The Michigan woman who was widely ridiculed after her appearance as a voter fraud witness for Rudy Giuliani last week defended her testimony in an exclusive interview Tuesday, saying “I wasn’t drunk.”
Mellissa Carone, 33, a supporter of President Donald Trump who worked as an information technology contractor for Dominion Voting Systems on Election Night, told the Michigan Legislature last Wednesday that massive voter fraud occurred in Detroit but presented no evidence of her claims.
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Video of the appearance at the Statehouse went viral over the weekend, and many voices on social media speculated whether Carone was inebriated as she repeated unproven claims that had been previously dismissed by a Wayne County court for being “simply not credible.”
“I would swear under oath that I wasn’t drunk,” Carone told “Inside Edition” on Tuesday, arguing it was simply her personality on display.
Carone also revealed she has faced severe public backlash in the last week and that she has had to delete all of her social media accounts.
She received even more attention on the national stage after “Saturday Night Live” lampooned her testimony over the weekend.
First TV interview
Carone spoke to “Inside Edition” for her first public interview since appearing last Wednesday in Lansing alongside Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney leading the effort to upend the election in several states where Joe Biden has already been certified the winner.
Carone said she was watching as comedic actor Cecily Strong portrayed her on TV. Asked how she felt about the performance, Carone said, “I loved it. I loved it. I think she did a great job. I think it was very funny. She looked just like me.”
The same night as the “SNL” spoof, there was more serious fallout over the president’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Dozens of protesters carrying American flags and guns surrounded the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson over the weekend, chanting “Stop the Steal.”
The demonstration was meant to pressure the state’s chief election officer to overturn Biden’s victory as Trump continues to publicly assail the results that were certified Nov. 23.
Michigan officials accused the protesters of “terrorizing” Benson’s family.
As the crowd arrived outside her doorstep Saturday night in Detroit, Benson said she had just finished hanging Christmas lights on her portico and was headed inside to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with her 4-year-old son, The Washington Post reported.
Recently served probation
In 2019, Carone — who was then using her married name of Mellissa Wright — was charged with one count of using a computer to commit a crime and one count of obscenity in the first degree, according to police records.
The two misdemeanor charges were later dropped in a deal with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in which Carone pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct, said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the office.
Carone was sentenced to 12 months probation in September 2019, and the court closed the case in September 2020.
Information provided by Tribune News Service was used to supplement this report.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com