A staffer for Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) was quick to tell the press Friday night that the strong ally for President Donald Trump "simply misspoke" when she referred to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as "president-elect" during an evening interview.
President Trump has not conceded the race to Biden, who has been roundly declared the projected winner in the race by mainstream media. The Trump campaign has several ongoing lawsuits contesting the election results in multiple states, alleging voting irregularities and fraud—which Blackburn has reportedly helped fund.
What are the details?
During an interview with ABC News, journalist Juju Chang asked Blackburn, "Have you spoken yet with the president-elect to congratulate him on his victory?"
Blackburn replied, "I have not spoken with the president-elect. We did have the vice-president come to the floor, the vice-president elect, come to the floor this week to cast a vote. I was presiding at the time, didn't get to speak with her, but we're watching the process play out, Juju. And just like in 2000 when a Tennessean, Al Gore, and George Bush were going through the counting of the hanging chads, we will work through this process."
She added, "I will say, now is the time, for the Trump campaign—if they have their information that they need to present in court— now is the time that they need to be taking that evidence to court."
Failed Democratic House candidate Christopher Hale pounced on Blackburn's remarks, tweeting footage of the interview along with the message, "Senator Blackburn's staff is trying to walk this back already, but Marsha knows exactly what she's doing. There's no reason to take a random interview on ABC News Digital on a Friday night before Thanksgiving then to slowly break up with the president of the United States."
Senator Blackburn’s staff is trying to walk this back already, but Marsha knows exactly what she’s doing. There’s… https://t.co/n3npndYkgO— Christopher J. Hale (@Christopher J. Hale) 1605930976.0
Following the interview, the Tennessean reported that "a spokesperson for Blackburn said the comment was a mistake and that Blackburn had 'been very clear' on her position about the election outcome."
The aide, Abigail Sigler, was quoted as saying, "She simply misspoke—it's nothing more."
The Tennessean noted:
The Tennessee senator's comments Friday stand in stark contrast to remarks she has made the past two weeks, suggesting that Trump was still likely to be reelected president despite Biden leading both the popular vote and in the Electoral College, based on results that have not yet been certified in every state.
Blackburn has helped raise funds for the Trump campaign's court challenges. Despite launching more than a couple dozen legal challenges to election outcomes in multiple states, Republicans have failed to gain traction in court to prove massive voter fraud or other irregularities that would change the outcome of the election.