Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, a member of Fox’s purported “news” side, has served as one of the key mouthpieces for President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. And after a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol last week by Trump’s supporters, who were fueled by that same propaganda campaign, Bartiromo is back from vacation — and seemingly unrepentant, continuing to attempt to undermine public confidence in the election result.
Bartiromo has attracted media attention for the degree to which she has descended from a status as “respected finance reporter to Trump apologist.” The network, however, is still trying to pitch advertisers that she is part of a roster that brings “hard-hitting journalism,” according to a report in The Daily Beast.
Even Tuesday morning, Bartiromo discussed a report that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was now urging Trump to call President-elect Joe Biden and congratulate him. (McCarthy himself had voted in the wake of the January 6 insurrection in favor of Trump’s effort to reject the election results.)
Bartiromo asked whether such a call would take place: “I mean there are still, let's be honest, 70% of Trump voters continue to believe they were robbed in this election." This was a prime example of the circular justification for doubting the outcome by Fox News personalities, who cite Trump voters not accepting the election as being itself a reason to keep questioning it — while ignoring their own role in portraying Biden’s win as somehow illegitimate.
For a quick review of the significant role that Bartiromo has played in attempting to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and overturn the 2020 election on Trump’s behalf:
- Bartiromo was a prime vector for tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories offered by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and ally Sidney Powell, ranging from debunked allegations about voting machines from the Dominion and Smartmatic companies to the supposed existence of a secret government computer program that would flip votes from Trump to Biden.
- Bartiromo conducted a phone interview with Trump in late November, in which she aided and abetted his various lies about the election.
- In early December, Bartiromo spoke with Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich, who pushed a stream of debunked conspiracy theories about the vote counts in various swing states. After Gingrich baselessly claimed the outcomes “were rigged” and that voting results “went through Barcelona, Spain, to Frankfurt, Germany to be counted,” Bartiromo responded: “And people need to understand that any election fraud carries a 5 to 10-year jail sentence.”
- Bartiromo interviewed Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about his far-fetched lawsuit at the Supreme Court to nullify the election results in other states, during which she commented that “this is the reason that our young men and women go and fight on battlefields across the world, and in some cases lose their lives, because they believe that their vote matters just as much as your vote matters as an A.G.”
- On the day that the Electoral College members across the country voted in December, Bartiromo claimed there was “an intel source telling me that President Trump did in fact win the election.” She also asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): “Is it the end of the line for the president's campaign to stop and overturn this election, as the Electoral College will meet, or are you looking at January 6 as a pivotal date, or what?”
And even after that “pivotal date” of January 6 came — resulting in the first-ever armed insurrection against the counting of a presidential election result in the U.S. Capitol — Bartiromo isn’t stopping her attempts to push election fraud conspiracy theories.
Bartiromo spoke on Sunday with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) about the public criticisms of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) to resign, after they led the effort in the Senate to reject the election result.
“Sen. Cruz was on this program with an idea to simply propose a 10-day emergency commission to investigate why 70% of Trump supporters believe that the election was rigged, believe that there were irregularities,” Bartiromo said. “Now he's facing calls to resign, Sen. Hawley facing calls to resign. Your reaction?”
“Well, he's facing calls to resign from far-left liberals, who are always calling on Republicans to resign or something like that,” Rubio answered. “I mean, these guys don’t like us, it’s pure and simple.”
Bartiromo later spoke with Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), and state Rep. Vernon Jones (R-GA), both of whom had switched from being Democrats to Republicans in the past two years. Bartiromo asked Jones if he would soon be running for secretary of state in Georgia “to replace Mr. [Brad] Raffensperger” — the Republican incumbent who had rebuffed Trump’s pressures to undo the election result for Biden in the state.
“And what is your take on what just took place in Georgia? Seventy percent of Trump voters feel unsatisfied, they never got the investigation they wanted, they still believe the election was stolen. Let’s just be clear.”
In fact, Raffensperger explained to Trump repeatedly on that infamous January 2 phone call that the state had not only conducted two full recounts of the paper ballots, but it had also investigated numerous allegations lobbed by the Trump campaign. These included Trump’s complaints about signature matching on absentee ballots, alleged dead people voting, and other issues — and in all instances, the Trump campaign’s allegations had come up practically empty, far from claims of widespread fraud among the millions of votes cast.
Van Drew — who had voted for the Republican attempt to throw out Electoral College votes for Biden, even after the siege of the Capitol — also said that “election integrity” was his most important issue going forward. “My purpose wasn't to overturn an election,” he claimed, but rather to look into a series of issues about voting security (which have been debunked long ago in this election).
Baritromo closed out the January 10 program by agreeing with Van Drew’s debunked allegations: “Oh, I know, I know. Yeah, absolutely — and by the way, you won't be able to say any of that on Twitter.”
And this all continued into Bartiromo’s morning show on Fox Business on Monday. For example, she did not even bother to challenge an assertion by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) — who also voted for Trump’s coup attempt — when he said that Democrats were “overplaying a lot of things, including the deaths of these people on Capitol Hill,” with the push for a new impeachment.
Instead, she told Issa, “You make a really good point, thanks for making it,” after he claimed there was a supposed media double standard over civil unrest last year in cities resulting from protests about police brutality against Black people — putting such events on the same level as the attempted violent overthrow of a national election.
In a later discussion, she continued to defend Cruz and to cite that circular justification about Trump voters not accepting the election.
“Just to be clear, Sen. Ted Cruz's idea was simply to have a 10-day emergency commission to investigate the election — investigate the irregularities,” Bartiromo said. “This was simply to make sure that the 70-plus percent of Trump voters and the 36% of all voters who questioned the integrity of the election had an investigation that was real and that looked at those irregularities. So it’s a head-scratcher why they wouldn’t just want to see an investigation.”
(A quick reminder, as already noted above: The state of Georgia did an “investigation,” and publicly debunked everything that people like Trump and Bartiromo had been saying.)
Bartiromo’s fellow Fox Business anchor Dagen McDowell also decried the report that large corporations now intend to cut off political donations to members of Congress who had voted to reject the election — claiming that this private choice about their political donations was “part of the call for the shutting down of conservative voices.”
“And by the way, they are representing their constituents,” Bartiromo later said, concluding the segment. “You still have 50 million-plus Americans who do not believe in the election and say that there was irregularities and fraud. So they are there hoping to have a debate and an investigation about that — which, of course, was shut down.”
What actually got “shut down” on Wednesday, of course, was the peaceful transfer of power — an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol over exactly the mass of propaganda lies and conspiracy theories that Bartiromo has been peddling for months. And she’s not stopping now.
To Bartiromo, a legislative assault against the votes of 81 million “constituents” in the country who voted for Joe Biden is justified by purportedly representing the views of other people who believe the baseless election conspiracy theories she has helped to spread.