On War Room: Pandemic, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and his sidekick Boris Epshteyn promoted efforts in the Wisconsin state legislature to overturn the 2020 election results. Bannon and Epshteyn called on Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly Robin Vos to support state Rep. Tim Ramthun’s resolution to “reclaim electors.”
Ramthun has ties to QAnon and has pushed election conspiracy theories. He was recently punished by Vos for making false accusations that the speaker had made a deal with Hillary Clinton to adopt absentee ballot drop boxes. Bannon and Epshteyn celebrated that “never in Wisconsin history has a resolution to reclaim electors gone as far as it went last night,” but BuzzFeed News reports that Ramthun “brought up his bill to withdraw the electors as a privileged resolution, meaning the Assembly had to respond to it.” It now goes to the Rules Committee, where Republican committee chair Rep. Jim Steineke tweeted, “there is ZERO chance I will advance this illegal resolution.”
Bannon and Epshteyn’s plea was sparked by a fake news article published by right-wing conspiracy theory website The Gateway Pundit that claimed the Wisconsin State Assembly had voted to withdraw its electors that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election (which, again, is not legally possible). From Buzzfeed News:
Though the Gateway Pundit story has been updated to say that Ramthun’s bill merely advanced through the legislature and has not yet passed, it still claims falsely that it received a unanimous voice vote, despite video of the session included in the piece clearly showing that members were voting on another bill. But still, the original headline and framing of the piece — “Wisconsin Assembly Votes to Withdraw Its 10 Electors for Joe Biden in 2020 Election” — have continued to spread. Lake’s tweet is still up with more than 17,000 likes, though she’s since posted a follow-up, saying that Steineke “is going to try to stop” the bill from passing. And the original headline is still all over Twitter, Facebook, and right-wing social media platforms like Telegram.
The updated story does not include a correction. Instead, it has a note at the end saying, “This post has been updated as we gathered more information from our many sources.” Jim Hoft, the founder of Gateway Pundit and author of the story, did not respond to a request for comment.
On January 27, 2022, Ramthun appeared on War Room: Pandemic and said he believes “nefarious acts have been going on with our elections process” going back to 1996, and that he wants “the mystery, the conspiracy, I want the facts and everything out” and that “things have been nefarious for more than just 2020.” After Ramthun said, “This is 1776 all over again” and urged the public to contact their representatives to demand the election be overturned, Bannon said, “I don’t think there’s been a better summary” of the importance of destroying democratic elections.
Bannon’s next guest Kari Lake added, “We just watched a hero. I predict in 50 years our grandkids will be toasting [Ramthun] at a bar, saying he helped save this republic and I have goosebumps after listening to him.”