Rand Paul: ‘The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at Wednesday’s U.S. Senate hearing examining irregularities during 2020 presidential election claimed that “fraud happened” and that the election “in many ways was stolen.”

More from the hearing: Sen. Ron Johnson says hyper partisanship and media suppression affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election

This Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing comes after the Electoral College on Monday voted, making President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory official, and after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and many other top Senate Republicans congratulated the president-elect following Monday’s vote. President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election and continues to claim that the election was stolen from him.

RELATED: McConnell congratulates Biden on election victory, draws criticism from some conservatives

The hearing’s top witness was Chris Krebs, who served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and oversaw the United States’ election security for the 2020 presidential election. President Trump controversially fired Krebs because he disagreed with the president on the prevalence of election fraud, even having created a CISA website for the purpose of debunking election disinformation.

“The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen,” the Kentucky Republican claimed. “And the only way it’ll be fixed is by, in the future, reinforcing the laws.”

“But I think [Kreb’s] job was keeping the foreigners out of the election. It was the most secure election based on the security of the internet and technology, but he has never voiced an opinion […] on whether or not dead people voted—I don’t think he examined that,” Paul said toward the end of his speaking time, then questioning if Krebs examined non-citizens’ voting.

Many Republicans, in alleging that widespread election fraud occurred in the 2020 election, have often cited claims that a lot of dead people and non-citizens voted. The over 50 lawsuits challenging the results of the election in certain swing states alleging election fraud have overwhelmingly failed in the courts.

“So to say it was the safest election—sure, I agree with your statement if you’re referring to foreign intervention,” Paul continued. “But if you’re saying it’s the safest election based on no dead people voted, no non-citizens voted, no people broke the absentee [ballot] rules, I think that’s false and I think that’s what’s upset a lot of people on our side is that they’re taking your statement to mean ‘Oh, there were no problems in the elections.'”

“I don’t think you examined any of the problems that we’ve heard here,” he added, “so really you’re just referring to something differently, the way I look at it.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.