Stefanik speaks at CPAC, makes false claims about the FBI
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik spoke last weekend at CPAC, the annual conference for conservative lawmakers and activists. Stefanik attacked the Biden administration and celebrated the work of her Republican colleagues.
“I am so excited to be here with you as the conference chair of the new House Republican majority,” said Stefanik, smiling as she took the stage on Saturday.
Stefanik was notably the only member of the Republican congressional leadership at this year’s CPAC. Missing from the event were House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
This year’s CPAC was more a celebration of Trumpism than it was a broad spectrum of Republican speakers and ideals.
Stefanik spent her speech attacking President Biden and the Senate Democrats. “They want a blank check to continue to spend our hard-earned taxpayer dollars on wasteful, woke programs," said Stefanik.
She blamed inflation and crime rates on Democrats. She also made three false claims about the FBI and the Department of Justice.
“America is seeing Joe Biden’s corrupt DOJ and FBI fully weaponized as they label parents domestic terrorists," said Stefanik.
The Justice Department said it’s never used that term to describe parents. The term ‘domestic terrorists’ was instead used in a letter written by the nonprofit National School Board Association to the DOJ.
Stefanik continued her speech with another false claim about the DOJ and FBI, saying that "they conducted an unprecedented and illegal raid on President Trump’s home."
The raid was legally authorized by a federal judge. Stefanik provided no evidence to support her claim. The FBI also searched President Biden’s home and personal property.
Stefanik also falsely claimed that the FBI "illegally paid Twitter $3 million to suppress stories, such as the Hunter Biden laptop story all for the political benefit and purpose of electing Democrats.”
The FBI did pay Twitter $3.4 million, but according to USA Today, it was for records requests, not to suppress stories on the social media site.
Separately, the FBI has flagged Twitter accounts it says violate the company’s terms of service. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Stefanik’s staff has done the same, making regular requests over both the Trump and Biden presidencies that Twitter moderate its content.
At CPAC on Saturday, Stefanik said she needed help from "patriots like you across America to save our great republic."
“We have exposed the corrupt and complicit mainstream media," Stefanik said, "and we must take our country back in 2024 by reelecting President Donald J. Trump.”
A poll from CPAC found that 62% of people supported Trump’s reelection bid, while 20% supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Stefanik has become one of Trump’s most loyal allies and is considered to be a potential running mate in 2024.