Something you may have heard once or twice over the past 15 months is that Donald Trump thinks he won the last presidential election. “This is a fraud on the American public,” he declared in the wee hours of November 4, 2020, after his lead in various battleground states began to shrink. “This is an embarrassment to this country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.” This, of course, was a bald-faced lie. At that point, Trump hadn’t won anything because not all of the votes had been counted; later, when they were, it was clear that Joe Biden had prevailed.
However, that inconvenient fact obviously didn’t stop Trump from attempting to prevent Biden from moving into the White House, a campaign that included pressuring the Justice Department to investigate an insane claim that Italian satellites changed Trump ballots to Biden ones, exploring seizing voting machines, and inciting an insurrection that left five people dead. Nor has he been deterred by the fact that there continues to be not one shred of evidence that the 2020 election was plagued by voter fraud. Even the reality that, on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden became president, and has been doing the job ever since, has failed to dissuade him.
If anything, Trump has only gone further off the deep end, ranting about the election having been stolen, a place of madness that led him, on Tuesday, to demand that his former vice president be investigated for refusing to stop the certification of Biden’s win.
In a characteristically febrile, grammatically offensive statement disseminated on Twitter, Trump once again claimed that Mike Pence “had this right” to change the outcome of the election, and that “the Unselect Committee should be investigating…why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval.” (As an aside, he boldly asserted that if Nancy Pelosi had “taken my recommendation and substantially increased security” at the Capitol, “there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it,” which is extremely rich given that the man insisted to his millions of supporters that the election had been stolen from him, held a “Stop the Steal” rally just before the certification of the Electoral College votes, and told them to “fight” on his behalf.)
Trump, of course, has been laying into Pence for over a year now, though this is the first time he’s (publicly) appeared to suggest that perhaps his V.P. was in cahoots to deprive him of a second term, despite the fact that Pence…was on Trump’s 2020 ticket. In the run-up to January 6, the ex-president tried various tactics to convince Pence to stop Biden’s win from going through, from reportedly calling the evangelical Christian a “pussy” to threatening to end their friendship. Later, at the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, Trump told the crowd, “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so,” and, “All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people,” and “Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be [a] sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution,” and finally, “Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.” In case it was unclear exactly what Trump wanted out of the guy.
Almost a year later after Pence certified Biden’s win, Trump told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that his former V.P. deserved the chants on January 6 calling for his hanging.
Which makes it extra wild that the worst thing Pence has to say about Trump is that they haven’t really been in touch for the last few months but that when they “sat down in the days that followed [January 6], we spoke about it, talked through it, [and] we parted amicably.”
On the other hand!
It’s possible the former V.P. is simply letting people from his inner circle do the talking for him. Per CNN: