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Asked to defend bogus fraud claims, Meadows flunks Logic 101

"There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud," Tapper said. "There's no evidence that there's not, either," Meadows responded. Um, no.
Image: FILE PHOTO:  Impeachment hearings at the U.S. Capitol
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has self-quarantined after being alerted of a possible encounter with a person who tested positive for coronavirus.Leah Millis / Reuters

Donald Trump and his team haven't exactly been subtle in their campaign against mail-in voting, with the president and his allies throwing around baseless allegations of "fraud" for months. Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was offered a chance to defend the offensive.

It didn't go well.

Host Jake Tapper confronted Meadows on CNN's "State of the Union" about the White House's false claims regarding mail-in voting, pointing out that Trump himself requested a mail-in ballot this year. "There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud," Tapper said. "There's no evidence that there's not, either," Meadows responded. "That's the definition of fraud, Jake."

Right off the bat, it's important to emphasize the degree to which the White House chief of staff flunked Logic 101.

Let's say you came to my house and said, "Steve, there are ghosts in your basement." Naturally, I'd respond that this is ridiculous, noting that there's no apparitional evidence, prompting you to reply by arguing, "There's no evidence that there aren't ghosts in your basement, either."

The absurdity should be obvious: those making outlandish claims have the burden of substantiating their claims, at least if they want to be taken seriously. It's not up to their rivals to disprove baseless nonsense.

But in this case, there's no need to stop here. After Meadows effectively conceded that there is no evidence of widespread fraud, the former far-right congressman said there's "no evidence" to the contrary. Logical fallacies aside, the truth is there's all kinds of evidence proving that there's no widespread voter fraud. It's been examined and researched exhaustively for years.

As for the White House chief of staff's assertion that the absence of evidence pointing to fraud is "the definition of fraud," maybe someone should get this guy a dictionary.