Transcript: Why I wanted to write a book on the 2020 election
Ned Ryun: Met Mollie, gosh, four years ago, five years ago? We were some of the first people to go, hey, this Steele dossier, and all of this Russian collusion conspiracy theory? There’s something very, very wrong. And we’ve actually discussed how some of the stuff we were writing in the spring and early summer of 2017 has held up very, very well over the years. So congratulations, I guess, to both of us.
I think you guys all know who Mollie Hemingway is, right? If you watch any Fox News?
Ned Ryun: So that’s your introduction, Mollie.
Ned Ryun: Because we got to get — I want to get down to talking about the new book, which to me is pretty amazing, that you wrote a book about a topic that’s pretty much verboten, I would say, across the media landscape. Which to me is pretty fascinating that you, as a Fox News contributor, are writing a book about an election that, quite frankly, nobody really wants to talk about.
So I guess my first question is to you, why did you write a book about a subject that has basically been considered verboten — we’re moving on, we’re not going to talk about the 2020 elections? Why on earth would you write a book like that?
Mollie Hemingway: So that was basically why I wanted to write a book on the 2020 election. I thought it was so weird that in 2016, when Donald Trump surprised a lot of people by winning the election, you had the entire Democratic Party and the entire media complex spend years claiming that he stole the election by colluding with Russia. And that was a delusional and insane conspiracy theory. And yet it dominated most media sources. And it, you know, led to this expensive special counsel, it was this whole attempt to undermine the Administration.
And then we have 2020, which we all lived through as the weirdest election we’ve ever experienced, with tons of problems. And all of a sudden, after four years of claiming that Trump had stolen an election, you weren’t allowed to even notice. And that just seemed very suspicious to me. And so I wanted to explore it for myself. Being a reporter, I like to interview people, find out what happened. And I’m really glad I did, because prior to writing the book, I had my own thoughts on problems with the election. I’d actually been talking about these problems before the election, and I was mostly focused on how corrupt our media are and how much big tech was rigging the game.
But because I was writing a book on the election, I got to interview so many people about what actually happened with our election laws, what happened with flooding the zone with mail-in ballots, and what happened with Mark Zuckerberg engaging in a private takeover of our government election offices. And so by the time I finished, I was like, thank God, I actually researched this, because it needs to be told.
Ned Ryun: You just hit on something that I think we need to actually discuss. Because I think most of us — I would say, if we had a show of hands, we came out of post-2020 election going, there’s something very wrong with what just took place. We don’t really think that this was a free and fair election, there’s something very suspicious. But I would say most of us had that sense, but we didn’t really fully understand. And I do this, I do politics for a living. Honestly, I’ll be the first to confess, I didn’t see Center for Tech and Civic Life coming. I saw some of the other stuff coming. And this is the question that I want to frame for you. So I didn’t see the Center for Tech and Civic Life stuff coming, and we’ll talk about that. But I guess the question for you is, wasn’t there kind of an almost — there was sort of a legality to what Democrats did because of Marc Elias doing 300 lawsuits starting January of 2019 into 2020. And you could almost make an argument, even though it was a highly suspicious and rigged process — did Marc Elias [indiscernible] a march on Republicans, Republicans in the Trump Campaign caught flatfooted because Marc Elias was playing inside the rules of the game, whether we like it or not?
Mollie Hemingway: It’s actually a complicated answer. And it is true — so one of the most interesting things for me, when I started researching the book — Ned mentioned that we covered a lot on the Russia collusion hoax. And the guy who ran the Russia collusion hoax was Hillary Clinton’s general counsel. His name is Marc Elias. He’s the one who paid the people to make up the lies about Russia.
And so I’ve been following him and his operation for a while. And I was, you know, just blown away when, in addition to him being a center figure for the 2016 election drama, he was the guy who ran the operation to create chaos and confusion of our voting laws.
