Trump could announce plans to run in 2024: Signum chairman
President Donald Trump declared that he will never concede he was defeated for re-election and assailed congressional Republicans planning to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Wednesday.
“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened, radical-left Democrats,” Trump told thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington. “We will never give up; we will never concede.”
He said he would later join them at the U.S. Capitol to protest congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory, and criticized “weak Republicans” who have said they won’t join objections against counting votes from states where Trump has baselessly claimed he lost due to fraud.
“You have to get your people to fight,” he said. “And if they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight.”
Trump’s remarks followed Senate runoff elections in Georgia that cost Republicans at least one seat and had Democrats preparing to take control of the chamber, as well as the presidency.
In tweets earlier, the president tacitly acknowledged that Republicans will lose control of the Senate, renewing his demand for Congress to reject states’ certifications of Biden’s victory on Wednesday and extend his presidency.
Unfounded Claims on Georgia
Trump made unfounded allegations in his tweets that Georgia officials were counting fraudulent votes. He did not directly concede that Democrats will sweep the state’s Senate runoffs, but said the “fake voter tabulation process” makes it more important that congressional Republicans reject his own defeat and ignore voters.
Trump’s rally, held on the Ellipse south of the White House, was scheduled to coincide with the formal counting of state electors in Congress. He had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to protest the event, the last formal act in the drawn-out 2020 election before Biden is inaugurated.
Thousands of people filled several square blocks between the stage where Trump spoke and the Washington Monument to the south.
Trump has demanded that Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over Wednesday’s largely ceremonial session, somehow block Biden’s certification. The Constitution gives the vice president no more than a ministerial role in the proceedings, but Trump insisted in a statement issued by his campaign late Tuesday that Pence could unilaterally send certified results back to states where Trump has alleged fraud.
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” Trump said at the rally.
Pence has not said how he will handle his duties Wednesday afternoon.
A total of 13 Republican senators have said they’ll object to Electoral College votes from one or more states, but other GOP senators have said they’ll uphold the results, leaving little doubt Biden will be inaugurated.
Because of the objections, an event that typically takes less than an hour is expected to drag late into the night Wednesday or into Thursday.
In Georgia, the Associated Press declared that Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock had won his race over Senator Kelly Loeffler. Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff was leading his race against Republican David Perdue and declared victory Wednesday morning, but his race had not been called by major media organizations.
If both win, Democrats will take control of the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, as well as the White House and the House of Representatives.