Politics 'Sore loser' Trump reaps fruits of election lies in Arizona

07:45  25 july  2021
07:45  25 july  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Arizona election auditors seek more records, voter canvass

  Arizona election auditors seek more records, voter canvass PHOENIX (AP) — Contractors hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to oversee a partisan review of the 2020 election said Thursday that they don’t have enough information to complete their report, and urged legislators to subpoena more records and survey voters at home. Leaders of the GOP audit described a wide variety of reasons their review is taking months longer than the 60 days initially planned, including confusion about damaged ballots and a lack of access to certain data. They described the delays during a meeting livestreamed at the Capitol Thursday and watched by thousands.

Ex-President Donald Trump's big lie came full circle on Saturday as he traveled to Arizona to dangerously seize on the false fruits of a sham election "audit" precipitated by his own discredited claims the 2020 election was stolen.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) © Ross D. Franklin/AP Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

On a late afternoon of delusion and incitement, Trump offered a preview of how he could exploit grievances of millions of supporters who buy his lies about voter fraud to power a possible new presidential run in the future.

Arizona attorney general asks secretary of state for potential evidence of illegal voting

  Arizona attorney general asks secretary of state for potential evidence of illegal voting Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested potential evidence of illegal voting from the Arizona secretary of state, according to a new report. © Provided by Washington Examiner The email sent Wednesday by Jennifer Wright, an assistant attorney general overseeing Brnovich’s election integrity unit, follows Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs asking the Republican attorney general on July 7 to investigate possible election interference by former President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential race.

His speech underscored the nation's split reality over last November's election — the real one in which he lost and President Joe Biden was fairly elected and the nonsensical but powerful one that he sells to his supporters.

The now self-sustaining myth that Trump was improperly ejected from power is at the center of a belief system that the ex-President is imposing on his party and is making a litmus test for 2022 GOP candidates seeking his endorsement, including in the Arizona Senate race, which is one of the GOP's top targets as they try to take back the Senate.

In his latest return to campaign speeches, Trump showered praise on Arizona state senators who organized the non-scientific audit. He insisted he wasn't involved, trying to create a false impression of independence and legitimacy in a politicized process inspired by his lies.

Breaking down the 2020 election audits still underway

  Breaking down the 2020 election audits still underway While President Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 race more than nine months ago, some efforts to review how the election was handled are still underway. © Provided by Washington Examiner The ongoing or proposed reviews come against the backdrop of several GOP states pursuing changes to their election laws that Republicans say are necessary to restore trust in elections. However, Democrats say the basis of both the reviews and the voting reforms is a lie told by former President Donald Trump about the election being stolen — a claim with no evidence.Here is where 2020 election reviews stand now.

"There is no way they win elections without cheating," the former President said of Democrats, at a packed event entitled -- with Orwellian overtones -- the "Rally to Protect Our Elections." The one-term, twice-impeached ex-commander-in-chief related prolonged and false stories of election fraud across the country. He also claimed that many more Republican-run states were seeking their own audits of election results, even though multiple judges have ruled that there was no election fraud.

Trump's appearance was full of the usual bluster, boasting, self-pity and too many falsehoods to count, and was in many ways a sideshow compared to the critical current challenges — including a pandemic that is quickly worsening again because millions of Republican voters will not get vaccinated.

But his appearance was also a warning of one of the most dangerous problems haunting a divided nation's deeply polarized politics — the fact that lies and conspiracy theories now represent sincerely held views of a large minority of the electorate thanks to Trump's mastery of demagoguery and the endless flattery of a compliant right-wing propaganda machine.

Arizona SOS Katie Hobbs Mocks 'Sore Loser' Trump Ahead of Phoenix Rally: 'Take Your Loss'

  Arizona SOS Katie Hobbs Mocks 'Sore Loser' Trump Ahead of Phoenix Rally: 'Take Your Loss' The former president will speak at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" in Phoenix on Saturday evening.Trump will be in Arizona on Saturday to headline a Republican "Rally to Protect Our Elections.

Trump reinvents the big lie

The ex-President did tell his supporters to get the vaccine on Saturday — but in such a way that offered an out for those who have bought into conservative misinformation about it -- and in an attack on Biden, he further politicized the issue. Yet again, Trump showed that he was not willing to diminish his own political capital for the greater good.

"I recommend that you take it, but I also believe in your freedoms 100%," Trump said, before adding, "because they don't trust the President, people aren't doing it."

On the vaccine, and many other issues, Trump is seeking to do nothing less than create a new truth.

"The big lie they call it, you know what is the big lie? The opposite was the big lie. The election was the big lie," Trump said, in a concise example of his malevolent method as he seeks to reshape Republican orthodoxy.

"Does everybody here understand that the 2020 election was a total disgrace?" the ex-President said at the rally, inciting a frenzied chant of "Trump, Trump, Trump," that demonstrated how effective his wholesale lying has become.

One of the Leaders of the Arizona Audit Says Cyber Ninjas Might Be Cooking the Books

  One of the Leaders of the Arizona Audit Says Cyber Ninjas Might Be Cooking the Books Bennett’s turnaround is indeed noteworthy given that he was one of the drivers of this clown car of lies.Trump’s visit, though, came as the audit itself was beginning to unravel in spectacular fashion. It started before Trump’s remarks, when on Friday the Arizona Senate point-person for the audit, former Republican Secretary of State Senate Ken Bennett, was barred from his own audit site. It continued through the weekend, as previous supporters of the audit came out against it and Bennett himself considered whether to quit.