But you say like, was he doing it legally? I actually think there’s some dispute about that. He does work to change laws and processes. But the way that our Constitution says laws and processes should be changed is through state legislatures. And certainly sometimes he tries to do it legally and constitutionally. And you might disagree with the outcome, but at least it’s legal and constitutional.
But frequently he uses an approach called “sue and settle.” And that’s where he’ll sue a friendly statewide official and say, we’d really like to make a mess of your election laws and water down the security of the ballots and make it so that nobody can really know what’s going on. And the friendly — you know, meaning, in his case, Democratic — attorney general or secretary of state will say, sure, whatever you’d like. And they agree to it. And that’s not proper. That’s arguably unconstitutional and illegal.
And then there are all sorts of other things. You know, he’s the guy who ran the operation. So his involvement in all sorts of changes might violate state constitutions or otherwise. But it is true that he’s focused on this issue at a level that the Republican Party hasn’t been. And that is a scandal.
Ned Ryun: It is a scandal. And not to go too much into that, some people at the RNC were warned in the first quarter of 2019, here are some of the things that they’re likely to do leading to the 2020 elections, and quite frankly did nothing.
There’s so many questions. I wrote out some questions. And now I’m like, there’s so many other questions I want to ask you. But really quick, let’s address the media. I’ve noticed, especially over the last five years, beginning of the Trump Administration — I used to do MSNBC and CNN. In those first few months, it was somewhat normal. Right? You’re still the conservative walking in, you’re up against three Democrats and the host. But it was fairly civil. The more you progressed into the Trump Administration, it became less and less civil. And then you just simply were not invited.
The media has gone, as Pete was saying earlier, from bias to outright, quite frankly, propagandists. But it’s always been biased. I mean, this is one thing where — I’ve said this before, but I want to hear your thoughts. Trump in many ways was a clarifying moment in which things that were already there and already existed for years were brought to the surface. So the media’s always been this way.
Mollie Hemingway: Right. You can hear Republican Presidents complaining about the media going back to Eisenhower, so it gets kind of boring to hear them complain about it. But I would argue that since 2016 we’ve experienced something altogether different, moving from serious bias problems into outright propaganda, creation of dramatically fake news.
I saw in August, President Trump sent out one of those statements where he was making fun of The Atlantic, which is this magazine out in DC. And he was making fun of how much money they lose because their billionaire investor loses $10 million to $20 million a year on the publication. And I was like, that’s actually a bargain. If you think about what they accomplished with that publication, that was good campaign spending. So they were participants in the Russia hoax.
They also, this last year, did the fake news about Donald Trump secretly hating the buried marines at Aisne-Marne Cemetery. That wasn’t true, it was totally invented. You had like 24 people on the record, including people who hate Donald Trump like John Bolton saying, this is not true, this is just not factually accurate. You had contemporaneous weather reports and government emails that backed up President Trump’s version of events. And yet that was no barrier to that information operation being spewed throughout the media. It appears in one of the presidential debates, and all for only $10 million to $20 million to actually determine the outcome of who is President.
So I think that now that they’ve become such big and important vehicles, that’s another issue the Right needs to understand better. And we already kind of have this understanding. It’s information warfare, and it needs to be approached as information warfare.
Ned Ryun: Okay. So you wrote an entire book called “Rigged.” In all of your research, I kind of want to know, what are some of the things — because again, this is something that you, and me to some extent, we cover and we’re reading about, we’re thinking about, we’re talking about. What were some of the — so this is like a two-part question — what are some of the biggest things that you came across that surprised you? Like oh, my gosh, I can’t believe this actually happened?
I was reading at The Federalist about the Wisconsin rest homes. That to me I’d kind of suspected, didn’t know. Oh, my gosh. So what was one of the biggest surprises to you? And then, we’re writing a book about a rigged election in the past. Why do we need to understand what happened in 2020?
So part one, and then part two.
Mollie Hemingway: Okay. I might do part two first.
