The grievances continue as Trump imagines offences that only reinforce how much he was thought of as a danger to democracy.
“We will find that hundreds of thousands of ballots were illegally cast in your state and all over the country, by the way, more than enough to give us a total historic victory,” Trump said. “This is our country . . . they are trying to take it from us through rigging, fraud, deception and deceit.”President Trump called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives twice during the past week to make an extraordinary request for help reversing his loss in the state, reflecting a broadening pressure campaign by the president and his allies to try to subvert the 2020 election result.The calls, confirmed by House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s office, make Pennsylvania the third state where Trump has directly attempted to overturn a result since he lost the election to former vice president Joe Biden. He previously reached out to Republicans in Michigan, and on Saturday he pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a call to try to replace that state’s electors.The president’s outreach to Pennsylvania’s Republican House leader came after his campaign and its allies decisively lost numerous legal challenges in the state in both state and federal court. Trump has continued to press his baseless claims of widespread voting irregularities both publicly and privately.
“The president said, ‘I’m hearing about all these issues in Philadelphia, and these issues with your law,’ ” said Cutler spokesman Michael Straub, describing the House speaker’s two conversations with Trump. “ ‘What can we do to fix it?’ ”A White House spokesman declined to comment on the calls to Cutler, and a Trump campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Cutler told the president that the legislature had no power to overturn the state’s chosen slate of electors, Straub said.
But late last week, the House speaker was among about 60 Republican state lawmakers who sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional representatives urging them to object to the state’s electoral slate on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to formally accept the results.Although such a move is highly unlikely to gain traction, at least one Pennsylvania Republican, Rep. Scott Perry, said in an interview Monday that he will heed the request and dispute the state’s electors.The embrace of Trump’s false claims by many Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers shows how the president’s baseless attacks on the integrity of the election have gained ground with his supporters. Protesters chanting “Stop the steal,” some with firearms, demonstrated over the weekend at the homes of Cutler in Pennsylvania and the Democratic secretary of state in Michigan.
Trump stoked those flames Saturday at a rally for two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia, where he ranted for an hour and 40 minutes almost exclusively about fraud.Yet Straub also acknowledged that the pressure on Cutler — who faces reelection as House speaker on Jan. 5 — has been intense. His office phone system, which has the capacity to store many thousands of voice mails, has been completely filled “several times” over the past week, Straub said.Meanwhile, a group of 32 Republican state legislators joined a legal effort to try to nullify the certification of Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, claiming in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that they may be empowered to step in “when a state has failed to choose its electors on election day.”
“I put this guy in office. He’s there because of me,” Trump said about Kemp, railing about his “disloyalty,” one of the advisers said.The legal defeats, meanwhile, continued to mount Monday — as did the inevitability of Biden’s victory. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) recertified the state’s election results after a second statewide recount of presidential votes. The presidential ballots in Georgia have now been counted three times, each time delivering the state to Biden.
— Editing TheGrayLady (@nyt_diff) December 8, 2020
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) December 7, 2020
“Why does the President keep hiring people that are 'dumb as a rock, overrated, way over their head”
— The Hill (@thehill) June 19, 2020
— Trump Interpreter (@trumpinterprtr) December 8, 2020