Former national security adviser John Bolton on Sunday called on Republican leaders to publicly reject President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud and acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“I think it’s very important for leaders of the Republican Party to explain to our voters ― who are not as stupid as the Democrats think ― that, in fact, Trump has lost the election and that his claims of election fraud are baseless,” Bolton told ABC’s “This Week.”
Trump has repeatedly declared he won reelection, despite virtually all major media networks projecting Biden as the winner. Several world leaders and Republican lawmakers have congratulated Biden on his win, but the president and the majority of Republican senators have either refused to do so or remained silent on the matter.
The Trump campaign has filed multiple lawsuits in several states alleging voter fraud and ballot-counting irregularities. So far, the campaign has produced no evidence of widespread issues. Multiple judges have dismissed some of the lawsuits.
“The fact is that we’ve seen litigation in all the key battleground states, and it has failed consistently,” said Bolton, who left the White House in September 2019 after clashing with Trump on foreign policy issues.
“Right now, the Trump campaign is doing the legal equivalent of pitching pennies,” Bolton added. “Where are there silver dollars? Where is the evidence? I think as every day goes by, it’s clear and clear there isn’t any evidence.”
Thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington on Saturday to echo the president’s false claims that Democrats “rigged” the election. The rally turned violent when tensions came to a head with counter-demonstrators, leading to at least one stabbing and more than a dozen arrests.
“If the Republican voters are only hearing Donald Trump’s misrepresentations, it’s not surprising that they believe it,” Bolton said Sunday. “It’s critical for other Republican leaders to stand up and explain what actually happened: Donald Trump lost by what ― any evidence we have so far ― was a free and fair election.”
In a tweet earlier Sunday, Trump appeared to publicly acknowledge for the first time that Biden won the election. He quickly backtracked in a subsequent tweet, stating he concedes “NOTHING” and that Biden had “only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA.”
Bolton said Sunday that he believed most Republicans are “getting ready to” recognize Biden as president-elect.
″This is a character test for the Republican Party,” Bolton told ABC. “I don’t buy the argument that Donald Trump has hypnotized Republican voters or that they’re not capable of accepting the truth. ... But it requires people to explain what happened. The Trump campaign simply has no evidence.”
Trump lashed out at Bolton later Sunday, calling him “sullen, dull and quiet” and “one of the dumbest people” he’s ever worked with in the government.
“A real dope!” the president tweeted.