I find it funny. People are like, well, this is over and done with. Why do you care? And I think that people need to understand that what was done in 2020 in some parts was unique to that year, because people were willing to break laws and break all norms in order to get rid of one person in particular. But they created systems, sometimes permanently, that will affect every election going forward.
And this is all — and it’s not just again about the presidency. This was about the determination of who controls the Senate. This was about the margin in the House. You know, it possibly could’ve affected Republicans taking leadership of the House. So it’s very important that everybody pay attention to it going forward.
The most shocking thing — so I’m a pretty sober person; I don’t get that excited. But when I discovered the complexity and brilliance of the Mark Zuckerberg plan to win the election, I sounded like Donald Trump. You know, I was out there, I was like they stole it, it’s crazy. But realizing — so that to me was something — you said you didn’t see it coming.
I talked with a lot of very smart Republican operatives who knew that there were these grants available through these two different left-wing groups. But they didn’t really even know that they were left-wing groups. They were kind of small nonprofits that nobody really knew about. Turns out they were staffed and created by Obama operatives. And Mark Zuckerberg gave $419 million through these groups. And it was targeted to Democratic counties in swing states. And what that money was used to accomplish was embedding into these Democratic majority counties the Democratic Party’s get-out-the-vote operation. Now, this isn’t money given to campaigns where you spend money on campaign ads. This was about government operations.
So this army of left-wing activists was brought in to register people to vote, to harvest their ballots, to design their ballots, to translate their ballots; to do all that really important get-out-the-vote operation, like getting people to vote —
Ned Ryun: To cure ballots.
Mollie Hemingway: They cured ballots, they counted ballots. It was the entire operation. And again, the Left has cared much more about voting issues. And they have had these armies of people who are just there to bring into the system. And they focused again on Democratic counties in swing states. Ninety-two percent of the funding went to these, you know, predominantly Democratic counties, and it swung things.
So there’ve been economists who are evaluating the effect of this. And in Texas, for instance, which was a safely Republican state, they didn’t even spend that much time and energy there, and they elevated the Biden vote total by 200,000 votes. You’re talking about margins in Wisconsin and Georgia and Arizona of 10,000 to 20,000 votes. And they spent so smartly in Georgia.
If I could just say, really quickly — in Florida, which has pretty good — had pretty good election laws and has a lot of focus on it, given their problems in the past — Zuckerberg did spend some money. But the state went from one point Republican in 2016 to three point something in 2020. Right across the border in Georgia, Zuckerberg spends $45 million on a targeted takeover of Fulton County and a few other key Democratic counties. That state goes from five points Republican to one point Democrat. And it’s got not that different demographics than Florida. It was staggering, the effect this funding had, and how effective it was at artificially lifting these vote totals for Biden and other Democrats.
Ned Ryun: In a lot of places, 10-to-one spending in blue counties versus Republican counties in battleground states.
Mollie Hemingway: So they got away with it because they claimed it was bipartisan. They’d say, we’ll fund you whether you’re Republican or Democrat. But the Republican county would get like $5,000 for personal protective equipment for their volunteers. And the Democratic county would literally get like $10 million. I mean, it was just amazing.
Ned Ryun: So we’ve talked about this. American Majority is a C3. Center for Tech and Civic Life is a C3. This is one of the entities that Zuckerberg ran hundreds of millions of dollars through, run by new organizing institute/Obama alumni. They were very smart, very sophisticated. But if I had done that with American Majority, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I’d probably be in jail, having talked with the DOJ and the FBI and the IRS. And with them, there’s nothing. In fact, I don’t think there will ever be consequences — and correct me if I’m wrong — for Center for Tech and Civic Life and Mark Zuckerberg for what they did, in which they basically had a private takeover of government functions in our elections in key battleground states to influence and impact, to the tune of $419 million, a presidential election which determines the direction of this country. Am I wrong in saying there will be no consequences for them?
