On Tuesday, former Trump official Peter Navarro spoke candidly about the former president’s plot to overturn the 2020 election results so that he could remain in office for at least another four years.
In an interview with host Ari Melber on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Navarro elaborated on the plan, which he described as a “Green Bay sweep” — a reference to a football play by the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s that was incredibly difficult for defenses to break up.
“We had over 100 congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill ready to implement the sweep,” Navarro said in the interview. “The sweep was simply that: we were going to challenge the results of the election in six battleground states — they were Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada — and basically these were the places that, we believed, if the votes were sent back to those battleground states and looked at again, that there would be enough concern among the legislatures that most or all of those states would decertify the election.”
“That would throw the election to the House of Representatives,” Navarro went on, adding that “all of this, again, was in the lanes, legally, prescribed by the Constitution.”
The plan was disrupted, he said, by the mob of Trump loyalists who attacked the Capitol on January 6.
“All this required was peace and calm on Capitol Hill,” Navarro said.
The Constitution does lay out a way for the House of Representatives to resolve instances where a candidate doesn’t receive a majority vote of the Electoral College, with each state receiving one vote for its delegation to decide upon. But as Melber pointed out, Navarro’s plan relied on states disregarding legitimate results that favored President Joe Biden’s election.
“You just described this plan as a way to take an election where the outcome was established by independent secretaries of state, by the voters of those states, and legal remedies had been exhausted with the Supreme Court never even taking, let alone siding with, any of the claims that you just referred to,” Melber said. “Do you realize you are describing a coup?”
Navarro rejected Melber’s “premises,” and went on to parrot a number of discredited claims about election fraud — all of which have been rejected by independent, Democratic and Republican-aligned state elections officials. These claims have also been repudiated by dozens of judges, including ones that were appointed by Trump.
Critics lambasted Navarro for claiming that his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election was any different than the attempt by the mob of Trump loyalists during the Capitol attack.
“It’s obviously understandable why Navarro would like the world to believe that his plan was 1) legal and 2) not only peaceful but damaged by the violence that unfolded,” Washington Post columnist Philip Bump wrote. “But his plan 1) was rooted in obvious falsehoods, 2) provided foundational support to the violence that actually occurred, 3) depended on an interpretation of legality that most observers consider dubious at best and, most importantly, 4) led to the same outcome: a rejection of the will of the electorate to retain power.”
Others noted that Navarro’s defense of his actions was not rooted in any sense of reality.
“I don’t know if I should rewind @TheBeatWithAri’s interview with Peter Navarro to try to understand better what he was saying, or if I should immediately drink enough tequila that I can’t remember my entire evening,” said Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation.