4, 2021

CNN anchor Jake Tapper wondered aloud Tuesday why he should bother continuing to give air time to Republican lawmakers responsible for peddling falsehoods about former President Trump‘s election loss.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” morning program, Mr. Tapper pondered the purpose of him giving Republicans a platform to push lies about matters including the results of the 2020 presidential race.

“The lie about the election on its own is anti-democracy, and it is sowing seeds of ignorance in the populace, and obviously it has the potential to incite violence,” Mr. Tapper said.

“But beyond that is, if you’re willing to lie about that, what are you not willing to lie about?” he asked.

The host of “The Lead with Jake Tapper” added that he believes the U.S. needs a “strong, thriving, healthy, fact-based Republican Party” to offer counterpoints to Democrats in control of Congress.

However, Mr. Tapper noted that some leading Republicans have embraced or amplified falsehoods about Mr. Trump having lost his failed race for reelection to President Biden, among other matters.

“We need those debates happening. But we can’t have those debates if one side of the argument is not willing to stick to standards and facts — for a whole host of reasons,” Mr. Tapper said.

“One of them is, how am I supposed to believe anything they say?” Mr. Tapper continued. “If they’re willing to lie about Joe Biden wanting to steal your hamburgers and QAnon and the big lie about the election, what are they not willing to lie about? Why should I put any of them on TV?”

A number of Republicans have questioned the outcome of the 2020 presidential race in light of Mr. Trump continuing to push claims of election fraud to justify having lost to Mr. Biden, a Democrat.

Meanwhile, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, chair of the House Republican Conference, is facing efforts to oust her on the heels of having slammed Mr. Trump for lying Monday about his election loss.

“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Ms. Cheney tweeted Monday, rejecting unsubstantiated claims of election fraud continuously pushed by Mr. Trump and his allies since his loss.

“Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system,” Ms. Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in Congress, said in the tweet.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said afterward that fellow Republicans are concerned about Ms. Cheney’s ability “to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message.”

Mr. McCarthy, for his part, was among Republicans who recently pushed a debunked claim that Mr. Biden’s climate plan would put limits on the amount of meat that Americans can eat, Mr. Tapper noted.

Later, Mr. Tapper said during the segment that Republicans have been knowingly lying for the sake of maintaining the support of GOP voters standing firm by Mr. Trump and his lies.

“When you are afraid of your own voters, that you’re willing to take a position that is contrary to what you know is true, you’re not a leader. You’re not a leader. You’re a cowardly follower. And sadly that is where we are right now,” Mr. Tapper said.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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