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Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Bob Dole
Former Republican presidential and vice-presidential nominee Bob Dole says that, although he supported Donald Trump's bid for reelection, he doesn't buy the former president's false claims of election fraud.
In a wide-ranging interview with USA Today, Dole — who recently turned 98 — said the failure of the campaign's many lawsuits aimed at overturning the election results was proof that there was never any fraud to begin with.
"He lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did," Dole told the outlet. "He had Rudy Giuliani running all over the country, claiming fraud. He never had one bit of fraud in all those lawsuits he filed and statements he made."
Elsewhere in the interview, Dole conceded that he is "a Trumper." He acknowledged, however, that these days he is "sort of Trumped out."
Trump's continued claims that the election he lost was somehow stolen for him were disproven in court, with no evidence of fraud being found.
Even the Republican National Committee's chief counsel, Justin Riemer, reportedly denounced the Trump team's quest to invalidate President Joe Biden's election victory.
"What Rudy and Jenna are doing is a joke and they are getting laughed out of court," Riemer said in a November email, according to author Michael Wolff's new book, Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency. "They are misleading millions of people who have wishful thinking that the president is going to somehow win this thing."
The former president has continued to make the false allegations, even after the rhetoric helped spur the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In the USA Today interview, Dole, who supported a candidate who flooded the political discourse with misinformation and resorted to schoolyard taunts of opponents, held forth about partisan politics and said he hoped for more compromise in the future.
"I don't like to second-guess, but I do believe we've lost something," he said. "I can't get my hand on it, but we're just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don't know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime."
Dole, an Army veteran who spent nearly 30 years in the Senate, announced in February that he has stage four lung cancer.
"While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own," Dole said in announcing his diagnosis.
Following the news, Dole says that he was paid a visit by a former Senate colleague form the opposite side of the aisle — President Joe Biden, who USA Today reports dropped by Dole's apartment to visit after his diagnosis, "bringing several of his grandchildren and staying for an hour and a half."
Dole said Biden, with whom he served in the Senate for more than two decades, is "a great, kind, upstanding, decent person."