During a GOP chair forum hosted by an election-fraud conspiracy group, former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler bragged about being responsible for a negative news report about the current Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Asked to list his unpaid work on behalf of the Colorado GOP during the last election, Gessler ticked off a number of activities including candidate training, fundraising and media work.
He then claimed credit for a Colorado Public Radio story about Griswold, a Democrat, that Gessler described as containing, “a lot of bad information about her.”
“I actually did it. I made sure [Colorado Public Radio] got it,” said Gessler at the GOP forum.
He didn’t explicitly name the headline, but an Oct. 9 Colorado Public Radio story that explored a rift between county clerks and Griswold seems far and away the most likely story.
Gessler, who is quoted in a similar Denver Post story published the previous day saying bluntly, “She does not know her (expletive),” did not return a call requesting comment and confirmation as to which CPR story he was referring to.
Reached by phone, CPR investigative reporter Ben Markus said he could neither confirm nor deny Gessler’s claims.
“Also in the media, you’ll remember, for example, I worked on a fair amount of media behind the scenes,” Gessler began. “Colorado Public Radio did that piece on the Secretary of State Donetta Dav– I’m sorry, Jena Griswold. There was a lot of bad information about her. There was a way that that got in Colorado Public Radio’s hands. And I helped make sure that that–I actually did it. I made sure they got it…
And I’ll tell you, I spent probably 10 to 15 hours over the last two weeks talking to a number of Republican clerks and recorders, walking them through how to do the ClearBallot review of Dominion, how to deal with the public policy implications and the PR side. I’m the guy that they call.”
Throughout the panel, Gessler repeatedly emphasized his relationship with the county clerks, saying they reach out to him for advice. He also continued to call for a third-party audit of the 2020 election results tabulated by Dominion Voting Systems, perpetuating the debunked conspiracy theory that the company rigged the election results in favor of President Biden.
“When the clerk and recorders are trying to do the right thing, they will come to me and they do come to me now,” Gessler said at the forum. “When people are looking at filing lawsuits, they will come to me and they do come to me right now. And under me, you can you can rely on someone who knows how to pitch these issues to the public, because that’s what I did as the Honey Badger of Colorado politics and knows how to pitch it to the mainstream media. And the last thing is, I will tell you the truth. You don’t want truth. Don’t don’t get me.”
The forum where Gessler made these comments was hosted by a QAnon-linked election fraud conspiracy group, called the U.S. Election Integrity Project (USEIP)
USEIP’s event was titled, “We Are The Plan to Save Colorado. An Interview with the GOP chairman candidates.” The complete video of the forum, which featured Gessler, Colorado GOP Vice-Chair Kristi Burton Brown, and longtime Republican congressional candidate Casper Stockham, is available here.
“We Are The Plan” is one of QAnon’s taglines, along with “Trust the Plan.” Former Boulder County GOP Chair and USEIP member Peg Cage moderated the event, and concluded the evening by making the Trump-QAnon-election fraud conspiracy explicit for everyone still listening:
“I really want to give my appreciation to the three candidates,” Cage said. “I think Jim is right. We’ve got some really upright, upstanding people. It’s going to be a hard decision to make.
And I just really want to remind people on this call that we are the plan. We had a President Trump and we had Q telling us, trust the plan, trust the plan. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are the plan and the baton has been passed to us. So everything that we do going forward, we do it together and we take back our country and we make this America again. We appreciate you guys so much.
And I can’t tell you what an answer to prayer this group, this Colorado Election Integrity Group, is to me, because without election integrity, we don’t have a republic. So may we all be successful. And thank you very much and good night.”