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Politics & Government

Gov. Spencer Cox Said President Trump Incited Violence At Capitol, Defends Past Support

COVID Briefing 1210
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
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Deseret News
Gov. Spencer Cox, pictured here speaking at a December press conference. Cox was inaugurated on Jan 4, just two days before the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said President Donald Trump incited the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. But he argued there isn’t time to remove him from office in the next two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

During an interview on KUER’s RadioWest, Cox said the formula he used as lieutenant governor to build trust in Utah’s election systems — transparency and competency — is broken.

“You can't have people inside gaslighting you,” Cox said. “We can be transparent and we can be competent, but if, you know, Gov. [Gary] Herbert was out there telling everybody that we're lying, suddenly people wouldn't believe us anymore, no matter how transparent we were.”

For weeks, Trump has repeatedly told his supporters — without evidence — that he lost the election because of widespread voter fraud.

Cox was outspoken and critical of Trump when he first ran for office, but he eventually changed course and said last year he supported the President during the election cycle.

Cox argued that as the leader of Utah’s Republican party, it’s his job to support the national leader of the party.

“One of the nuances that is lost is there are different types of support,” Cox said. “There are the ‘run through a wall’ support and then are the ‘I support but I disagree with things’ and then you try to make your own path.”

Cox said supporting someone while being willing to openly disagree with their actions is a better way to do politics.

One example, he said, was when Herbert asked the federal government to send Utah more refugees as other Republican states refused to accept them.

Cox also said politicians should stop focusing only on getting re-elected, and realize that it’s OK to lose.

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