Rupert Murdoch swears 2020 election was free and fair, despite false allegations of fraud

Rupert Murdoch swears 2020 election was free and fair, despite false allegations of fraud

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Chairman of Fox Corp. Rupert Murdoch said under oath that he believes the 2020 presidential election was free, fair and not stolen, according to court documents released Tuesday to a voting machine company Libel lawsuit for Fox News coverage false allegations of voter fraud by former President Donald Trump.

During an examination under oath in January by attorneys from Dominion Voting Systems, Murdoch was asked: “Do you think the 2020 presidential election was free and fair?”

“Yes,” he replied, according to a transcript. “The election was not stolen,” he said later.

The transcript and other documents released Tuesday expand on earlier disclosures that paint a picture of behind-the-scenes doubt — or outright dismissals — of Trump’s voter fraud allegations, even though the network gave them airtime.

Murdoch’s private doubts about Trump’s claims

In excerpts from Murdoch’s interrogation released earlier, he acknowledged that he had failed to stop various Fox News commentators from promoting baseless claims by Trump allies that the election was stolen, even if he could have.

He also acknowledged that some of the network’s hosts – Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity – sometimes endorsed the false claims.

Federal and state election officials, exhaustive reviews in battleground states, and Trump’s attorney general found no widespread fraud that could have changed the outcome of the 2020 election. credible evidence that the vote was tainted. Trump’s fraud allegations have also been flatly dismissed by dozens of courts, including judges he appointed.

When questioned, Murdoch said he doubted massive fraud had occurred and said then-Attorney General William Barr’s statement on December 1, 2020 that there was no voter fraud important “just closed it for me”.

Murdoch even worried about Trump, telling a friend in an email that the Commander-in-Chief “apparently isn’t sleeping and bouncing off walls!”

Fox News dismisses libel suit and blames Dominion

Dominion sues Fox News for $1.6 billionclaiming that the network crippled the company’s business by spreading false claims from Trump’s attorneys that Dominion tampered with votes in the 2020 election.

Fox says Dominion is making up its lost business claims and chose handpicked and twisted remarks by Fox hosts and executives to paint a picture of a company that pushed the truth aside to retain its audience.

The stars have privately dismissed Powell and Trump’s claims

Still, Murdoch defended his network’s coverage of Trump’s fraud allegations, even as he lamented them privately.

“That was big news,” Murdoch said. “The President of the United States was making outlandish claims, but that’s news.”

Some of the network’s biggest stars have also privately expressed disbelief at the claims made by Trump allies, but aired them anyway. “Sydney Powell is lying,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a text to a producer, referring to one of the lawyers arguing Trump’s claims. Host Laura Ingraham texted Carlson saying Powell was “a complete lunatic”.

Murdoch called her a “crazy budding lawyer” in another email to a friend, he told Dominion attorneys.

Smartmatic looks at Murdoch and Fox Corp.

The latest material in the Dominion case came as another voting tech company suing Fox News formed a new focus on Murdoch and the Fox Corp CEO. Trump’s 2020 presidential election.

The company, Smartmatic, said in a filing on Monday that the Murdochs, as the ultimate authorities of the network’s parent company, “were central to the decision to cover up and facilitate the disinformation campaign published by Fox News after the 2020 U.S. Elections”.

Fox News and Fox Corp. did not immediately comment on Smartmatic’s claims, which came after a New York appeals court dismissed Fox Corp. of the trial but let him sue the news network, as well as Bartiromo, Pirro and Dobbs. Smartmatic’s new filing reaffirms the claims against Fox Corp., supporting them with the new allegations against its top executives, the Murdochs.

As in the Dominion case, Fox News responded to The Smartmatic trial saying it was just to report newsworthy claims made by the president and his lawyers. The network notes that its hosts sometimes asked lawyers for evidence to support their claims, which was never provided.

After Smartmatic demanded a retraction, Fox News conducted an interview with an election tech expert who dismissed the fraud allegations.

Like Dominion, Smartmatic argues that Fox News backed the fake voter fraud narrative to win back pro-Trump viewers who turned to rival conservative outlets after Fox rightly said on election night that Biden had won. arizona.