Mehmet Oz has tried to keep his distance from Donald Trump's election lies, but the Pennsylvania Republican's campaign team is stocked with staffers who attended the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection.
At least two Oz staffers -- Lee Snover, his campaign coordinator for Northampton County, and Josh Bashline, a paid political adviser -- attended the infamous Donald Trump rally at the White House Ellipse, where he declared the 2020 election had been stolen and urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to overturn his loss, reported Rolling Stone.
Snover, her county's GOP chair, participated in a Zoom call four days before the insurrection with hundreds of state legislators from states where Trump's allies were working to "decertify" Joe Biden's election win, and she expressed support in a talk-radio appearance two days later for pressuring Mike Pence to reject those electors.
“That’s why we need the state legislators to do it," Snover said Jan. 4, 2021. "The secretaries of state are never going to change it.”
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Oz has publicly stated that he wouldn't have objected to Biden electors, as Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley did, but he and his chief advisers have been forced to reassure Republican allies that he's not an election denier.
“[Oz] doesn’t deny the results of the election," Oz consultant Larry Weitzner wrote to conservative Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who expressed concern about his position on the 2020 election. "Says we need to learn from it and make changes in how the elections are run. In [Pennsylvania] it was totally screwed up with unmanned drop boxes and paper ballots sent to millions of voters many of who had not voted in years and did not ask for them.”
“Not an election denier,” Weitzner added.