(CNN) — President Donald Trump found himself caught up in an electoral conundrum of his own making on Friday: He continued to promote false claims that the election was a “total scam,” even after another humiliating reprimand from the Pennsylvania court, while insisting that his Supporters should run in Georgia’s second-round Senate elections in January despite concerns about the fraud it has sown.
With the eyes of the political universe focused on generating voters in Georgia, where the two second-round elections will determine which party controls the United States Senate, the president’s relentless attacks on the state’s voting apparatus, its tabulation process and its secretary of Republican state, causes confusion among Republican strategists and state leaders who fear those attacks will erode confidence in the elections at a time when they need to rally the largest possible number of voters to re-elect Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue on January 5 and clinging to its firewall against a Democrat-controlled White House and House of Representatives.
President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democrat in 28 years to win Georgia, and Trump has questioned election results in the state for weeks. He has made wild claims in his public comments, retweeted attorneys and aides who have called for the state’s election results to be overturned, and described the state audit, which was a manual recount of each ballot, as “pointless” due to his objections. to the signature verification process. After Georgia certified its results, which confirmed Biden’s victory in the state, the Trump campaign requested another recount, which is unlikely to reverse its defeat.
Trump escalated those attacks when he spoke to reporters on Thanksgiving, including as he promoted his upcoming campaign visit in Georgia on December 5, claiming without evidence that he was “robbed” with “fraud everywhere” and called the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “enemy of the people.”
When asked by a reporter why he expected Republican voters to have confidence after what he described as an illegitimate election and to favor Loeffler and Perdue, Trump said he had warned the two senators: “Listen, they have a fraudulent system … There to be very careful.
But on Friday, he backtracked when he tweeted a Newsmax story saying his supporters are considering an election boycott in Georgia over allegations of fraud. After falsely calling the November election a “scam” that he hopes to reverse, he encouraged people to “go out and help David and Kelly, two GREAT people.”
Trump’s rhetoric, and the way it could undermine Georgia’s electoral system, has been troubling to Republican strategists such as state-born CNN contributor Alice Stewart, who pointed out that fundamental Republican problems, including maintaining the A conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and the prevention of court Democrats packaging and enacting liberal policies like the Green New Deal, will depend on Republicans defending both Senate seats.
“Certainly if this continues, it will be a problem,” Stewart said of Trump’s unfounded allegations about voting in Georgia. “I think all legal and legitimate votes should be counted, but at this stage of the game, in order to claim that there is widespread electoral fraud, this claim that there is electoral hoax, we need to see some evidence. We need to see what he’s talking about.
“If not, you have to leave it and move on, because it is not helpful to the process,” Stewart said, noting that she and many of her family members in Georgia voted for Trump because they support his policies.
Republican donor Dan Eberhart called on lower-level Republican leaders to “step up or come out right now” and openly challenge Trump’s claims before he causes irreparable harm to his party.
“The party and the Republicans must focus on strengthening (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell right now, who is winning these two seats in Georgia, and then we must focus on winning the next election, taking back House 2022, and They can’t do that if Trump has frozen everything, “Eberhart noted Friday night on CNN’s” Erin Burnett OutFront. “
“These Republican senators, Republican congressmen, Republican governors are afraid of Trump’s tweet and I think we must get over it,” he said.
Still not accepting the inevitable
Trump took another puzzling turn on Friday. After stating Thursday night that he would leave the White House in January if Biden’s victory is certified by the electoral college, he made the absurd claim on Twitter that “Biden can only enter the White House as president if he can show that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not obtained fraudulently or illegally, ”although Trump’s own authority expires on January 20 when his term ends and his team has been unable to offer any credible evidence of fraud.
Trump’s own designee, the chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission Ben Hovland, rejected the premise of Trump’s tweet Friday night. (The Commission is responsible, in part, for testing and certifying voting machines and works closely with election officials across the country.)
“Those 80 million votes that President-elect Biden has have been confirmed. They have been confirmed by the men and women who run our elections across the country, “said Hovland on” Erin Burnett OutFront. ” “We have certified results in several states now, and again the people who participate in our elections have said that those are the totals.”
“I believe that the president and his allies have one victory and 38 defeats, and they have not provided evidence of any widespread fraud to the courts,” he added of Trump’s court battles. “Clearly Joe Biden has won this race, the election officials who run our elections have said that, and this is how our democracy works.”
Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and has now become the first presidential candidate to get more than 80 million votes, with a margin of more than 6 million over Trump.
A reprimand in Pennsylvania
The paucity of evidence supporting Trump’s allegations of fraud was once again illuminated in the opinion of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Friday, which denied the campaign’s request for Trump to resubmit his lawsuit challenging the results in Pennsylvania, where Biden enjoys a margin of more than 80,000 votes.
“Calling an election unfair does not mean it is,” Trump-appointed Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote to the panel. “The charges require specific indictments and then evidence. We don’t have any here.
Bibas highlighted the gulf between the incendiary accusations that Trump and his allies have made outside the courtroom and the flimsy accusations that appear in their court documents, noting that the Trump campaign never claimed that “no ballot was fraudulent or issued by an illegal voter. ‘
“He never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or his votes worse than he treated the Biden campaign or his votes,” Bibas wrote. “Calling something discrimination does not mean it is.”
The three-judge panel also called Trump’s campaign efforts to deny Pennsylvania’s vote certification “unprecedented,” adding that the campaign’s claims “have no merit.”
“Removing millions of ballots by mail would be drastic and unprecedented, it would disenfranchise a large swath of the electorate and also alter all negative vote contests,” the opinion said.
Although the defeat added to the humiliating Trump campaign tally of more than 30 losses or withdrawals from the courts in their effort to challenge the election results, President Jenna Ellis’s attorney said on Twitter that her team was moving to court. Supreme
Ben Ginsberg, a Republican election attorney who co-chaired the 2013 bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, said the Supreme Court taking over the case would be a welcome step toward ending Trump’s counterproductive efforts to undo democracy. .
“We just have to hope that he takes this Pennsylvania case to the Supreme Court, because that will end the other myth that justices are just going to drop him for him and carry out his orders, because they are Republican judges,” Ginsberg said in “Erin Burnett OutFront ” on Friday.
“What his supporters will see, once he is out of office, is that there was a long series of defeats, defeats, defeats and that, in fact, will be part of his legacy when we look back.”