Mollie Hemingway: I don’t think there will be consequences, except that many states have made it illegal now. And that’s not really a consequence for them in terms of holding them accountable. But as soon as people realized what happened, they started making it illegal. And Wisconsin is one of those states that has really good integrity of its voting — or has historically cared about its voting laws. And everything was a mess in Wisconsin in 2020, mostly because of COVID hysteria. And I’m like, why did you allow this to happen? And they’re like, we didn’t even know it was possible that a tech oligarch could take over our election systems. We didn’t have laws because we didn’t know it could happen.
Ned Ryun: This is the amazing — I mean, he literally took over Green Bay. I mean, I don’t want to put —
Mollie Hemingway: Oh, yeah.
Ned Ryun: But no, he literally took over the Green Bay — the functions of Green Bay with Center for Tech and Civic Life. They imported people — I believe one was from New York City — importing people from different parts of the country into very targeted areas.
Mollie Hemingway: And kicking the actual government election managers out. So yeah, I tell the story in here about — in Wisconsin, they focused on the five cities. And they spent millions of dollars in just, you know, making sure that Democratic voters in these five cities got out to vote and had their ballots counted. And they did so much to take over the system that the actual government operative who was in charge of it took family and medical leave act. Because she was like, I can’t deal. Like they’re kicking me out of everything.
And it was a, you know, left-wing activist who’d been implanted into the system who ran the whole thing, including — he had the keys to the room where the ballots were held —
Ned Ryun: Right.
Mollie Hemingway: — because they had so many mail-in ballots. And —
Ned Ryun: Paid operative, with private funds, controlling — it’s amazing to me. And this is why I’m so glad you wrote this book. And I hope that you guys — you’re going to do a book signing after this — will get a signed copy. Read this book. Because we do need to understand what they did. Like I said, there’s so many questions now that I want to ask, and I know we don’t have a ton of time.
Two things. I really believe the whole progressive aim, for literally decades, has been to make everything extremely subjective. Right? The Constitution is kind of what you say it is, it’s very fluid. In this situation, this is what you can do; in this situation, you can’t. Lot of it depends on what your political leanings are — whatever. I think this is exactly what they’re trying to do with our election process: make it extremely gray, lot of subjective. Marc Elias bringing all these questions up. And all the sudden, it becomes, well, God, in this situation, we probably should do this. I mean, it kind of is a little different from what the law says, but we think maybe — I mean, that’s their whole goal, right? They don’t want a very clear, concise, photo ID, paper ballots, dah-dah-dah. They want election weeks, they want all this very kind subjective gray.
Mollie Hemingway: That’s exactly right. And I think that’s very important for people to understand, that the idea behind all of this litigation strategy of Marc Elias is to expand the sphere of litigation, depending on how an election turns out.
And you know, it’s kind of confusing to listen to him, because he likes to pretend he’s this defender of democracy. He’s frequently contesting elections, sounding just like the people who were concerned about the 2020 election. So even in 2020, in one lawsuit in New York, he’s trying to take a race away from Claudia Tenney, who’s this Republican congresswoman in New York. And so he’s alleging, you know, that voting machines manipulated the vote. But then in another race, if someone says that, he’ll be like, that’s crazy. So he’ll just say whatever he needs to in order to secure a victory. Because that’s what he does. He’s Democratic general counsel for many campaigns.
Ned Ryun: All right. So we’ve talked about Marc Elias, we’ve talked about Center for Tech and Civic Life. What are some of the other things — again, they saw an opportunity in 2020 with the COVID pandemic to accomplish a lot of things they’d been talking about for years. And in some states, what they’ve accomplished, with Oregon, and even Colorado now; universal mail-in ballots in the states — what were a couple of the other things that you would say really stuck out to you from 2020, where they saw a moment, they seized it, made the most of it; and a lot of Republicans were caught flatfooted?
