Texas Gov. Abbott defends election audit when asked if it's 'just a terrible waste of taxpayer money' by Fox News' Chris Wallace

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Trump Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended his decision to audit 2020 election results in Texas at the request of former President Donald Trump. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Former President Donald Trump requested an audit of 2020 election results in Texas, a state that he won.

  • Texas' Secretary of State announced "comprehensive forensic" audits of four of the state's largest counties.

  • Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Gov. Greg Abbott if he was "undermining" confidence in elections by agreeing to the audit.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended the state's decision to conduct an election audit of 2020 presidential results at former President Donald Trump's request, despite overwhelming evidence that the former president safely won the state. 

Trump issued a letter to Abbott last week demanding an election audit, claiming "Texans know voting fraud occurred in some of their counties." The Texas Secretary of State responded by confirming they would launch a "comprehensive forensic" audit of results in four of the state's largest counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin. President Joe Biden won all but Collin County. 

Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed Abbott, a Republican up for reelection in 2022, on the issue on Fox News Sunday, noting that Trump safely won the state by hundreds of thousands of votes. 

Related video: How Trump and Biden supporters reacted to election results

"Isn't it just a terrible waste of taxpayer money to have an audit in a state that everybody says went fine and that President Trump won by 600,000 votes, and aren't you contributing to this undermining confidence in our election process?" Wallace asked. 

"There are audits of every aspect of government," Abbott said. "Why do we audit everything in this world but people raise their hands in concern when we audit elections, which is fundamental to our democracy?" 

Abbott went on to say that there were already election audits in progress, although Wallace noted that the audits in the latest four counties were new and launched "within hours" of Trump's letter. 

"We know regardless of the outcome of these audits, Donald Trump will still have won the state of Texas. However, we do have every single year including in the 2020 elections, allegations of illegal voting," Abbott said.

He added that the state has a "responsibility to ensure the integrity and confidence" of elections. Critics of Abbott have suggested he bowed to pressure from the former president. 

Of the dozens of lawsuits that Trump and his team have filed challenging the results of the 2020 election, none have been successful. In December 2020, Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice and the FBI did not find any evidence of widespread election fraud. 

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