Steve Bannon Urges Republicans To Sign Up As Election Officials And Contest Every Mail-In Ballot – Forbes
Former White House chief strategist and accused fraudster Steve Bannon told attendees during a Wednesday night livestream held by the Metropolitan Republican Club that they should sign up as election officials to contest every mail-in ballot in November, as he alleged a think tank called the Transition Integrity Project will “steal” the election from President Trump.
Bannon, who faces federal charges of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a campaign to raise private money to build Trump’s long-promised border wall, said that 60 million to 80 million voters will cast mail-in ballots in the presidential election, which means “we need to sit there and contest every ballot,” presumably referring to Republicans.
According to Bannon, the bipartisan Transition Integrity Project—which games out scenarios in which the election is contested—laid out the “lawfare” they will pursue to ensure Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeats Trump.
Both Bannon and Raheem Kassam, a former Breitbart News editor from London, England, who introduced Bannon on the livestream, claimed that coverage of the Transition Integrity Project by The Atlantic and the New York Times legitimized the think tank, whose efforts culminated in an August report stating Trump is “likely to contest [the election] through by both legal and extra-legal means.”
Bannon also claimed the “mainstream media and Silicon Valley oligarchs” will be “ripping down social media” in order to “make it very difficult for conservatives to communicate” after the election, allegedly so that Biden won’t have to concede while mail-in ballots are being counted.
“You’re going to have your Twitter accounts taken down or blocked for sharing false information,” Bannon said, likely referring to the social media company’s new policy of labeling misleading tweets as misinformation, or locking accounts until users delete tweets in violation.
Bannon stressed the importance of the Metropolitan Republican Club in the party’s election efforts, telling the 130-odd attendees who tuned in, “You guys are thought leaders, you’ve got to go to the barricades, weaponize yourself and make yourself useful in battleground states.”
“The mainstream media and oligarchs in Silicon Valley intend to have Facebook, YouTube and Google not declare Trump the winner,” Bannon said, and will instead “have Election Week and Election Month to push through to December, and push to [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s House of Representatives in January, when new Congress meets. It’s going to be the equivalent of a civil war when they refuse to declare Trump the president [and say] under no circumstances can Biden concede.”
75%. That’s how much of the American population has access to voting by mail this election, which, according to the New York Times, is the largest number of voters to have access to that option in history.
Bannon’s comments come amid a tumultuous conclusion to the 2020 presidential election, upended by first the coronavirus pandemic and, over the past week, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Bannon has no official role in Trump’s re-election campaign since departing the White House in 2017. He has, however, attempted to export his specific brand of populism to Europe, which Reuters reported on September 2 is on the rocks after Bannon and three others were charged with fraud in the Southern District of New York. Bannon entered a not guilty plea in response to federal prosecutors’ charges that he and the other men siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from their nonprofit. Called We Build The Wall, its mission was to raise money to contribute to Trump’s efforts to construct a wall on the southern border. Instead, prosecutors say Bannon diverted $1 million for personal expenses, among other accused misdeeds by the group.