Mollie Hemingway: So I want to talk about something in Georgia. But to answer that question, I would say Pennsylvania to me was a very interesting state to cover. They did a great job of using courts there to completely violate any legal processes. And so that could’ve meant any number of different things. For instance, in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — those are two states who historically have high levels of Green Party voters. And so that became a target for Democrats: We’ve got to keep the Green Party off of the ballot in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They succeeded in both cases on completely ridiculous grounds, like they claimed in Pennsylvania that the Green Party candidate didn’t have the appropriate cover letter to their fax that came in with the information. In Wisconsin, they kept someone off — they kept Kanye West off the ballot, literally claiming he was 14 seconds too late. Like he did get everything in by 5:00 p.m. on the date he was supposed to.
Ned Ryun: It was a lie [indiscernible].
Mollie Hemingway: Yeah.
Ned Ryun: Yeah, it was a lie. They filed the suit against Kanye saying, you were 14 seconds late.
Mollie Hemingway: And got, again, Democratic operatives to say this.
And also in Pennsylvania, this becomes like a big issue that relates to what you’re just talking about. The big challenge is, as you make a mess of all the election laws, counties can interpret things differently. So in Pennsylvania, you’re not supposed to count ballots until Election Day. At least, that’s the case in 2020. So Republican-led counties would say, well, says clearly we’re not supposed to count ballots until Election Day. And it says clearly that you have to sign and date your ballot in order to — you know, the outside of the envelope for the ballot — in order for it to be legit. So they followed the law very scrupulously.
In Philadelphia, the Republican election observer there, who I interviewed, starts noticing that they’re hiring people for curing of ballots. And they like, how can you do that when it’s not even legal to look at these? And they were like, well, they didn’t say anything about the envelope. So we’ll just go ahead and like cure all these ballots for our Democratic voters. And then also, it becomes an issue in many races that, like in one county they would say, oh, you didn’t sign this, so we’re tossing it. But right across, they’d be like, well, they meant to sign it. And so —
Ned Ryun: Subjective.
Mollie Hemingway: Yes, it’s all very subjective, and it affects so many races. And the court just kind of does this Calvinball thing. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is very bad. It’s like seven-two Democrat. It just had one seat flip. But they just make decisions based on whatever benefits their own party. And it just creates — it just wreaks havoc on the whole thing.
Ned Ryun: So we’re clear, when we talk about curing of absentee ballots — when ballots are sent in, maybe the signature doesn’t match, whatever, there’s something wrong with it; it’s technically not supposed to be counted. In Pennsylvania, is it three days? I can’t remember, because every state differs. Is it three days before the election you can open and start curing? I don’t remember exactly, because there’s some states where it varies. I can’t remember. That all to say that curing of ballots is — then you turn around, and you tell the person that sent the ballot in, hey, by the way, your signature doesn’t match, something’s wrong with your ballot; why don’t you fix that? So that’s one process. But actually, they were Center for Tech and Civic Life paid operatives who were actually physically curing the ballots — correct me if I’m wrong —
Mollie Hemingway: True in Wisconsin, at least.
Ned Ryun: Yeah, and I think even in Pennsylvania. They were actually curing — which I think is, again, another violation of law — curing ballots that were sent in that would’ve been otherwise rejected.
Mollie Hemingway: And just in general, I think it’s good to remember, when you do mail-in balloting, you’re supposed to replicate the security of the in-person voting experience. I’m not the biggest fan of the chaos of mail-in balloting. But a lot of Americans seem to love it.
But you know, we moved to a secret ballot because we had so many problems with our elections. Like in 1850 or thereabouts, we start moving to government’s printing up ballots — you going to vote in person so that other people can’t make you vote a particular way, and it’s all kind of airtight. So as they expand mail-in balloting, these things like a signature, like a date, they’re supposed to replicate that security of the in-person ballot. They don’t, frankly. But to not even do that makes it so ripe for fraud and so difficult to catch fraud when it happens, because that’s like the whole point of it.
