In a desperate effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election that he lost by more than 7 million votes, President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked supporters at a rally in Washington, D.C., to turn a blind eye to reality.
Trump’s plea was delivered under the guise of an exhortation: March to the Capitol Building and convince Vice President Mike Pence and “weak” Republicans to interfere with the election certification that Pence is set to preside over in a ceremonial role later Wednesday.
“Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country,” Trump implored. “And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.”
“I will tell you right now, I’m not hearing good stories,” he added.
The unprecedented and doomed-to-fail scheme, proffered by Trump and his allies in a bid to steal the election, has been joined by more than half of the 211-member House Republican Caucus and at least 12 Republican senators.
Should Pence decide not to show, then the president pro tempore of the Senate, currently Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would oversee the certification.
Trump repeatedly threatened members of his own party Wednesday, calling Republicans who chose not to support the ruse “weak” and promising to campaign against them.
“I helped Mitch [McConnell] get elected,” he said, smiling as the crowd booed the top Republican in the Senate. “I could name 24 of them. And then you have something like this and it’s, ‘Oh gee.’ Weak Republicans. Pathetic Republicans.”
Running through a list of swing states he lost, Trump returned to the same false claims he and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have repeated tirelessly since the Nov. 3 election, all of them thrown out by the courts.
Trump paused for special focus on Georgia — where Democrat Raphael Warnock won over Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Jon Ossoff is likely to upset Republican incumbent David Perdue, handing control of the upper chamber to the Democratic party.
Like his own loss in the general election, Trump dismissed the results in Georgia as fraudulent yet presented no evidence beyond conspiratorial assertions.
With the country besieged by a deadly pandemic, his presidency crumbling and his party poised to lose control of the Senate, Trump vowed to never concede and closed with a promise: “Today is not the end, it is just the beginning.”