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Ivanka Trump told the House Select Committee investigating the violent January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that she accepted former Attorney General William P. Barr’s assertions that her father’s stolen election claims are “bullshit.”
But the New York Times revealed on Tuesday that for more than a month after the election, Trump’s fruitless legal crusade to overturn the 2020 election results had his eldest daughter’s complete and total backing. Per the Times, Ivanka told a documentary film crew in mid-December 2020 that she wanted Trump to “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted” because “a lot of Americans” were supposedly questioning “the sanctity of our elections.”
The ex-first daughter’s self-contradictory comments originate from previously unseen footage recorded by Alex Holder, a filmmaker who had extensive access to Trump’s inner circle and — for a documentary series covering the last stretches of the Trump administration — recorded interviews with Ivanka, former Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, Trump himself, and his two adult sons.
According to the Times, Holder gained access to Trump and his closest allies when Jason Greenblatt, a former Trump Organization lawyer and then-White House envoy to the Middle East, introduced him to Kushner. The filmmaker and his crew, who began filming in September 2020, sat down with Ivanka Trump on December 10, 2020, nine days after Barr announced that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. “It affected my perspective,” Ivanka said of Barr’s announcement in taped testimony aired by the select committee.
Despite telling the select committee that she “respected” Barr and had long since “accepted” his no-evidence-of election-fraud declaration — which multiple news reports of her and Kushner’s efforts to distance themselves from the conspiracies orbiting the Trump White House in the final throes of her father's tenure seemed to corroborate — Ivanka declared a different view to the documentarian.
“I think that, as the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted and needs to be heard, and he campaigned for the voiceless. And I think a lot of Americans feel very, very disenfranchised right now, and really, question the sanctity of our elections, and that’s not right, it’s not acceptable. And he has to take on this fight. Look, you fight for what you love the most and he loves this country and he loves this country’s people, and he wants to make sure that their voice is, is heard and not muted,” Ivanka said to Holder on film, the Times reported.
She added that her father “will continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted and that’s what he should do.”
The footage is part of a trove that Holder, whom the bipartisan House panel subpoenaed Tuesday, turned over to the select committee. Holder, who filmed several hours of interviews and is expected to testify at an upcoming hearing, said in a statement that he was “fully cooperating” with the select committee.
Representatives for Ivanka Trump ignored multiple journalists’ requests for comment.
Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss was collateral damage in Fox News’ campaign to prop up Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud following the 2020 presidential election.
In December 2020, the network’s prime-time hosts and “straight news” personnel alike baselessly suggested that Moss and her mother and fellow election worker, Ruby Freeman, had participated in a fraud scheme. The Fox personalities don’t seem to regret their actions: After Moss described the impact those conspiracy theories had on her life to the January 6 House select committee on Tuesday, the network devoted all of 14 seconds to her testimony.
Moss’ testimony showed the human cost of Trump’s sinister effort to subvert the 2020 election. His campaign seized upon video of Moss and Freeman engaged in normal ballot tabulation procedures, claiming it actually depicted them producing “suitcases filled with ballots” from underneath a table after ordering their Republican counterparts to leave. Fox hosts pointed out the mother-daughter pair while pushing Trump’s false framing, and other right-wing outlets identified them by name.
On Tuesday, Moss said she and Freeman had been suffering through a wave of harassment ever since. “This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. ... I don't want anyone knowing my name," Moss told the committee. "I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all. I've gained about 60 pounds. I just don't do nothing anymore. I don't want to go anywhere. I second guess everything that I do. It's affected my life in a major way, in every way, all because of lies, for me doing my job -- same thing I've been doing forever.”
“I don't go to the grocery store at all."— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 21, 2022
Former Georgia elections worker Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, who was aggressively targeted in the weeks after the 2020 election, explained how the harassment she faced by pro-Trump supporters irreversibly changed her life. pic.twitter.com/5bGXMzNIz6
Moss’ gripping testimony spoke to the brutal impact the right-wing conspiracy theory pipeline had on individuals swept up in the Trumpist election subversion campaign. It is reminiscent of the trials the family of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was put through after Fox and other right-wing outlets tried to leverage his murder for political gain.
But Fox viewers who weren’t watching the hearing live in the middle of the afternoon almost certainly missed what Moss had to say. Almost immediately after she concluded her testimony and the committee adjourned, the network pivoted to covering new developments from the Uvalde mass shooting and never really returned to her story.
Here’s the sole coverage on Tuesday evening of Moss’ testimony – a brief clip during Special Report:
Fox hosts Jesse Watters, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham — each of whom covered the false “suitcases of ballots” smear — all passed on mentioning Moss’ testimony on their Tuesday broadcasts.
Fox is more interested in covering fake attacks on U.S. democracy than real ones. The network provided only 17 minutes of total coverage of Tuesday’s hearing, from its adjournment through 9 a.m. ET Wednesday morning. By contrast, the network devoted 24 minutes over the same period to covering new developments related to the June 17 arrests of seven staff members of NBC’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert who were allegedly present unlawfully in a congressional office building where they were filming a segment about the hearings.
Fox has tried to use the arrests for unlawful entry of a handful of comedians, including the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog puppet, to mock and downplay the January 6, 2021, insurrection, when a mob of enraged Trumpists stormed the U.S. Capitol, injuring roughly 140 police officers in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the election results. The network has spent at least 2 hours and 23 minutes total on the arrests since the story broke last Friday night.
When you are extremely mad that the Trump coup failed and are doing everything in your power to ensure that next time, it succeeds. pic.twitter.com/WZJWClbI5m— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 21, 2022
Fox’s propagandists don’t want their viewers to know what these hearings have revealed about the events before, during, and after the insurrection — and above all, what the hearings show about the role the network played in Trump’s scheme to overturn the election. Instead, they’d prefer their audience treat the hearings as a big joke.
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
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