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Tags: ron desantis | donald trump | jack smith | crime | politics

Report: DeSantis Doubts Trump's 2020 Election Fraud Claims

By    |   Friday, 04 August 2023 05:05 PM EDT

Republican 2024 presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose campaign has been struggling to distinguish itself and gain traction, is now going against front-runner former President Donald Trump by saying his claims about 2020 election fraud proved untrue.

"All those theories that were put out did not prove to be true," The New York Times reported DeSantis saying in response to a reporter's question following a campaign event at a brewery in northeast Iowa on Friday.

While dismissing Trump's fraud claims, like the theory that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hacked voting machines, DeSantis said COVID-era changes to voting procedures contributed to Trump's defeat.

"It was not an election that was conducted the way I think that we want to, but that's different [from] saying Maduro stole votes or something like that," he said in the Times report. "Those theories, you know, proved to be unsubstantiated."

The basis of Trump's claims is at the center of his third criminal indictment in Washington, D.C., this week. Special counsel Jack Smith indicted the former president on charges that he lied to the American people by claiming the election was "stolen," and then obstructed the official counting of electoral college votes in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, The Washington Post reported.

Trump on Thursday pleaded not guilty to the latest criminal charges in Washington, D.C.

Smith's indictment alleges that Trump "knew" his fraud claims were false and that he used that falsehood to try to throw out the election results, culminating with the protest at the Capitol.

Trump currently leads DeSantis in the 2024 GOP primary race by 39 percentage points, 53.3% to 14.3%, according to the political polling website FiveThirtyEight.

The Florida governor officially announced his bid for the White House in May, though he has been losing ground against Trump since March 18, when he was only 8 percentage points down, according to the website.

As his slip continues, Trump's numbers have been rising since his first criminal indictment in April by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

NPR reported at the time that the state indictment charged Trump with falsifying business documents relating to a 2016 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence regarding an alleged affair the pair had years earlier.

Trump's numbers continued to rise following a June 8 federal indictment in Florida, also brought about by Smith, for handling classified documents after leaving office.

DeSantis told the Times Friday that he did not watch coverage of Trump's latest court appearance because he had to oversee an execution in his home state.

"I saw a little bit," he told the Times. "Unfortunately, one of the things as governor that you have to do is oversee executions. So, we had an execution yesterday, so I was tied up with that for most of the day."

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Republican 2024 presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose campaign has been struggling to distinguish itself and gain traction, is now going against front-runner former President Donald Trump by saying his claims about 2020 election fraud proved untrue.
ron desantis, donald trump, jack smith, crime, politics
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2023-05-04
Friday, 04 August 2023 05:05 PM
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