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People get older and they color their hair. It’s a fact of life for many. There’s nothing scandalous about it.
So when President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani perspired at a Thursday press conference to the point that what appeared to be some sort of hair coloring was running down both sides of his face, you almost had to feel for the former New York City mayor. That could be anyone’s parent or grandparent up there — except most people’s parents or grandparents aren’t hurling around unsubstantiated claims of election fraud that undermine public trust in our democractic process.
On Thursday, Giuliani still failed to present hard, convincing evidence of the many unsupported and incorrect claims that Trump and his team have made about the Nov. 3 election. He vacillated between insisting that the evidence is already in plain sight ( it isn’t) and, when pressed, saying he couldn’t possibly show evidence to the media before presenting it to a judge. The spectacle was, to use a very precise legal term, bonkers.
But Giuliani did manage to provide a decent metaphor for team Trump’s haphazard effort to sow doubt about the election.
Not unlike Giuliani’s hair, the case that Trump and his campaign are trying to litigate in the court of public opinion is not what they would have us believe. The string of unproven allegations is a rambling mess, and it’s clear that the dye is running.
The deceased postal worker who supposedly voted in Georgia? Unfortunately, James Blalock is still dead. But the good news is that he didn’t commit voter fraud from the grave.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson apologized for getting that very important detail wrong. In fact, it was the man’s 96-year-old widow who voted legally under the old-fashioned name, Mrs. James Blalock. Another supposedly dead Georgia voter? She’s very much alive, as she explained to CNN. That didn’t stop Trump from retweeting the story, after it had already proven to be incorrect.
The Republican poll watchers who were supposedly barred from the room in Philadelphia? They were there, though not as close as they wanted to be.
The back and forth over the presence and positioning of those poll watchers led to an eye-opening response from one of Trump’s lawyers.
“I am asking you as a member of the bar of this court, are people representing the Donald J. Trump for president [campaign] … in that room?” U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond asked.
“There’s a nonzero number of people in the room,” campaign lawyer Jerome Marcus replied. That not only underscores the falseness of the continued claim that observers were barred from the building, but shows the mental and linguistic hoops the Trump team has been willing to jump through in order to sidestep reality.
The more than 200 pages of sworn affidavits from poll watchers in Michigan? They don’t actually prove fraud.
As a Michigan judge noted in one case where plaintiffs alleged fraudulent motives on behalf of Detroit election officials, the Republican poll watchers making those claims had an interpretation of events that was “incorrect and not credible.”
Thursday’s press conference with Trump’s lawyers was a continuation of an off-the-rails attempt to confuse the American people with an increasingly disheveled, disingenuous argument. It’s clear that the Trump team is feeling the heat, and the dye is running.