Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole, who is supporting Donald Trump for president, said Tuesday he doesn’t agree with the Republican nominee that the election is “rigged.”
After noting he agrees with Trump that “the media” has been unfair and that “the elites” have mobilized against him, Cole said: “If you’re talking about the actual election process, no, I don’t agree … It doesn’t occur on a scale vast enough to change the outcome of a presidential election.”
Cole told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “Erin Burnett OutFront” that Trump was successful during the primaries, a sign results from the general election won’t be manipulated.
“I’m worried anytime anyone de-legitimizes the election process,” he said. “Obviously, Mr. Trump was very successful in the Republican primaries. Nobody tried to manipulate the results there. I think the same thing is true in the general election.”
Cole also weighed in on Trump’s recent comments about House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that Trump “doesn’t know” his House colleague.
“Well he frankly doesn’t know Paul. The reality is that Paul didn’t want to be speaker. So the idea that he’d be maneuvering to be president right now strikes me as far-fetched,” Cole said. “He’s not trying to undermine anything. What he’s trying to do is save the Republican majority in the House. That’s his job honestly, that’s his No. 1 job.”
When Trump campaigned in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Monday evening, some Trump supporters yelled anti-Ryan statements.
“I don’t want to be knocking Paul Ryan … I think he could be more supportive to the Republican nominee,” Trump told ABC News about the chanting.
Ryan has continued to stay mum about Trump, ever since he announced on a conference call last week that he would not defend the Republican nominee anymore and instead shifting his focus on keeping a Republican majority in the House.
Burnett asked Cole why he is still supporting Trump for president after all his criticism of the Republican nominee.
“I’m not going to be for somebody who systematically lied to the American people,” Cole responded about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.