Former President Donald Trump blasted Sen. Mike Rounds Monday after the South Dakota Republican said the 2020 election was “as fair as we’ve seen” and rejected Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Trump in an email statement repeated his assertions that 2020 election was rigged and vowed not to endorse Rounds if he runs for reelection in 2026, calling him a “RINO,” “weak” and “ineffective.”
“Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump said of Rounds, insisting that “the fraudulent and irregular votes are massive” and going on to credit himself for Rounds’ landslide reelection in 2020. “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,” Trump said.
Last week, a Republican-led report from Arizona’s Maricopa County, the largest in the battleground state, said the election was secure and not rigged.
The 93-page account directly counters claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies. It also comes months after an independent audit sponsored by the Republican-led state Senate found that President Joe Biden won the county by slightly more than originally thought.
While the state Senate’s auditors also floated various potential problems with the election when they released their report in September, Wednesday’s report found that the Senate auditors’ claims were based on “faulty analysis, inaccurate claims” and “misleading conclusions,” and it said that the claims demonstrated a “lack of understanding of federal and state election laws.”
The report also found that the state Senate and the auditors hired, Cyber Ninjas, made 22 “misleading claims,” 41 “inaccurate” claims, and 13 “demonstrably false” claims.
Rounds’ remarks touting the fairness of the 2020 election came Sunday on ABC News. He called the election fair and said that President Joe Biden was the legitimate victor.
“While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state,” Rounds said.
“The election was fair — as fair as we’ve seen,” Rounds later added. “We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency.”
Trump has targeted other Republicans who broke away from his own talking points. He has pledged to back primary challengers against the 11 Republicans in the House and seven in the Senate who voted to impeach and convict him, respectively, for his role in inciting the Capitol riot.
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