Election deniers damage U.S. reputation on the world stage, Harris says

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Election deniers and elected officials who back rioters from the Jan. 6 insurrection are responsible for eroding the United States' reputation on the world stage, Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press” set to air Sunday.

“Through the process of what we've been through, we're starting to allow people to call into question our commitment to those principles,” Harris said. “And that's a shame.”

The remark was in response to a question by host Chuck Todd about the message that internal threats to American democracy send to the outside world, part of a wide-ranging interview.

Attacks on democracy are “very dangerous, and I think it is very harmful. And it makes us weaker,” Harris said.

She recalled her time on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and said her colleagues on the committee were focused on national security threats in a nonpartisan way.

Threats to democracy from within the country should be approached in the same way — “as Americans, instead of through some partisan lens,” Harris said. But asked whether domestic threats now rival the danger of foreign terrorist threats, Harris said the two couldn't be compared.

“Each are dangerous and extremely harmful, but they're different,” Harris said.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) reflected on these threats Sunday in the context of the the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Election denial and insurgent activity are worrisome, and there should be a “unity of spirit” against those ideas similar to the national unity following the 2001 attacks, he said on CBS's “Face the Nation.”

“The stunning thing to me is that here we are, 20 years later, and the attack on the symbol of our democracy was coming not from terrorists, but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th,” Warner said.

In her NBC interview, Harris also addressed the possibility of former President Donald Trump being prosecuted, as Trump faces a myriad of legal woes.

“People are going to demand justice,” Harris said.

The vice president declined to directly address a question from Todd about Democrats' meddling in Republican primaries this year. National Democratic campaigners have garnered criticism for funding hard-line Republican candidates in primary elections in order to boost their own chances in the general election.

“I'm not going to tell people how to run their campaigns, Chuck,” Harris said to Todd.

The interview also covered the administration's stance on the filibuster, the mechanism in Congress that requires a supermajority to pass many types of legislation.

Harris said that while the Biden administration supports eliminating the filibuster on abortion and voting rights, she is not comfortable getting rid of it for good.

“It is very likely” to be held in place on issues outside of abortion and voting rights, she said.

Harris declined to state whether she would support a bill by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would codify the right to abortion, saying she'd “have to read it and see.”

Harris' appearance on “Meet the Press” came at the beginning of the fall campaign crunch leading up to the November midterm elections. Republicans have been widely expected to capture the House and quite possibly the Senate, but Democrats have recently gained momentum, reflecting recent legislative and political wins for Democrats in both Congress and President Joe Biden's administration.

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