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‘I never said that’: Pennsylvania legislator quoted in Atlantic story about Trump rigging election claims his words were twisted

‘I never said that’: Pennsylvania legislator quoted in Atlantic story about Trump rigging election claims his words were twisted
A recent story in The Atlantic suggested Donald Trump was working to appoint his supporters to the Electoral College so they can help swing the election his way, but one of the interviewees is now slamming the story as fake news.

“The story is pure conjecture,” Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman told the Washington Examiner. 

Corman says he spoke to Atlantic writer Barton Gellman last month and the conversation turned to a handful of hypothetical scenarios regarding the Electoral College. 

The story insinuates that Trump’s campaign is working with Republican state legislators to appoint electors who support him to the Electoral College, so that even if people vote one way, the electors could go against them.

“The genesis of the story is that, despite Pennsylvania voting one way with the voters, that the Legislature could step in and thwart that and appoint their own electors. I never said that.”

Corman claims the entire basis of the article doesn’t stand up to fact since, in Pennsylvania, the legislature has nothing to do with picking electors.

“To the best of my knowledge, looking through election code law, there is not a role for the Legislature in this. And so, the premise of the story is false. I think it was done to inflame individuals, which certainly has spurred a lot of phone calls to my office. So, I guess the writer's intention was successful, but it's not accurate,” he said.

Corman also said he had had “zero conversation” with the Trump campaign or administration officials about appointing electors. Electors, the senator said, are appointed by individual parties and submitted to the Department of State. Once a winner in the race is chosen, the department appoints said electors.

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The Atlantic said in an editor’s note that the story, which will be part of its November print issue, was rushed to publication online because of its “urgency.” The story suggests Trump could use any means necessary to refuse to accept the results of the election if he loses, bringing the US to a dangerous “precipice.”

The author argues that if the election results are in doubt for weeks, which some have suggested could happen because of the influx of mail-in ballots, then states with Republican-led legislatures will take charge and simply appoint their own electors, who will then presumably elect Trump.

What Corman does say in the article, however, is that if the election controversy drags on and “conspiracies are created” then the legislatures may “have no choice but to appoint electors.”

The Atlantic also stoked controversy recently with a disputed story claiming that Trump frequently insulted veterans. The magazine is now being slammed once again over theories about electors in light of Corman’s comments.

“Oops. Another Atlantic fantasy story implodes,” writer Rita Panahi tweeted in reaction.

Though the basis of the lengthy ‘what if’ story is being disputed now, it had already been shared numerous times by Trump critics, who theorized that the president rigging the Electoral College or simply refusing to concede could be “completely plausible.”

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