How much did Mellissa Carone have to drink before her viral testimony alongside Rudy Giuliani last week?
To use her words from the hearing: “Zero. Zero.”
The freelance IT contractor spoke out on Tuesday about her testimony before Michigan’s House of Representatives on Dec. 2, when she produced a viral moment for the ages while providing zero proof to support U.S. President Donald Trump‘s claims of voter fraud.
“I wasn’t drunk. I would swear under oath that I wasn’t drunk,” she told Inside Edition after she was asked about her combative performance at the hearing. “That’s my personality,” she said.
Carone added that Trump’s lawyers recruited her without asking about her criminal history, which includes a conviction for sending sex tapes to her fiancé’s ex-wife.
“They never said anything,” she told Inside Edition.
Trump’s lawyers presented Carone as a star witness at the hearing, where she pushed various voter fraud claims without evidence. She has already been discredited in court, where a county judge ruled last month that her claims “simply are not credible.”
Carone served as a contractor during the election for Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company that has been targeted by unfounded, pro-Trump conspiracy theories in recent weeks.
She insisted last week — without evidence, except for what she claims she saw with her own eyes — that she saw 30,000 votes being counted multiple times, during a widely mocked back-and-forth with lawmakers in the state’s Republican-controlled House.
More than 22 million people have watched a two-minute clip of her testimony, in which she argues about alleged discrepancies with State Rep. Steve Johnson, a Republican. The argument revolved around the state’s electronic poll book, a system used to record voter registration information.
“The poll book is completely off. Completely off,” Carone claims in the video.
“Off by 30,000?” Johnson says.
Carone adjusts her mic and leans in to say: “I’d say that poll book is off by over 100,000.” She then asks Johnson how many registered voters are in the poll book.
“Do you even know the answer to that?” she says. Johnson tries to respond but Carone cuts him off. “Zero. Zero,” she says, holding up her hand in a “zero” gesture. “There’s zero.”
Giuliani, who is sitting beside Carone, can be seen leaning over and trying to get her attention to curb the rant. Other lawmakers can also be heard asking her not to cut Johnson off.
Johnson tries to explain the context of the poll book while Carone badgers him with questions about who is being counted.
“Dead people too?” she says.
“We’re not seeing the poll book off by 30,000,” Johnson says. “That’s not the case.”
“What’d you guys do?” Carone drawls. “Take it and, uh, do somethin’ crazy to it?”
She then adds: “I know what I saw, and I signed something saying that if I’m wrong, I can go to prison. Did you?”
Carone sums up her baseless claims by saying the poll book is “wildly off, and dead people voted, and uh, illegals voted.”
It was the strangest moment in an altogether strange day for the Trump team, which has been fighting an uphill battle in court since the boss lost to Joe Biden last month in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump has refused to concede while pushing a wide range of false claims about the election.
“I WON THE ELECTION, BIG,” he tweeted on Sunday.
He lost the election, according to all credible evidence.
Trump also applauded one of Carone’s public appearances last week, shortly before her viral moment in Michigan.
Carone’s testimony was widely mocked on social media, where it spawned several lip-sync parodies and comparisons to a Saturday Night Live sketch.
SNL eventually closed the loop by presenting Cecily Strong as Carone in its latest episode.
Carone told Inside Edition that she “loved” the portrayal.
Another Trump witness also captured social media attention at the hearing, when she made the racist claim that voter fraud is easy because all Indian and Chinese people look the same.
The witness, Hima Kolanagireddy, is reportedly a naturalized American citizen who was born in India.
“A lot of people think all Indians look alike,” Kolanagireddy said. “I think a lot of Chinese look alike. So how would you tell?
“If some (Chinese person) shows up, you can be anybody and you can vote. And if somebody with my name — you can’t even tell my name — anybody can vote on my behalf.”
The hearing did not produce any wins for the Trump team. It did, however, become a suspected superspreader event for the coronavirus, with Giuliani and his fellow lawyer, Jenna Ellis, testing positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
Giuliani claimed from a hospital on Monday that he was “feeling fine,” and that “you can overdo it with the masks.”
Michigan health officials advised all attendees to self-isolate after the hearing, amid concern that the virus might have spread to others who came in contact with Giuliani.
Carone, who sat beside Ellis and Giuliani at the hearing, says she will not self-isolate.
“I’m not concerned at all,” she told Inside Edition.
She also falsely claimed that she has deleted her social media amid the backlash to her testimony.
Trump’s team has failed to overturn the election results after stringing together dozens of defeats in various battleground states.
Democrat Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the next president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021.
— With files from The Associated Press