2016 Election Skeptics at CNN Grill Graham for Saying We Need to ‘Move On’ From 2020 Election

Even though CNN helped Democrats sell the Russian collusion lie all the way up until this last election, CNN had the gall to go after Franklin Graham this morning on New Day, over his initial support for Trump questioning the results of the election last December.

Co-host Brianna Keilar brought on the prominent evangelist so that he could encourage Christians to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He had appeared on CNN the day before to do the same thing. Tuesday’s interview started off with this straightforward message before Keilar quickly got nasty and political.

She presented Graham with a highlight reel of a few televangelists last spring downplaying the coronavirus from the pulpit before holding him accountable for their misguided kookery. 

After Graham dismissed CNN’s notion that these few people had influence over the entire evangelical community at the expense of their own pastors, Keilar arrogantly lectured Graham on why he was wrong:

I will say, I don’t know if it’s fair to minimize the reach of some of these pastors or, look, they may just be reinforcing what some other congregants already feel. We’ve looked at what they’ve said. These are pastors, not just the ones we showed, but a number of them who speak to millions upon millions of people. There are definitely people listening to them.

This was just a ruse though for Keilar to shame Graham for initially supporting Trump’s election claims:

I want to ask you because the disinformation that we’re seeing driving vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals is really part of a bigger disinformation problem that includes lies about the outcome of the 2016 election that Trump, not Biden won, which many evangelicals believe, which is something that you have given life to. Do you have any regrets about publicly doubting the outcome of the 2016 election? Or 2020, I’m sorry. 

 

 

What a slip of the tongue. Maybe Graham could’ve asked Keilar if her network had “any regrets for publicly doubting the outcome of the 2016 election!”

Instead, Graham conceded that millions of Americans who voted for Trump had “concerns” about the election, but the country needed to “move on” because Biden was president. Keilar just couldn’t let it go though as she continued to badger him over and over [click “expand”]:

KEILAR: It’s not over — sir, respectfully, Reverend, it’s not over for a lot of people. It is not. I mean, we’re looking at this audit going to in Arizona. So do you — so then how do you — 

GRAHAM: It’s over for me. 

KEILAR: So you don’t believe what you said before in December about believing Trump when he said it was rigged? 

GRAHAM: There are 73 million-plus people out there that feel there was funny business in that election. I’ve moved on. We are trying to save people’s lives. We have got a real crisis in front of us and I want to work with the Biden administration, if we can, to try to get information out that would save life. And to me, the election is behind us. President Biden won. He’s sworn in. And let’s just move on. As a nation — 

KEILAR: With all due respect, sir, I understand that you are saying that, but there are people who doubt the outcome of the election. They are not moving on. And many folks, including yourself, told them not to essentially, or to question the outcome of this election. You did it more than a month after the outcome of the election. Do you stand corrected? Is what you said incorrect? 

Graham again insisted that Biden was the president and he needed Christians’ support and prayers. “To me, the election is behind us. President Biden won. He’s sworn in. And let’s just move on,” he restated.

Keilar ended the interview scolding Graham once more about how the right supposedly couldn’t move on: “All right, sir. I’ll just say, many people have not moved on. They believe, as you put it, have concerns about the election. Many of them believe it was inaccurate. And there are people in positions of power, including yourself, who gave them reason to believe that.”

In truth, it is impossible for CNN to “move on.” Because if CNN actually moved on, they would have to spend at least an equal amount of time talking about the current administration instead of obsessing over the last.

It is a wonder why Keilar’s network couldn’t find any courage to hold truth to power after the 2016 election. Instead they spent years helping Democrats deny the election as legitimate. There was no clutching of their pearls about democracy being in danger… because the Democrats were the ones questioning the results of the election. 

