Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday defended his decision to reject the certification of the Electoral College votes from certain states, calling it “a lie” that he was trying to overturn the election results.
Hawley was one of the dozen Senate Republicans who vowed to not sign off electoral votes from states whose election integrity had come under question, unless an “emergency 10-day audit of the election returns” in those states is completed. Only six senators, including Hawley and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), eventually cast objections following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
During an interview with 120 AM KMOX, Hawley was asked if he believes that the 2020 presidential election had been “stolen” or that President Joe Biden was an illegitimate president. He replied that he has “never used that rhetoric.”
“My view is that what we need to have are elections that are fair, free, and open,” Hawley told the the St. Louis-based radio station. “I think Congress needs to do its job and look into election irregularities.”
When confronted by the host, who argued that his decision has led many to believe there was a way to overturn the election results even after each state certified the count, Hawley said his goal wasn’t to overturn the election.
“I never said that the goal was to overturn the election. That was never the point and that was never possible,” Hawley said, adding that his objection to the certification of the electoral votes was the only way to express his concerns over issues such as Pennsylvania’s election law, which he said was unlawfully altered to allow mail-in voting on a mass-scale.
He then moved on to call it a lie that he has misled supporters of former President Donald Trump into believing that election results could be overturned.
“That’s just a lie. That is a lie told by the left-wing mob that now wants to silence me and Ted Cruz and 140 House members and 13 senators and anybody who would dare stand up to them, anybody who is a Trump supporter who refuses to bow the knee. And I’m just not gonna be silenced,” Hawley said.
“It is a lie that I was trying to overturn an election or that Ted Cruz was trying to overturn the election,” he continued. “It It is a lie that I incited violence or that [Cruz] incited violence, or that having a debate on the floor of Senate is equivalent to violence.”
“By the way, if that becomes the new standard in America that leading a debate on the floor of Senate is akin to violence, I fear for our democracy,” he said.