WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Saturday amplified his unfounded claims and falsehoods about Joe Biden’s victory, lashed out at his attorney general and GOP governors he deemed unfaithful to him, and vowed to continue challenging the election results, despite the Supreme Court dealing a final blow to his brazen legal efforts to overturn the vote.
“I WON THE ELECTION IN A LANDSLIDE, but remember, I only think in terms of legal votes, not all of the fake voters and fraud that miraculously floated in from everywhere! What a disgrace!,” Trump tweeted shortly after 8 a.m., one in a series of morning posts that Twitter labeled as disputed.
Many of Trump’s Republican allies in Congress were unswayed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the challenge brought by the Texas attorney general that asked the justices to invalidate millions of ballots cast in four battleground states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia – and toss out Biden’s win. The Congress members accused the Supreme Court of dodging or lacking courage.
Meanwhile Trump’s most ardent supporters took to online messaging boards with ominous vows to fight on and suggestions that Trump states secede.
As they have several times since the election, Trump supporters – including members of the Proud Boys, the far-right, male-only, extremist group that Trump struggled to denounce during a presidential debate with Biden – gathered on Saturday in Washington, with with boldface names from Trump world like Roger Stone and retired Gen. Michael Flynn rallying the crowd.
“Supreme Court’s decision, well, you know, don’t get bent out of shape because there are still avenues that are being, avenues to approach and we are attacking the wall,” Flynn said to flag-waving protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court.
But exactly what those “avenues” are was not spelled out. Electors will meet in each state on Monday to cast their votes. Biden won enough states to give him 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232, and he leads the national popular vote by more than 7 million.
Trump continues to refuse to concede, instead perpetuating falsehoods and baseless claims that widespread voter fraud rigged the election. But there has been no evidence presented of widespread fraud in the election, and last week Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department has found no evidence that would overturn Biden’s victory. Courts at every level have rejected dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and his allies, citing this lack of evidence.
The president has one last stand – the Jan. 6 vote in a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes. Already at least one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, has said he’ll challenge the electoral vote that day. If just one U.S. senator joins him, the Electoral Count Act of 1877 will force every member of Congress to vote on whether to accept the results in the states where Republican baselessly decry voter fraud.
It’s unclear whether Brooks will find significant support for the move, which would primarily be theater by making every Republican take a side. Already Trump has seen astonishing support for his efforts to overturn the election – 126 House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., signed an amicus brief backing the Texas lawsuit.
“There’s still evidence that needs to be considered. The House may be the last forum available for us to present our arguments,” tweeted Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of Trump’s most faithful acolytes.
A handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill have declared the race over and Biden the winner, and have condemned Trump and colleagues for not doing the same.
“Since Election Night, a lot of people have been confusing voters by spinning Kenyan Birther-type, ‘Chavez rigged the election from the grave’ conspiracy theories, but every American who cares about the rule of law should take comfort that the Supreme Court – including all three of President Trump’s picks – closed the book on the nonsense,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in a statement.
But many GOP lawmakers continue to perpetuate the lie that the race was stolen from Trump.
“I don’t have proof that men landed on the moon in 1969, because I wasn’t there,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday night when asked for proof that there was widespread voter fraud. He added that he won’t accept the results until Jan. 20, when Biden’s hand is on the Bible.
Meanwhile, Trump continued to rage against his loss, slamming the Supreme Court and blaming the governors of Georgia and Arizona for his defeat in those states.
“Who is a worse governor, @BrianKempGA of Georgia or @dougducey of Arizona??? These are two RINO Republicans who fought against me and the Republican Party harder than any Democrat. They allowed states that I won easily to be stolen. Never forget, vote them out of office!” Trump tweeted.
Around midnight, hours after the Supreme Court shot down the Trump campaign’s legal challenge, the president lamented the justice’s decision not to hear the case. He claimed that many people “after careful study and consideration” joined the lawsuit, “but, within a flash, it is thrown out and gone, without even looking at the many reasons it was brought.”
“A Rigged Election,” Trump wrote,” fight on!”