Trump also lashed out at Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to buy into his lies and conspiracies about the last election. He also attacked former Vice President Mike Pence for fulfilling his constitutional duty to oversee the certification of the election in Congress and former Attorney General William Barr for saying there was no election fraud.

Among unanswered questions is whether Trump's campaign of falsehoods and refusal to accept the result in 2020 — which is rife among his base voters — will further alienate the suburban and more moderate voters who were crucial in his defeat last November. The coming months and years will also show whether Republican voters — especially when the next presidential primary race heats up — want to spend the entire campaign going over lies about the last election or will seek new candidates who might share Trump's populist extremism but offer a path to the future.

But there is no doubt about the power of Trump in fast forming primary races ahead of the midterm elections next year. A stream of pro-Trump candidates has made the journey to Arizona to curry favor with the ex-President by highlighting the unofficial audit that has so far shown no evidence of voter fraud but has twisted the facts about the election.

Arizona Senate seeks records on Maricopa audit from Hobbs

  Arizona Senate seeks records on Maricopa audit from Hobbs The Arizona Senate is asking for documents from Katie Hobbs, Arizona's Democratic secretary of state, related to the GOP-led chamber's audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County. © Ross D. Franklin/AP Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs addresses the members of Arizona's Electoral College prior to them casting their votes Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool) Senate President Karen Fann sent a public records request for communications in which Hobbs, a critic of the audit, discussed the partisan review and relevant litigation.

In a briefing earlier this month, about the "audit" of votes in Maricopa County -- the crucial battleground where Biden outpaced Trump to win the state and its 11 electoral votes -- the firm running the process expressed multiple untruths.

Doug Logan, the chief executive of Cyber Ninjas, a firm with no experience in election audits, claimed that the audit uncovered 74,243 mail-in ballots with no clear record of them being sent.

The claim was quickly picked up by Trump and some of his supporters as the narrative of "magically appearing ballots" quickly gained steam among "Make America Great Again" supporters online.

A CNN fact check found that there is no evidence of either fraud or significant problems with these ballots. There are complicated reasons why it is not unusual that Maricopa County's submitted ballot lists includes a number of voters that do not match up with requested-ballots list. Logan's comments appear to be informed by misunderstandings, deliberate or not, about the county's voting procedures. The situation has been explained by several election experts, including Garrett Archer, an election analyst at ABC15 television in Phoenix and a former official in the Arizona secretary of state's office, who is regarded as an expert on the state's election procedures.

What is going on is 'dangerous'

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, called Trump a "sore loser" on CNN on Friday. On Saturday, she argued that the whole "audit" was designed to feed Trump's "ego, to placate his hurt feelings because he lost the election. And he's grifting a lot of people to pay for it instead of paying it for himself."

GOP liaison to Arizona audit says he is resigning, won't be 'rubber stamp' on final report

  GOP liaison to Arizona audit says he is resigning, won't be 'rubber stamp' on final report Twitter recently suspended a number of pro-election audit accounts — including one that's been cited as the partisan ballot review's official page.Ken Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state, said he made the decision after it became clear he would not regain access to the Phoenix fairgrounds where the private company, Cyber Ninjas, continues its examination of millions of ballots cast last November in Maricopa County.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump's political action committee had raised about $75 million so far this year but had not sent any money to the Arizona ballot review.

When CNN's Pamela Brown told Hobbs that the ex-President's crowd was chanting "lock her up" in reference to her at the Saturday rally, Hobbs warned that he was playing with political fire.

"What's going on right now really is dangerous and the former President is continuing to incite his followers to action that could end up with another insurrection and needs to be held to account for that," said Hobbs, who is running for governor in 2022.

It doesn't actually matter to Trump or his supporters if the allegations made in the audit are true or not. Trump's list of supposed irregularities that he spouted in a speech, which was often incoherent, made very little sense. But the conspiracies help fuel the massive nationwide lie that Trump created in order to avoid admitting he lost the election. Any morsel of information, no matter how quickly it is discredited, further expands the big lie. And as months pass, those who buy in travel so far from the truth that facts become meaningless.

The impact on American democracy, however, of millions of Americans losing faith in the election system — which is actually remarkably free of fraud — is deeply corrosive.

Trump's perpetuation of his own election fraud is taking place alongside a broader Republican effort to not just whitewash the behavior of the ex-President and his supporters during the Capitol insurrection on January 6 but to write an alternative history of events to cover up the truth.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has anchored the GOP's bid to win back the House next year on Trump, and Republicans are arguing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for what happened, apparently because she did not beef up security at the Capitol (even though the speaker is not in charge of security).

These claims are coinciding with regular releases of footage from the Justice Department and elsewhere of Trump supporters beating up police officers as they forced their way into the citadel of American democracy. But there is no place for evidence inside Trump's parallel reality bubble.

Like the Capitol riot, the Arizona audit was sparked directly by Trump's lies that the election was stolen from him. Saturday was the latest sign that he intends to pollute future election cycles with his dangerous grand illusion.

Trump’s aggressive efforts to overturn election results come to light .
A hand-written document released by the DOJ has the former president’s actions catching up with him.In a phone conversation with then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard P. Donoghue and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Trump suggested that the election should be declared corrupt despite there being no proof of rampant fraud. This new information was made public on Friday when the Committee on Oversight and Reform released Deputy Attorney General Donoghue’s handwritten notes documenting the conversation and helping to fill in the blanks concerning Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results.

usr: 4
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