Fox News host Tucker Carlson and other right-wing voices are amplifying multiple videos by Republican vote-count observer Brian McCafferty, who was ejected from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia for refusing to stop taking photos. On his Thursday show, Carlson claimed that “election officials just weren't allowing him to watch what they were doing,” and he invited McCafferty on his show where he alleged corruption by election officials.
In the videos, McCafferty had alleged that there was a “coup” against Trump, that he was thrown out because he had recorded “corrupt people trying to undermine” the president, and that he was a “registered Democrat.” BuzzFeed News found that McCafferty was ejected for repeatedly disobeying rules against filming inside the location, and he was at the location as an official Republican-affiliated observer.
A spokesperson for the city’s commissioner’s office, which is responsible for administering the election, confirmed the man broke the rules.
“He was removed from the room by security after refusing to stop taking pix in the observer area,” said spokesperson Kevin Feeley. “He was told several times that he had to stop, there are signs in multiple places saying ‘no pictures allowed,’ and he disregarded all of it.”
Vidas said the other person taking photos was asked to delete them and, once they did, was allowed to remain. The man in the video refused and was asked to leave. Vidas also said it looked like the man had Republican identification despite claiming he was a Democrat.
“This was him purposely trying to create a scene,” Vidas said. “The only people who think it’s a situation are people repeating it on social media.”
In the video Carlson aired, McCafferty claimed he was ejected “because I took video of people trying to undermine and have a coup against the president of the United States.”
However, during this interview with Carlson, he did not name any acts of malfeasance he actually witnessed, instead complaining about the distance he was asked to stand from the counting tables.He also said, “I took video of what I saw, and that's why I got thrown out.”
“Yes, of course, too much transparency,” Carlson responded. “And by the way, if I can just state the obvious point that no one wants to say — the city of Philadelphia has a long and very well-documented history of corruption. It doesn't mean corruption is going on now, but it means it has a lot in the past. So the onus is on them to reassure our concerns about their vote counting. It's not on us, it is on them, and they're preventing you from watching? OK.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also shared another McCafferty video on Twitter alleging that observers were not “able to WATCH the counting.” Since then, the video he shared has been taken down.
BlazeTV host Dave Rubin castigated Twitter for blocking the videos (while sharing another version that is still up) and also echoed the claim that McCafferty was a Democrat.
There is a continuing dispute over how close observers can be to the counting tables due to COVID-19 safety precautions, with Republicans alleging that they were forced to maintain a distance of 25 feet or more. On Thursday, a state judge ordered that that observers be allowed “within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.”