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The former Fox News editor who called Arizona for Biden says the Cyber Ninjas audit was meant to undermine trust in elections

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Acosta/Stirewalt
CNN's Jim Acosta questions Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News editor, on Sunday about the Arizona audit. CNN
  • The former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt addressed the Arizona audit in an appearance on CNN.

  • He said it was a ploy to undermine the results, not a genuine attempt to prove or disprove fraud.

  • Stirewalt has said Fox fired him for calling Arizona for Joe Biden on election night.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Fox News editor who parted ways with the right-wing network after calling Arizona for Joe Biden in last year's election weighed in on Sunday on the controversial audit of votes in the state conducted by Cyber Ninjas.

On CNN's "Newsroom," the host Jim Acosta asked Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News digital politics editor, about the audit in Arizona's Maricopa County.

Supporters of Donald Trump had hyped the audit, claiming it would uncover evidence of a plot to deprive Trump of victory.

But its results, released last week, concluded that Biden had indeed won the state, by slightly more votes than the official count.

Stirewalt has said his involvement in Fox's calling Arizona for Biden ahead of other news networks cost him his job.

Fox News has disputed his account, saying he was made redundant as part of a restructuring program.

Acosta on Sunday asked Stirewalt if he felt vindicated by the result of the audit. Stirewalt replied that he didn't.

"The very doing of it is the bad thing," he said.

"The point of these is to undermine confidence. It's not what the finding is," Stirewalt said. "So I take no satisfaction or pleasure from seeing this outcome that roughly corresponds with the real results. They're doing their damage anyway."

The Arizona call stunned the Trump White House, and Trump was said to have deployed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lobby the network to take it back. Biden was the first Democrat in decades to win the state.

Trump and his allies have fixated on his defeat in Arizona. Earlier this year, after Trump spent months spreading conspiracy theories that mass fraud had tainted the election, the state's Republican-controlled Senate commissioned Cyber Ninjas to conduct an audit.

The audit, which took eight months and was beset by accusations of sloppiness and partisan bias, backed up the official result.

In an op-ed article for the Los Angeles Times in January, Stirewalt said he "became a target of murderous rage" over the Arizona call, which other outlets, including Insider, also made in the following days.

Stirewalt on Sunday expressed "sincere sympathy for people who were duped" by election-fraud conspiracy theories, and he said he had "only disdain for the people who continue to promulgate" those ideas.

"The point is to undermine voter confidence in the process," Stirewalt said. "Unfortunately, members of both parties make a habit of doing that these days. But we have a direct assault on the legitimacy of our elections. It is a problem, and you cannot placate your way out of this, Republican Party."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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