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway twitter thread about this hypocrisy is worth reading:

When the media and other prominent Democrats all the way up to Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter spent four years hysterically repeating that Donald Trump was a traitor who colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, we didn’t call that a “big lie.” Why is that?
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 16, 2021

Read the transcript below:

CNN’s New Day

5/18/2021

BRIANNA KEILAR: We’ve talked before on this show about your voice on this topic. And it’s so important because you are an incredibly prominent evangelical voice. At the same time, there are many evangelical pastors spreading a lot of disinformation to their congregants about the virus and also vaccines. Let’s listen. 

….

KEILAR: So you will recognize that some of those are from March and April of last year. But if you track a lot of those pastors, you know, occasionally you run into one who now admits that basically COVID exists but this disinformation is still very prevalent and it’s spreading not just about coronavirus but about the vaccine. You’re aware that evangelicals are one of the most skeptical groups, white evangelicals especially of vaccine and covid vax. What do you say to their pastors about their responsibility? 

FRANKLIN GRAHAM:  Well, first of all, these pastors that you had on television, they represent such a small percentage of the Christian base. And I would just ignore those guys. I’m talking about the individual pastor, Sunday after Sunday who gets up in his pulpit who preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ, tells people how to turn from their sins and receive Christ by faith into their hearts and their life. These pastors are out there in the trenches every day. And I would encourage these pastors to inform their congregation about where they can get a vaccine if they want a vaccine and give them, you know, information… …

KEILAR:  I will say, I don’t know if it’s fair to minimize the reach of some of these pastors or, look, they may just be reinforcing what some other congregants already feel. We’ve looked at what they’ve said. These are pastors, not just the ones we showed, but a number of them who speak to millions upon millions of people. There are definitely people listening to them. I want to ask you because the disinformation that we’re seeing driving vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals is really part of a bigger disinformation problem that includes lies about the outcome of the 2016 election that Trump, not Biden won, which many evangelicals believe, which is something that you have given life to. Do you have any regrets about publicly doubting the outcome of the 2016 election. Or 2020, I’m sorry. 

GRAHAM: No, Briana, you’ve got about 73 million Americans out there that have some concerns about the election. And, listen, I think it’s time we move on. The election is over with. We have to move on as a country. Move forward. President Biden is the president–

KEILAR: It’s not over — sir, respectfully, Reverend, it’s not over for a lot of people. It is not. I mean, we’re looking at this audit going to in Arizona. So do you — so then how do you — 

GRAHAM: It’s over for me. 

KEILAR: So you don’t believe what you said before in December about believing Trump when he said it was rigged? 

GRAHAM: There are 73 million-plus people out there that feel there was funny business in that election. I’ve moved on. We are trying to save people’s lives. We have got a real crisis in front of us and I want to work with the Biden administration, if we can, to try to get information out that would save life. And to me, the election is behind us. President Biden won. He’s sworn in. And let’s just move on. As a nation — 

KEILAR: With all due respect, sir, I understand that you are saying that, but there are people who doubt the outcome of the election. They are not moving on. And many folks, including yourself, told them not to essentially, or to question the outcome of this election. You did it more than a month after the outcome of the election. Do you stand corrected? Is what you said incorrect? 

GRAHAM: No, I don’t think it’s incorrect. I’m just saying Briana it is what it is. You have 73 — 

KEILAR: So you’re saying that Joe Biden didn’t win the election but that you’re moving on? I just want to be very clear about what you’re saying. 

GRAHAM: No, let’s be very clear. I have said I’m moving on. He is the president and he needs our support. He needs our prayers. And we’ve got a virus in front of us that needs to be focused on. And so the election, we’ve got another election coming up in two years, midterms and four years from now another presidential election. So we can work toward that. But let’s get past 2020 and move on. 

KEILAR: All right, sir. I’ll just say, many people have not moved on. They believe, as you put it, have concerns about the election. Many of them believe it was inaccurate. And there are people in positions of power, including yourself, who gave them reason to believe that. But, look, sir, we certainly appreciate having you on. All of these are important issues to cover. We really appreciate the efforts that you are making on coronavirus vaccines, Reverend Franklin Graham thank you for being with us.

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