As Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings appeared as a guest on CNN's The Situation Room, after the Democratic congressman claimed that some minorities are "being denied the right to vote," host Wolf Blitzer not only did not give any pushback to his assertions, but encouraged him to go even further by asking if he believes those who allege that President Trump is "looking for ways to enhance voter suppression by calling for greater ID laws."
Blitzer brought up the subject of voter fraud at 5:11 p.m. ET and asked the congressman about his efforts to contact officials in all 50 states to get information about the possibility of substantial voter fraud. After informing viewers that he has not yet had time to receive responses, the Democratic congressman began complaining that some are being prevented from voting as he continued:
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What we ought to be concerned about is all the people who are being denied the right to vote. I mean, those are the -- that's where the investigation should go. When I meet with the President, I'm going to urge him, if he's going to do an investigation, he needs to do an investigation as to why it is that African-Americans, our elderly, Hispanics and others are being denied the right to vote, as in states like North Carolina.
And I'm going to urge him to talk about Speaker Ryan to get him to put on the floor of the House legislation sponsored by Jim Clyburn that will restore the Voting Rights Act. As you know, it was gutted. And so this whole talk about -- I refuse to talk about voter fraud because it does not exist. And we are spending all this time when we've got people who cannot vote.
Blitzer then prodded him to go further:
You've heard, Congressman, the criticism -- the charges being leveled at the President and his aides that by going forward with these claims -- which are false -- but by going forward with the claims and now making a request for a major investigation, they're actually looking for ways to enhance voter suppression by calling for greater ID laws -- if you will -- in order to vote, and issues like that which would make it more difficult for people to vote. You've heard that suggestion. Do you believe that?
Rep. Cummings invoked the Jim Crow South as he continued his rant:
Yes, of course I believe that because, basically, what's happening is there has been a tremendous effort, Wolf, to deny people the right to vote. And I got to tell you, Wolf, it pains me. I see people who -- I look at people like my mother who is 90 years old, but she remembers the day in South Carolina when you could be hurt very seriously or harmed when you tried to register to vote. And now we've got elderly people having to go through 50 million changes to be able to vote when many of them have voted all along for years.
Rep. Cummings added:
One of the other things that we are approaching a new sense of normal in our country. And normal is becoming, it's okay to suppress the vote. Normal is becoming, it's okay to have people stand in line five hours after the voting booth closes. It's become normal to say to a President, "You cannot appoint a Supreme Court justice." It's become normal to undercut the CIA, the FBI, the office of government ethics. What is happening, Wolf, is that we have got to be careful.
This is bigger than Donald Trump. This is about saving our democracy, and I am afraid that we are attacking the legitimate organizations that underpin that democracy. And I am saying to all of America, if you don't like the way things are going, if you don't like torture, if you don't like the things that you're seeing, then you do not have the right to remain silent.
Blitzer made no pushback as he went to a commercial break and then changed subjects after the segment resumed.