Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell said Monday that President Donald Trump had “won the state of denial.”
Swalwell spoke with Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on “The Story” and argued that Trump should hand over the keys so that former Vice President Joe Biden, who is projected to win the 2020 presidential election, could move forward with his transition team. (RELATED: ‘We’ve Heard That Line A Lot’: Martha MacCallum Fires Back At Pete Buttigieg Over ‘Spreader Event’ Claim)
MacCallum introduced Swalwell and immediately turned the topic to Democratic calls for unity, saying that while she agreed there was a need for a “less rancorous tone” and healing among families and friends, there were many who might not so easily forget the last several years.
“It is worth remembering, if everyone’s going to be honest here, that there was an effort to overturn the election that literally began before Election Day in 2016,” MacCallum explained. “He never had that moment of grace period where there was hope that perhaps both sides could come together after the 2016 election.”
Swalwell disagreed, saying that he had congratulated Trump when he won and attended the inauguration. “I sat eight rows away from the president. I went to the launch after the inauguration and sat right next to Kellyanne Conway,” he said. (RELATED: ‘I’m Going To Live In The Present’: Swalwell Blows Off Nadler’s 1998 Impeachment Warnings)
Swalwell went on to say that he had certainly fought with President Trump on policy and pushed hard on corruption during the Russia investigation, saying, “But I called him President-Elect as soon as you and the media called him President-Elect.”
“I’m talking about what we all know was an ongoing effort to prove — you know, you called him a Russian agent,” MacCallum pushed back. “He — it was relentless. No, listen to me, Congressman. It was relentless. And there was never any space to breathe. We watched Nancy Pelosi storm out of the room several times. It’s perfectly nice to say I sent the tweet and I showed up at the event. But we all know that there was an effort to call this president illegitimate from day one.”
MacCallum then brought up the most recently declassified documents on the Mueller investigation, saying that they had revealed no connection between Russia and WikiLeaks or Russia and Roger Stone.
“It’s like this is the last leg on the stool to fall and at some point there has to be some recognition that this narrative was pushed and perpetuated and fed by so many in the media and it definitely — it forced a huge impediment to being able to work together,” she said.
“Martha, this bothsidesism is so destructive. We’re talking about a man who refuses to acknowledge that every network has called Joe Biden President-Elect. He will not authorize his agencies — ” Swalwell pushed back.
“But that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton said Joe Biden should do, Congressman,” MacCallum reminded Swalwell. “If it takes a few days or a week or so to figure it out, why would you have a problem with that?”
Swalwell argued that in 2016, former President Barack Obama had allowed Trump to go forward with his transition team, adding, “The president has not authorized Joe Biden to officially open a transition office.”
“That’s because he hasn’t conceded but regardless we know the transition team is being set up,” MacCallum argued. “There’s nothing that stands in the way of that. I want you to answer my question about Hillary Clinton.”
“We are back to Hillary Clinton, okay,” Swalwell said.
MacCallum referenced Clinton’s advice to Biden — that he should not give an inch and he should concede “under no circumstances.”
“Keep fighting and fighting and fighting. That was her advice to him. Why not give the president the room he wants to do these investigations?” MacCallum asked.
“Donald Trump has won the state of denial,” Swalwell evaded the question again, saying again that Trump could investigate anything he wanted but that he needed to “turn over the keys” to Biden so that he could set up his transition office.