More than 2 1/2 years after the 2020 election, Michigan's Rona Romney McDaniel, who heads the Republican National Committee, still refuses to say that Joe Biden won the presidency fairly.
"I don't think he won it fair, I don't. I'm not going to say that," McDaniel tells CNN's Chris Wallace in a preview of an upcoming interview aired Wednesday. McDaniel, who still must answer to Donald Trump as RNC chair, goes on to cite concerns in 2020 in Wayne County.
"I'm from Wayne County," she says. "We had a woman send a note saying 'I'm being told to back date ballots'. We had to look into that. That's deeply concerning. When you have friends who are poll watching and being kicked out, that's deeply concerning. We have every right to look at that."
She goes on to say a lot needs to be fixed.
Both allegations about election improprities have proven unfounded by Michigan election authorities, who have issued statements citing what they see as false allegations.
"Michigan’s elections were conducted fairly, effectively and transparently and are an accurate reflection of the will of Michigan voters," says in a late 2020 posting on the Michigan Secretary of State's website titled: "False claims from Ronna McDaniel have no merit."
On the back dating of ballots, the statement said:
As was stated by Chris Thomas, who as a contractor for the Detroit City Clerk’s Office served as an advisor on the execution of this election and led challenger relations, and who is the former Michigan Director of Elections, who served under both republican and democrat Secretaries of State during his 40-year-tenure with the Bureau of Elections, no ballots were backdated. Rather, a clerical error was made when some ballot envelopes were received in Detroit satellite offices. Although employees stamped a date of receipt on the envelopes, an employee failed to complete the transaction for receiving the ballot by saving that date in the Qualified Voter File. Therefore, at the absent voter counting board, after discussion with Republican challengers who chose not to challenge the process, staff was instructed to enter that date stamped on the envelope ensuring that no voters were disenfranchised by the clerical error.
On Republican observers being booted from the tabulation room in Detroit, the Secretary of State's Office said:
As Detroit officials have stated, hundreds of challengers from both parties were inside their absent voter counting board all afternoon and evening. And even after some left, there were always challengers from both parties in the room. Dozens of reporters were in the room as well. Further, some windows were covered to stop those outside from filming the people and private information in the counting board, while other windows were left uncovered to ensure additional transparency.
Former Attorney General William Barr in 2022 told The Atlantic the Justice Department investigated Trump's fraud claims at the TCF Center in Detroit and concluded the allegations were baseless.
McDaniel's comments may help set the tone for the 2024 election campaign where Trump is expected to continue to beat the drum about how he actually won the 2020 election.
McDaniel has been chair of the party since 2017 when Trump took office. She was chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 2015 to 2017. She is the niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney