To the surprise of many people, a defiant Donald Trump in his first public appearance for a week on Friday, again falsely insisted he “won” reelection, as the US president appeared increasingly isolated over his long-shot bid to stay in power.
In an unfortunate claim against all odds, Trump said a path to victory remains viable, and facing pushback from fellow Republicans alarmed by his effort to overturn results, Trump invited Michigan lawmakers to the White House as part of a bid to subvert the will of voters in key states.
But if he expected them to parrot the president’s line and publicly support efforts to overturn election results in Michigan — which Biden won by 155,000 votes — he was mistaken.
The Republican legislators stood firm, saying they would “honor the election’s outcome”.
Also, Republican Senator Mitt Romney launched a withering attack on Trump for pressuring local officials, saying: “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president.”
Fellow Senate Republicans Ben Sasse and Joni Ernst also slammed the tactics.
“We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan,” the state’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement after meeting Trump.
“Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threat and intimidation,” they added.
The statement came after Trump made brief comments about the election while announcing new pharmaceutical pricing plans at a rare post-election address to reporters.
“Big pharma ran millions of dollars of negative advertisements against me during the campaign — which I won, by the way, but you know, we’ll find that out,” Trump said.
He exited the briefing room without taking questions.
Logic dictates that Trump’s days in the White House are numbered, with key states that sealed President-elect Biden’s win rapidly approaching deadlines to certify their election results.
In a second blow Friday to Trump’s election interference efforts, Georgia became the first of those states to formally certify its results, affirming that Biden won in the southern state by 12,670 votes, or 0.26 percent out of some five million ballots cast.
“Numbers don’t lie,” said Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia. “The numbers reflect the verdict of the people.”