A Texas Democrat has clashed with Fox News’ Pete Hegseth in an explosive exchange, which resulted in the TV host being asked repeatedly to admit that Trump lost the 2020 election – something he did not do.
Texas state representative James Talarico was being asked about his role in blocking Republican-supported voting bills, in an interview that was fiery from the off.
Mr Hegseth told Mr Talarico it seemed as though DC Democrats are “using you as a prop or a puppet”.
He then interrupted Mr Talarico’s response to ask, “How did you make this about Donald Trump in 20 seconds?” when Mr Talarico said “Our former president Donald Trump started his big lie that the election was stolen”.
The interview continued with the two men frequently talking over each other.
After Mr Hegseth made a comment about partisan poll watchers, Mr Talarico responded, “Do you remember a second ago when I talked about the big lie? This is exactly what I’m talking about.”
He went on to launch a full-blown attack, albeit calmly, on Mr Hegseth, telling him people believe incorrect information “because folks like you get on television every night and repeat the lie over and over again”.
‘Pete... Pete...” he went on. “You have made a lot of money personally, and you’ve enriched a lot of corporations with advertising by getting on here and spewing lies and conspiracy theories to folks who trust you.”
He continued, “What I’m asking you to do is tell your viewers right now that Donald Trump lost the election in 2020.”
When Mr Hegseth didn’t respond, he persisted: “Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020? Can you answer the question? Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020?”
“I don’t really feel any obligation to answer anything of you,” Mr Hegseth said.
“Is this an uncomfortable question for you?” Mr Talarico asked.
Mr Hegseth said it wasn’t, before returning to his original line of questioning.