Pressed for evidence of 'fraud,' Team Trump ducks into a van

After alleging election fraud in Nevada, Ric Grenell was pressed to present some kind of evidence to bolster his claim. It didn't turn out well.
Image: Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention
Richard Grenell pre-records his address to the Republican National Convention from inside an empty Mellon Auditorium in Washington on Aug. 26, 2020.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

To know anything about Ric Grenell is to know he spent several years annoying people as a prominent internet troll. After one especially exasperating exchange in 2012, the Washington Post's Dave Weigel asked him, "Shouldn't you eventually get a job and quit trolling people?"

As regular readers may recall, Grenell ended up with a few different jobs once Donald Trump became president. In 2018, for example, the White House tapped the partisan operative to serve as the ambassador to Germany, where Grenell managed to routinely infuriate our allies in Berlin. (Some German officials spoke publicly about the possibility of asking him to leave the country.)

Earlier this year, Trump named Grenell the acting director of National Intelligence, despite the fact that Grenell had never served a day in the intelligence community in any capacity.

As of today, he's now playing some kind of role on the Trump campaign, announcing a weird lawsuit in Nevada.

Richard Grenell, former acting director of National Intelligence, addressed reporters at a press conference, claiming that the campaign was not being allowed to observe the process. "Ballots are not automatically legal votes until they are checked and we are not being allowed to check," Grenell said.

To put it mildly, this was a strange press conference, in which Grenell didn't even want to tell reporters his name. "You're here to take in information," he told those in attendance, and apparently his name wasn't part of the information reporters were there to take in.

Once the press conference wrapped up, NBC News' Jacob Soboroff caught up with Grenell, and asked him to bolster his allegation that there are thousands of illegitimate votes being tallied in Nevada. The Republican offered no evidence.

As for Grenell's assertion that there were no election observers, Soboroff reminded him both Republican and Democratic poll watchers are observing ballot counting in Nevada. Asked to reconcile his claim with the facts, or point to any evidence of "fraud," Grenell ducked into a van and left.

If Team Trump expects its gambits to be taken seriously, it's likely to be disappointed.