politifact rates youngkin claim dems suggested 2016 election was stolen half true

Left-leaning fact-checker PolitiFact once-again tried to discount the notion that Democrats spread stolen election claims after the 2016 presidential race. 

PolitiFact’s Warren Fiske rated a claim from Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., alleging Democrats “suggested that the [2016] election was stolen,” as only “half-true,” in an article published Wednesday. 

In the first 20 months of President Biden’s term, there were 58 pieces published by PolitiFact to fact-check the president compared to 338 pieces designed to fact-check Biden critics, according to the Media Research Center. (iStock/Logo)

Youngkin was responding to reporters questioning the need for the Republican’s “Election Integrity” task force in the state when he pointed out both sides were concerned about election integrity.

“People have concerns about the election process and oh by the way, it’s not just Republicans; it’s Democrats. Let’s just remind ourselves that in 2016 Democrats suggested that the election was stolen,” the governor reportedly said.

Glenn Youngkin, governor of Virginia, speaks prior to signing executive actions in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

Glenn Youngkin, governor of Virginia, speaks prior to signing executive actions in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Fiske’s fact-check shot down this argument. “It’s important to point out, however, that the Democrats did not question the actual counting of ballots in 2016, as Youngkin’s statement implies, or that Trump won the election,” he wrote.

The PolitiFact writer acknowledged several high-profile Democrats, including Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, had questioned the legitimacy of President Trump’s win. But, he argued, that was different from saying the election was “stolen.”

“Many prominent Democrats say Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 presidential election was tainted. But their complaints don’t align with Republican claims that the 2020 election, won by Joe Biden, was stolen,” he wrote.

The fact-checker also argued the timeline and nature of the arguments, made a difference.

Democrats launched a lengthy investigation into whether or not Donald Trump's campaign received help from Russia's Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election.

Democrats launched a lengthy investigation into whether or not Donald Trump’s campaign received help from Russia’s Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election. (Getty Images)

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“Democratic complaints in 2016 focused on events that happened during the campaign: Russian hacking to help Trump and a late October announcement that the FBI had reopened an investigation of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton,” he wrote. 

Fiske added that Democrats “didn’t contend there was widespread vote-counting fraud” and they conceded the election results.

“While the Democrats rejected the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency based on the oddities of the campaign, they acknowledged that he won the election,” Fiske concluded.

The fact-check seemed to hedge on whether or not Democrats said the election was “stolen.”

In 2019, Clinton did say the election had been “stolen from her.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference. (Getty Images)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY GRILLED ON TWEET CALLING 2016 ELECTION ‘STOLEN’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also claimed the election was “hijacked,” in a May 2017 tweet. 

“Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowtheFacts,” the Democrat leader’s tweet read.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was recently grilled by Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy over her own past tweets saying Donald Trump and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp “stole” their respective elections.

The Biden official called Doocy’s question “ridiculous,” adding that she was speaking specifically about voting rights at the time.

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