Trump ally who served on voter integrity panel


Kris Kobach, an ally of the President Trump who served on a voter integrity panel, expressed worry Thursday that the Republican fraud might have tainted in North Carolina congressional election, becoming one of the most prominent members of the GOP.

Kobach, the Kansas secretary of the state, said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. He said it was unclear as the alleged wrongdoing was broad enough to change the outcome of the election.

Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Who has not been commented on the allegations roiling North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

The posture of Trump and other top Republicans for the president and fellow Republicans leveled unsubstantiated claims about Democratic malfeasance.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has not been shy about alleging fraud in elections. He has lost the popular vote. He also formed a now-defunct commission to probe, and vice president Pence as chairman and Kobach as vice chairman.

North Carolina executives who ran a get-out-the-vote effort for the Republican campaign Mark Harris illegally collected or tampered with absentee ballots.

Harris, who ousted Rep. Robert Pittenger in the Republican primary, finished ahead of Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the Nov. 6 vote. Mr. McCready withdrew his concession to Harris.

Democrats and at least one former Republican official have accused Trump and GOP leaders of partisanship in holding back in their rhetoric when it comes to North Carolina.

"Because it was the proverbial election fraud cookie jar," said former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Called the situation and "inconvenient truth" for the GOP.

The North Carolina operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, who told the Charlotte Observer that he did not commit any wrongdoing, declined to comment Thursday. "I'm not reporting any comment at this time," he told reporters and photographers in front of his house in Bladenboro, adding, "No disrespect to anybody."

It was not aware of any illegal activities.

The Washington Post reported Thursday. Aides to Pittenger told the executive director of the North Carolina Republican and a regional political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

An NRCC spokesman denied that Pittenger's campaign raised the possibility of fraud in the primary.

Asked Thursday before The Senate Richard Burr (R-N.C.) Replied, "I trust the North Carolina Board of Elections to take what action they feel is necessary."

Burr sidestepped a question about whether it was important for the president and other Republican leaders to speak out. "I think the appropriate thing is for the North Carolina Board of Elections to do their job," he said.

On Wednesday, Republican senators had to say about North Carolina.

"I do not know any details about that," said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). "But I'm concerned about Broward County [Fla.]I'm interested in a situation in Georgia that [was] questionable, "he added, pointing to other states where Republicans have raised concerns.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Also mentioned Broward County, a Democratic stronghold in his state where he and other Republicans criticized the vote-tallying process during the reconstruction in the gubernatorial and Senate races. But he had to say about North Carolina.

"I do not know anything about the case," Rubio said. "I've just heard, you know, headlines, but I have not read it in depth."

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) Said he had not paid attention to the North Carolina situation. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Said: "I'm afraid I'm not an expert. I do not know anything about it, really. I saw a headline, that's it. "

Democratic lawmakers have had much more say.

"This is bigger than that one seat," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) Said Thursday. "This is about undermining the integrity of our elections."

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) Let out a laugh Wednesday when asked about North Carolina. "You could not write the script any better," he said juxtaposing the alleged GOP fraud with conservative efforts to tighten.

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) Said, "The entire election should be redone, all the way back to the primary."

This weekSteny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Incoming House majority leader, suggested that Democrats, who will control the House in January, may not seat Harris if he is certified the winner.

AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said, "There is an ongoing investigation by state officials, and the speaker believes that is appropriate."

During a post-election interview with The Post, Ryan said he was about to play a ballot in California, where he started his career.

Dallas Woodhouse, the North Carolina GOP executive director, told The Post on Thursday that if the state board could show the outcome of November's vote, then "

Representatives for Trump and Pence did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Kobach, who with Trump's support made an unsuccessful bid for governor, said: "Voter fraud happens on both sides of the aisle. And if nothing else, I'm glad Democrats are acknowledging that it exists. "

Amy Gardner, Beth Reinhard and Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.


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