Ned Ryun: The American Majority has made this an emphasis in our trainings this year, and there’s a lot of things I usually remind people when I’m out there. There’s a reason that France outlawed universal mail-in ballots back in 1975. Mail-in-ballots, period. This is the ironic part about the American Left versus basically the European left, the European democracies. If you’re to look at how they, the European Union, conduct their elections, you have to have a photo ID; if you’re in the country on Election Day, you have to vote in person. So there’s a lot more — there’s a stricter approach to voting in these Western democracies versus the American Left. In fact, Germany, 2009, outlawed electronic voting machines. So there’s a lot of different ways that they actually run their elections compared to ours.
So the question being — okay, we have these universal mail-in ballots, which you know they’re trying to do. That was part of HR1. Right? We want to make it all 50 states, you can accept ballots 10 days after Election Day.
There are so many things that have to be fixed. I think part of it — correct me if I’m wrong — the reason that the state legislators were not able to respond to some of these complete violations of Marc Elias’s lawsuits, they simply didn’t know their rights.
Mollie Hemingway: I really think that’s one of the big issues. The state legislature is supposed to handle like everything to deal with electors for a presidential election. And they just didn’t seem to really understand. Usually government people are really aware of what’s their power and what’s someone else’s. But they didn’t seem to have a great handle. And in general, they just kind of made a bunch of mistakes.
Pennsylvania Republicans allowed mail-in balloting as part of a deal they made with Democrats to get rid of one-party voting. So Republicans hated that in Pennsylvania you could just switch one lever and it would all go for Democrat. So they got rid of that. And in exchange, they gave the Democrats like the most beautiful herd of cattle ever. Because they didn’t think through what the repercussions were of it.
So I do think one good thing about the last couple of years is it has made Republicans be far more aware of the importance of election security and integrity and what your systems and processes are. But they were kind of asleep for —
Ned Ryun: I think the 2020 elections — and even 2020 as a whole with the COVID lockdowns — have reminded people — and I hope it stuck with you guys as well — we better focus on state and local elections because of the national implications. And if we don’t, the Left’s been — I know this as American Majority — the Left has been highly focused on many state and local elections for decades, where we typically have been focused more on the federal. So they have stolen multiple [ marches ] on us at the state and local level.
So we’ve talked a lot about some of this: the rigging, Marc Elias, Center for Tech and Civic Life. I would argue, too, dirty data leads to dirty elections. If you have dirty voter rolls, you can send out a bajillion absentee ballots, and all the sudden they miraculously, most of them, come back filled out. And if they don’t, they cure them. I mean, that’s one of the things we can discuss later.
I think one of the more shocking things post-2020 election, as we’re all kind of sorting through the debris — February of this year, second week, front page, front cover article of Time magazine — yep, we did everything. Everything that you claimed, that you accused us of, we did it. But we were just fortifying the elections to save democracy. When I read — how many of you read that Time magazine article? Okay. For those of you that don’t — and the majority of you have not read it — go back, February 2021, by Molly Ball, in which they lay out in black and white everything they did; the great collusion between the Left and Chamber of Commerce — which, by the way, I hope you know they’re not your friend. That to me was just absolutely staggering. Yeah, we fortified it. What are you going to do about it?
Mollie Hemingway: Yeah, I would highly recommend reading the article, which is sort of like the nice, cleaned-up version of what actually happened, and written by Molly Ball. She’s Nancy Pelosi’s biographer. Very close to Democrats. And she wrote that there was a cabal of left-wing operatives across the media, big tech; and that they focused on changing election laws, controlling information, to fortify the election, to rig the election. And it was written very cheerfully. But anyone who wasn’t a leftist read this, and they were like, I knew it. I knew this was what happened.
And they were kind of bragging about it. Because I think it’s important to remember, they did everything. They lied. They lied for years, but particularly in 2020. They controlled information, they censored legitimate news stories, they changed all the election laws. The flooded the zone with Zuckerberg funding. And they still only won by 43,000 votes across three states. Had half of those changed, you would have a very different election outcome.
So they were willing to do all of that, and they still almost lost. So I think they were bragging. Because they knew that had they not done all this, it would’ve been millions of votes in the other direction.
