Hakeem Jeffries called Trump’s 2016 election victory a ‘hoax,’ referred to him as ‘so-called’ president
Incoming House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., denied the legitimacy of former President Donald Trump's 2016 election victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling it a 'hoax' and referring to Trump numerous times as the 'so-called' president.
From June 2017 to January 2018, Jeffries, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, issued a number of tweets that seemingly refused to acknowledge Trump as the rightful winner of the 2016 presidential election.
'Climate Change is NOT a hoax. But 45's election may have been,' Jeffries wrote in a June 2017 tweet, nearly five months after Trump entered the White House.
Jeffries — who was elected last month by his Democratic House colleagues to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as House speaker — has faced scrutiny from high-ranking Republicans over previously resurfaced remarks he made apparently denying the legitimacy of Trump's presidential election victory. But numerous times in tweets during Trump's presidency, Jeffries repeatedly suggested that Trump's election was fraudulent.
In September 2017, Jeffries stated in a tweet that Trump's 'Election Integrity Commission is the real FRAUD' and that it 'should investigate his so-called victory.'
That same month, Jeffries, responding to remarks made by the president on Twitter, issued a similar tweet and called Trump's 'so-called election victory' a 'hoax.'
'The real hoax is likely your so-called election victory,' Jeffries claimed at the time. The congressman also included '#RussianHacking' in the tweet, appearing to suggest that Russia helped to elect Trump in the 2016 presidential election by hacking into America's elections.
Sharing an image of himself from the House floor ahead of Trump's 2018 State of the Union address, Jeffries, in a January 2018 tweet, took another shot at the legitimacy of Trump's presidency, insisting that he was the 'so-called' president.
'The circus has just begun, I mean welcome to the House Mr. (so-called) President,' Jeffries wrote.
Other tweets denying Trump's election victory from Jeffries have also been made public, primarily from the Republican National Committee, which criticized Jeffries as an 'election denier' and posted tweets that Jeffries had posted in 2018.
'The more we learn about the 2016 election the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes,' Jeffries said in another tweet from 2018. 'America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE president in the oval office.'
Asked about the prior comments from Jeffries, the congressman's office pointed Fox News Digital to remarks he made during an interview with ABC News over the weekend when he was asked about previous remarks he had made about the legitimacy of Trump's presidency.
'You did say that history will never accept Donald Trump as a legitimate president and the Republicans are making quite a big issue out of that. What is your response?' host George Stephanopoulos asked Jeffries.
'My view of the situation has been pretty clear,' Jeffries said. 'I supported the certification of Donald Trump’s election. I attended his inauguration even though there were many constituents and others across the country pushing me and others to do otherwise, and found ways to work with the Trump administration, being the lead Democrat in negotiating historic criminal justice reform. That track record speaks for itself.'
'At the same time, I will never hesitate in criticizing the former president,' he added. 'I think I'm in good company there throughout the world.'
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took aim at Jeffries and called him an 'election denier' who has gone after members of the judiciary in a 'reckless' manner.
'The newly-elected leader of House Democrats, a past election denier basically said the 2016 election was, quote, ‘illegitimate,’ and suggested that we had a quote ‘fake president.’ He’s also mounted reckless attacks on our independent judiciary and said that justices he didn’t like had, quote, ‘zero legitimacy,'' McConnell said from the Senate floor.
Following their decision to elect Jeffries as their new House leader, Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, congratulated House Democrats for electing Jeffries and said the media would 'conveniently' leave out 'election denier' from headlines.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also shared a screenshot of one of Jeffries' tweets from 2018 and called him an 'election denier.'
The past remarks from Jeffries come amid recent criticism from President Biden of 'MAGA Republicans,' who he claimed 'refuse to accept the results of a free election.'
'Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic,' Biden said during a September speech in Philadelphia. 'MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of the law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election.'
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