Trump calls conservative GOP senator a 'RINO' for acknowledging 2020 election was 'as fair as we’ve seen'
As much as MAGA Republicans rail against “political correctness,” they are the first to attack anyone in the GOP who fails to agree with former President Donald Trump less than 100% of the time — and the latest example is Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota. As Trump sees it, the conservative GOP senator has committed a cardinal sin by not promoting his false claim that widespread voter fraud robbed him of a victory in the 2020 presidential election.
The 67-year-old Rounds, during a Sunday, January 9 appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” said the 2020 election was “OK, just fine,” and Trump lambasted him for it in an official statement.
Rounds, who voted to certify President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021, told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, “The election was fair, as fair as we’ve seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency…. Moving forward, we have to refocus once again on what it’s going to take to win the presidency. And if we simply look back and tell our people, ‘Don’t vote,’ because there’s cheating going on, then we’re gonna put ourselves in a huge disadvantage.”
Republican @SenatorRounds tells @GStephanopoulos that former Pres. Trump's fate should be left in the hands of the Department of Justice and federal courts. \n\n "The courts are the appropriate place where those questions should be answered." https://abcn.ws/3q5f7vj\u00a0pic.twitter.com/wTD47YRGsA— This Week (@This Week) 1641744890
Trump, in response, angrily declared, “‘Senator’ Mike Rounds just went woke on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020…. Is he crazy or just stupid? The only reason he did this is because he got my endorsement and easily won his state in 2020, so now he thinks he has time, and those are the only ones, the weak, who will break away. Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again.”
Rounds has joined the list of right-wing Republicans Trump now considers RINOs: Republicans In Name Only — a list that also includes Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has done more than anyone to push the United States’ federal courts to the far right. The ironic part is that many of them were Republicans back when Trump, during the 1990s, was still endorsing Clinton Democrats and saying that the U.S. economy performs better when Democrats are in power (a position he has since flip-flopped on).
NEW!\n\nPresident Donald J. Trump:\n\n\u201c\u201cSenator\u201d Mike Rounds of the Great State of South Dakota just went woke on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020. He made a statement this weekend on ABC Fake News, that despite massive evidence to the contrary, including much of it...pic.twitter.com/VXFglmh4gX— Liz Harrington \ud83c\udf4a (@Liz Harrington \ud83c\udf4a) 1641825612
Trump also said of Rounds, “It is RINOs like this that are allowing the Democrats to destroy our Nation!.... He is a weak and ineffective leader, and I hereby firmly pledge that he will never receive my Endorsement again.”
Rounds has also angered Trumpistas by describing the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building as an attack on U.S. democracy.
Rounds said, “In my opinion, what we had was an insurrection. We had violence. We had people killed. We had a mob that ignored direct commands. They attacked law enforcement officers. They damaged federal property. They clearly intended to stop us from performing our duties in the recognition of the electoral vote count.”
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