Ned Ryun: No, I mean, again, if Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin had flipped — it was 269 to 269, goes to the House of Representatives, where we had the majority of state delegations — Trump would’ve won.
This is a question I — why didn’t the courts step in? I mean, even up to the Supreme Court, I have to tell you, I’m deeply disappointed. I was — Cavanaugh, whatever, I know you wrote a book about it. But I was like, all right. I’m not the biggest fan, but whatever. I was actually lobbying the West Wing for Amy Coney Barrett. I have to tell you I am deeply disappointed.
Unidentified Audience Member: [ So are we, sir ].
Ned Ryun: I have to tell you, I’m not alone, trust me. And you’re not alone, either. With this, the Texas lawsuit is brought before them. No. Clearly, something’s wrong. These people have standing. And you just outright rejected it.
Mollie Hemingway: So I do spend — the last chapter deals with what happened with the courts. And I just want to say, there were only three good justices, in terms of eagerness to take up a case or having good things to say about the need to provide clarity. And that, unsurprisingly, included Alito and Thomas, but also Cavanaugh. I quote some of what he says in there about the need — so historically, courts hate getting involved in election disputes. They will do anything to avoid it. And you see this at the local, state and federal level.
In this case, you had hundreds of legal changes. And like I mentioned, different counties are judging things differently. You need clarity, and you need it to be firm, and you need it before the election. Prior to the election, all these courts would say, well, we don’t know how it’s going to go. So too soon to say, too soon to get involved. Or, it’s too close to the election. And then after the election, they go, oh, well, it’s moot because it already happened.
And it was infuriating. And in one case, the Supreme Court doesn’t take it up because it would be moot. Like it wouldn’t actually affect the outcome of the election. And I think it’s Thomas who’s like, are you insane? That’s why we should take it up. Because next time, the same issue’s going to be there. And it’s better to make the decision when passions are cleared, and it’s not going to affect the outcome than when it will.
And they also talk about the chaos of like — if we didn’t like getting involved before, when it would get messy to deal with ballot disputes, what do we do now that the messiness is so compounded by tens of millions of mail-in ballots?
So I do think courts understand that they messed up. I don’t know if it’s enough, because there’s only three of them that even wanted to take [ it up ]. But this is an issue at local, state and federal courts.
Ned Ryun: So we’re running short on time. But I always tell my staff at American Majority, if you see a problem, you can bring it to my attention. But if you bring a problem to my attention without solutions, I’m going to be very upset with you.
So we have talked about all of the problems about a rigged election, about all the screwy stuff that took place on a variety of levels. So I guess my question to you is — first of all, read the book — what are your solutions to unrigged elections, moving forward?
Mollie Hemingway: Okay. So even though the election law itself is an important thing — and I’ll have something to say about that — I don’t think we can forget the importance of media and big tech. Media need to — they’re destroying themselves in terms of their credibility, but they still have a lot of power. They need to be further marginalized, not given this position of power that they have no right to. Non-leftist media sources need to be supported to engage in that information warfare. Big tech — I don’t have like the actual answer what needs to happen. But we need to understand how much they are a threat to the — like they’re the existential threat to our country. And so we need to do something to keep them from going to war against the American people and freedom of information.
As for election laws, I do think it’s important to ban the private takeover of government election offices. A lot of states have done that. Florida’s done that; Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin. A lot of states are doing that; more need to do that.
Voter ID I think is something that you absolutely have to have with mail-in ballots in particular. And it’s something that 80 percent of the country supports. Not a lot of people support my view of limiting mail-in balloting. But a lot of people support voter ID.
And funding and activism — so we’ve mentioned that the Left has really been involved in this. They have devoted tens of millions of dollars in just the last few years to this. A lot of why the Republicans — Republicans actually did fight a lot of this stuff and did it effectively. But they need a lot more funding and a lot more oversight. And oversight means something different now, because you have to count — you have to oversee ballot counting across months instead of just one day. So that requires a lot of volunteers and observation. You wouldn’t believe what you find.
