Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) repeatedly refused to say if she believes that Donald Trump is a “legitimate” president, during an appearance on CNN’s Erin Burnett Out Front on Tuesday.
“What I believe is that there’s no question that the outcome of this election was affected by the Russian interference with the campaign and because our intelligence community has unequivocally stated that Russia’s intent was to influence the outcome of the election in favor of Donald Trump. I believe, one, that the investigation that the United States Senate is going to do into the relationship and interaction potentially between the Trump campaign and Russian officials—that’s essential. But I think that there’s no question that the outcome of this election was affected by Russian interference with the campaign. No doubt,” Wasserman Schultz told Burnett.
Burnett asked Wasserman Schultz for a second time, only to receive another evasive answer.
“I’m not going to weigh in on the application of the term ‘legitimate’ or not. I’ve run for office many times, and I certainly would never want to have the credibility or confidence shaken in the outcome of any of my own elections and so I think it’s a cause of great concern,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Burnett then shot back, noting that with over 50 Democrats boycotting the inauguration, and with some Americans using the Twitter hashtag “not my president,” it was very important if she—Wasserman Schultz—used the word legitimate. So Burnett asked her for a third time whether or not she thought he was legitimate.
“Well I think that my view on that, I’ll be able to reach a conclusion on when we hear more about these investigations. When you use a term like legitimate—and that will be one I’m prepared to use if more evidence comes out that not only were the Russians a significant impact on the outcome of this election, but the Trump campaign colluded with them to achieve his victory, then most certainly I would be able to use that term.”
The question of whether or not Trump is a legitimately elected president came up when Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) told NBC’s Chuck Todd last week that he personally didn’t see Trump as legitimate, and that he would not be attending the inauguration. That led to a series of events that resulted in 59 Congressional Democrats—at last count—also declaring that they will be boycotting the inauguration.
Trump responded by saying that he hopes the inauguration-skipping House members will give him their tickets because there are plenty of people who want to attend but don’t have tickets.