Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night floated the allegation that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, through a charitable donation to help local election offices amid the coronavirus pandemic, had somehow put local officials “on the take.”
In the segment, Ingraham interviewed Republican Senator Lindsey Graham about allegations of voter fraud pushing the state into Joe Biden's column. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, had been accused by Georgia’s Republican secretary of state of pressuring him to toss out legal ballots.
The Fox News host began by citing right-wing activist group the Amistad Project, which Ingraham said had “sounded the alarm” on Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, allegedly interfering in the election.
“Do you think—this is what a lot of people are wondering, given the huge influx of cash into Georgia, that people are on the take here?” "The Ingraham Angle" host questioned aloud.
“In one way or another, with a promise of—we did an ‘Angle’ on how all of these big Wall Street types are getting sweetheart deals with new IPOs, other investments, sweetheart deals with China. What is going on here with Zuckerberg and the Democrats? Are people just laying down, lying down, thinking, ‘Well, I’ll get ultimately rewarded in the future?’”
Later in the segment Ingraham questioned Graham about whether or not as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee he could hold hearings about “all of this” … “asking Mr. Zuckerberg what exactly are your intentions?”
Graham dodged the question and instead skewered Democratic California Congressman Eric Swalwell over revelations his office had reportedly been targeted by a Chinese spy.
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Ingraham is not the first on the right to try and tie Zuckerberg to allegations of voter fraud, two dismissed lawsuits, one in Wisconsin and one in Georgia, from conservative lawyers supporting President Donald Trump’s attempts to refute the results referenced Zuckerberg's donations.
Mail-in voting fight
Republicans in Georgia’s state Senate are calling for an end to absentee voting without cause and want to ban ballot drop boxes, after an increase in mail voting helped propel Biden to a narrow victory over Trump in the state.
Trump has for months made unsubstantiated claims about the integrity of mail-in votes and has made baseless claims of widespread fraud in Georgia’s presidential election. GOP election officials have vehemently and repeatedly disputed those claims, saying there is no evidence of systemic errors or fraud in the November election.
Democrats and voting rights groups say the effort by Republicans is anti-Democratic and, if successful, will disenfranchise lawful voters.
The state Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement Tuesday that they would push for the changes the next time the legislature convenes, while also shooting down the idea of a special legislative session — which Trump has repeatedly called for in the hopes of subverting the election results. The 2021 legislative session is set to begin January 11.
Senate Republicans are also calling for a photo ID requirement for absentee voters who have a specific reason to vote by mail.
Biden beat Trump by more than 11,700 votes in Georgia, a result that was confirmed by two recounts — including an audit that triggered a full hand tally of ballots. Biden received nearly double the number of absentee ballots as Trump, according to the secretary of state’s office. Biden got nearly 850,000 absentee votes by mail, compared to just over 450,000 for Trump.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recertified the state’s election results on Monday after a recount requested by Trump again confirmed Biden’s win. Gov. Brian Kemp recertified the state’s 16 presidential electors shortly afterward.