Like in Virginia, they found that they weren’t requiring the last four digits, on mail-in ballots, of your Social Security number, only because people were observing that. Only because a bunch of Republicans were like, we’re going to start paying attention. So you need to get in there or get other people to get in there and observe in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
Ned Ryun: Two really quick things, and then we’ve got five minutes. I have one question for you about Trump and your interviewing of him. But I would argue, we have to put pressure on cleaning up of the voter rolls. I mean, in Michigan, we just found, what, 25,000 dead people are still on the voter rolls in Michigan. I think that’s a huge step in the right direction.
But you made a really interesting point. I think the thing that really helped change Virginia — a lot of people, myself included, have been beating the drum on we need to train. Because in Virginia, we were outnumbered two to one on officers of the election, officer judges and poll watchers, being inside the room. And again, it’s not just being simply inside the room. There’s obviously the mail and the voter rolls, all that stuff. But I think this is something that we have to absolutely — and the thing in Virginia that encouraged me, we started voting, early voting, on September 17th. In a lot of these key places, to their credit — a lot of Republicans were in the room watching and observing, inside the room, votes as they were being cast on day one. September 17th all the way through Election Day. We have to replicate that in all 50 states on a magnitude of a thousand, ten thousand.
Last question I have for you, and then we’ve got to wrap up. President Trump — there’s the public persona, and then there’s the private, behind-the-scenes. He’s hilarious. He’s actually pretty warm and genuine. What was that like to have all that time interviewing him? I know there’s some funny stories about how to take a picture correctly. But tell us more about that. Because I think some of us instinctually know that he is, in person, much more personable and warm and genuinely thoughtful.
Mollie Hemingway: So I’d gotten to interview him in the Oval Office a bunch. And I was excited to do it down here after he left. And I was like, now I’ll get to know who the real Donald Trump is. But he, turns out, is exactly the same.
Mollie Hemingway: But after the second interview, I was walking out of his office with him, and he was bragging about how he’s the only house down here that has ocean front and — you know —
Mollie Hemingway: — and the lake front. And I thought — you know, I’ve never taken a picture of him, even though I’ve interviewed all these times. So I ask him if I can take a picture. And he says, well, let’s take one together. I said okay. So we take a picture, and he shows it — or his assistant takes the picture, and she shows him. She always shows the picture. And he says, I don’t like her, and I don’t like me.
Ned Ryun: Yes. Like we did pictures in the Oval Office one time, and I was so excited. I never got them. Because he’s like, I actually get the final say. And if I don’t like how I look, they don’t go public.
Mollie Hemingway: Yeah. So he’s like, let’s move over here. And so we moved to a different location. She shows him the picture, and he says, I like me. I still don’t like her.
Mollie Hemingway: He’s like, I’m going to teach you how to take a picture. So, you know, I drop everything. He’s like, you got to focus on the background in addition to who’s in it. And he gave me all these tips, like move sideways and put my hand on my hip, and put my chin out. And he said, you can trust me, my wife’s a supermodel.
Mollie Hemingway: I was like, I am aware who your wife is, thank you.
Anyway, so we take the picture. And she shows it to him, and he goes, there you go.
Mollie Hemingway: And it was great. And I was like — so every time I take a picture now, I’m kind of like, hold on. I need to figure out my, you know, stuff.
Ned Ryun: Folks, we’re out of time. But I really enjoyed this. I wish we’d had like two hours.
Ned Ryun: I would really encourage you — Mike, I know there’s copies in the back for Mollie to sign. But read this book. Understand what happened. But even more importantly, commit to making sure it never happens again.
Founder and CEO of American Majority, Ned Ryun, interviews author, columnist, senior editor at the Federalist and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemmingway about what she calls “the weirdest election we’ve ever experienced” in 2020. Don’t miss this engaging interview, held at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2021 Restoration Weekend on Nov. 11th-14th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.