Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke to Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo in Nov. 2020 and stressed the importance of network guests coming on air with facts to support their claims about widespread voter fraud, according to audio of the conversation captured by former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg and played Thursday on MSNBC’s The Beat.
“It can’t just be, you know, somebody tweeted this,” Cruz told Bartiromo on Nov. 7, the day all major networks called the election for Joe Biden. “It’s got to be demonstrable facts that can be laid out with evidence because that’s what a court of law is going to look to—not just an allegation but actual fact.”
Cruz then addressed Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled appearance on Bartiromo’s show the next day.
“I’m hoping when Rudy comes on the show tomorrow he has some of those facts and I hope the legal team continues to lay out the specific evidence because that’s what it’s going to take to prevail in court,” he said.
Unfortunately for Cruz, in another audio clip from Grossberg that MSNBC’s Alex Wagner played last week, Giuliani admitted to Bartiromo on Nov. 8 that he didn’t have any evidence that Dominion’s voting machines were part of some fraudulent scheme.
Despite his private comments, Cruz would still go on to publicly urge colleagues to not certify the election results on Jan. 6 by asking them to consider what those who “believe this election was rigged” would think if they did certify it.
MSNBC host Ari Melber criticized Cruz for catering to a misinformed population.
“With all due respect to everyone’s views, this was not a random poll. This was Congress doing its job to certify and only to object, based on the very actual facts Cruz months prior had noticed the absence of,” Melber said. “Half the country can believe in the tooth fairy or that the tooth fairy stole the election. It doesn’t mean Congress should go out of its way—after an armed insurrection, to say the least—and start just making it up to appease the people who are incorrect.”
In a historic settlement reached Tuesday, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million for airing lies about the election. The existence of Grossberg’s recordings reportedly factored into the right-wing network’s decision to settle.