In an effort to shape a national narrative of election fraud occurring “throughout the nation,” former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is advocating for the dissemination of election “data” for his listeners to bring to their local Republican Party organizations to push for election “audits” in all 50 states.
Bannon has been at the forefront of advocating for sham election “audits” in battleground states around the country. In fact, Bannon and his posse of washed-up MAGA cronies have boasted for being the loudest voice touting the audits, claiming his listeners have “had it on your shoulders from the beginning.”
Now, Bannon is looking past battleground states in an effort to shape a national narrative that election fraud occurred even in states that former president Donald Trump won during the 2020 election.
During his show War Room: Pandemic on July 13, Bannon hosted law professor David Clements to discuss “audit chat rooms” on Telegram that Clements claimed are “set up for every single state” with “over 50,000 patriots” who he alleges are working to push for audits around the country.
Clements explained that individuals such as election fraud conspiracy theorist Dr. Douglas Frank are “providing statistical analysis” to these chat rooms, which individuals can then “unpack” and “take it to the county level” to push for election audits. Bannon described Frank as “so smart” and his data as “brilliant.”
Based on a Media Matters review, the volume of users on these channels is increasing significantly. Chat rooms monitoring the audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, far surpass Telegram groups advocating for audits in other states. However, non-Arizona audit Telegram chats are rapidly growing in membership. Though groups focused on battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada, appear to have the largest memberships, audit chats focused on populous nonbattleground states, notably California and Texas, also have high followings.
This growth can likely be attributed to anticipation of the conclusion of the Maricopa County audit, supposed announcements of audits beginning in other states by elected officials like state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-PA), and explicit promotion of state audit channels by QAnon influencers.
This is not the first time Bannon attempted to mobilize his audience to spread disinformation to GOP organizations at the county level. In February, Bannon hosted local Arizona GOP committee member Dan Schultz to advocate for his listeners to become precinct committee officers to gain influence at the local level and help advance far-right narratives.
Bannon’s push for 2020 election audits is another bad faith scheme on his long list of projects working to undermine American democracy.