Despite prior ambiguity regarding whether the 2020 Presidential election was rigged, Republican U.S. House candidate Harriet Hageman is wavering no more, saying during a forum late Wednesday in Casper that she thinks it was.
“Absolutely the election was rigged. It was rigged to make sure that President (Donald) Trump could not get reelected,” Hageman said during the event hosted by the Natrona County Republican Women. “What happened in 2020 is a travesty. It should never happen again. We need to make sure our elections are free and fair.”
Hageman said more should be done to prevent outside donors from financially supporting elections in the future. This was in reference to the $419 million Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave to two nonprofits, which distributed grants to roughly 2,500 election departments for get-out-the-vote efforts. Florida banned these donations in October 2021.
“You need to make sure you don’t have people like (Mark) Zuckerberg, who is buying elections,” Hageman said.
She also said she thinks that the media’s coverage of the 2020 election was unfair.
To further this point, she said only limited coverage was given to the discovery of a laptop belonging to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, containing evidence that Joe Biden would receive cut off profits from his son’s overseas dealings, and allegations that Trump colluded with Russia during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“They beat that drum for four solid years against this administration,” she said.
Hageman, a land and water attorney licensed to practice law in Wyoming, clarified that she does see President Joe Biden as the sitting president.
During a debate in Sheridan in June, Hageman expressed vague confidence in the security of Wyoming’s elections, but refused to say that the presidential election was not stolen. That night, she said questions need to be asked about election integrity on a national level. She also endorsed “2000 Mules,” a 2022 film made by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza that claims drop ballot boxes were stuffed in a few states outside Wyoming, using questionable evidence.
On Wednesday, Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, another U.S. House candidate, agreed with Hageman and promoted another election conspiracy flick called “Rocky Mountain Heist.”
“A lot of the problems have happened because of Congress,” he said.
Bouchard said he doesn’t understand how Biden could be the legitimately elected president considering some of the small audiences the president drew during his 2020 campaign. Biden’s campaign run took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people avoided large public gatherings.
Verified evidence that the 2020 presidential election was rigged has yet to surface. Out of the 62 lawsuits filed challenging the presidential election, 61 have failed, with many Trump-appointed justices rendering these those decisions. A group of conservative lawyers and judges recently released a 72-page report detailing that the election was not rigged or stolen.
Hageman’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, has a much different stance on those topics. Cheney does not think the elections were fraudulent and has served as a vice chair on the Jan. 6 Committee, a panel investigating Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn the results of the election.
“We’ve got to be honest, we have to be truthful – elected officials in particular, public servants, owe that to those people we represent,” Cheney said during the June debate.
Cheney has suggested that Hageman knows the election wasn’t stolen but won’t say that publicly out of fear of losing the support of Trump, who has endorsed her.
One of Hageman’s campaign advisors has also offered differing views on the topic. Bill Stepien spoke before the Jan. 6 Committee and made negative remarks about Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.