There were five words Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) refused to say at a House Rules Committee meeting Tuesday: “The election was not stolen.”
During a heated exchange with committee chair Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Jordan repeatedly dodged McGovern’s demands that he admit the election was not stolen. At the same time, Jordan attempted to shirk responsibility for promoting dangerous conspiracy theories, claiming that he never asserted that Joe Biden stole the election and was simply questioning the constitutionality of certain states’ election processes.
“I never once said that this thing was stolen,” he said Tuesday. “I said there were major problems, and when you’ve got a third of the electorate who think it was stolen, that’s not a healthy situation for our nation.”
Jim Jordan claimed that he "never once said that [the election] was stolen." But the attempt to shirk responsibility for promoting dangerous conspiracy theories doesn't quite hold up.
In the days leading up to the riot, Jordan's appearances implicated a "stolen" election: pic.twitter.com/m1qf4O6N8k
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) January 12, 2021
It’s hard to square Jordan’s insistence that he “never once said that this thing was stolen” with his statements on the House floor last week shortly before pro-Trump rioters forced the body into a six-hour lockdown.
“Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election,” he said on January 6. “During the campaign, Vice President Biden would do an event and he’d get 50 people at the event. President Trump at just one rally gets 50,000 people.”
“President Trump increased his vote with African Americans; increased his vote with Hispanic Americans; won 19 of 20 bellwether counties; won Ohio by 8, Iowa by 8, and Florida by 3. He got 11 million more votes than he did in 2016, and House Republicans won 27 of 27 tossup races,” he continued. “But somehow the guy who never left his house wins the election?”
Jordan may not have explicitly uttered the words, “The election was stolen”—just as Trump never explicitly implored his supporters to storm the Capitol. But, as we saw last week, a heavy implication will do the trick.