Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin warned that newly-elected election deniers could make former Republican President Donald Trump the next speaker of the House.
Though the midterm elections did not result in the "red wave" Republican legislators and pollsters had counted on—with the majority of election deniers being repudiated at the ballot box—there are still a few who will join Congress in the new session, and they could continue to pose risks to the integrity of future elections.
The fact that a third of the new House will be comprised of election deniers, noted Raskin, is a "statement about the political contamination of the GOP by Donald Trump."
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Raskin said there is a chance that extremist Republicans loyal to Trump “might just vote” for him to become the next Speaker of the House in the event Republicans manage to win the House majority.
He noted that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of GOP leadership are now "required to make a decision about whether they'll try to rid themselves" of Trump amid growing dissension within the ranks of the Republican Party, whose members have urged senior leadership to break from Trump following the GOP's disappointing midterm election performance.
"This is a real problem for Kevin McCarthy now because there are certain pro-Trumpists within his House caucus who refuse to accept that he's really with Trump and they want to get rid of McCarthy."
"And some of them, they have names very early in the alphabet like [Arizona Republican Representative Andy] Biggs, and they might just vote for Trump when they take the roll call for Speakers, so we know that the hard-right Freedom Caucus are in search of another candidate."
"And one potential candidate whose name has been floated is Donald Trump himself, because the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House and they are talking about putting Trump right there."
In response to the incredulity of Face the Nation anchor Margaret Brennan, Raskin said that these extremists talk about this option "repeatedly," and that if Trump were to pick up the Speaker's gavel, "it would pose a profound problem for their party because they refuse to do the right thing.”
All in all, Raskin continued, the influence of election deniers is “going to create profound cognitive and political dissonance within the GOP" at a time when the party is largely divided on the merits of a future with or without Trump, who has catapulted election denial—starting with his falsehood that the 2020 general election was stolen—into the mainstream.
Many have echoed Raskin's call for alarm and offered further criticisms of Trump and the party that enabled him.
CBS News projects that at least 155 Republican election deniers will win their House seats, and nine will fill Senate positions.
Despite their influence, this year's midterm elections were seen as a referendum on how much sway Trump and his rhetoric still have over the American electorate. The lack of a "red wave" indicates that many voters have repudiated his lies and blatant attempts to subvert the democratic process.
A number of races, including that of far-right reactionary and election denier Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, are still too close to call. Though news outlets report that Republicans appear on track to take the House, a full projection could still be days away.