capitol riot

Arizona House Speaker Says He Never Told Trump Election Was ‘Rigged'

Bowers also denied Trump’s claim that he won Arizona instead of Biden. “That is also false,” Bowers said.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was asked by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to respond to a statement Trump issued just before the hearing got underway, in which the former president claimed Bowers told him in Nov. 2020 that the election was rigged and Trump won Arizona.

"That certainly isn't it," Bowers said, adding that parts of Trump's statement which a staffer read to him ahead of the hearing were true, but parts of it were false.

Schiff then asked Bowers to specifically respond to the part of Trump's statement that he asked about. "Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said the election was rigged, that would not be true," Bowers said.

Bowers also denied Trump’s claim that he won Arizona instead of Biden. “That is also false,” Bowers said.

Bowers, a Republican, was also being questioned about a phone call he got from Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani in the weeks after the November 2020 election where Giuliani floated a proposal to replace Arizona's Biden electors by having the state's Legislature instead choose those committed to voting for Trump.

“I didn’t want to be used as a pawn," he said.

Bowers refused, saying the scheme was illegal and unconstitutional. In an interview last year, he said he told the president he would not break the law to help him gain the presidency.

He revealed a second call from Trump on Monday to The Associated Press, saying the president phoned again on Dec. 4, 2020, but did not pressure him. He said Trump mainly made small talk, asking about his family and the upcoming holidays.

Bowers said efforts by Trump's backers have harmed the nation, undercut trust in elections and the right of people to vote their conscience.

“I just think it is horrendous. It’s terrible,” Bowers said. “The result of throwing the pebble in the pond, the reverberations across the pond, have, I think, been very destructive.”

Asked Tuesday about Trump's claim that Bowers said the former president won Arizona in 2020, Bowers said, "That is also false."

This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings.

Contact Us