The President hardly needed to tell his foot soldiers in conservative media and on the right what the plan was: He’s been saying it for months.
But, for good measure, he kept shouting it from the rooftops early Wednesday morning as soon as it was clear that Joe Biden still had a decent shot at winning the presidency: Counting all the ballots , he intoned in several different ways, is actually election theft!
In a speech from the White House early Wednesday, Trump lied that the election — or something, he wasn’t really clear — “was just called off.” He separately lied that he had in fact already won the contest. Then, a few hours later, he sent out the same message in tweet form:
Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
So Trump’s proxies have their marching orders: Muddy the waters, and baselessly claim that counting votes is election theft — even as several key states continue to tally a tsunami of mail-in votes, which may end up helping Biden.
“ALL THEIR BALLOTS SHOULD BE IMPOUNDED AND COUNTED BY INDEPENDENT MONITOR NOT BY CROOKED HACK POLITICIANS,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani tweeted, referring to the still-counting state of Pennsylvania.
“You cannot as a conservative look at this and not feel that the Democrats have done all they could to steal the presidency, and that the legal fight that the President’s going to wage is exactly right,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Fox News.
On "Fox & Friends," @newtgingrich does everything he can to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote and suggest Dems are working to steal the presidency. Gingrich recommends Trump demand Congress open up investigations in several states and be prepared to file lawsuits. pic.twitter.com/WcTIE38ZrK
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 4, 2020
“Now does it make sense why Democrats have ceaselessly pushed mail-in ballots since the beginning of this election?” tweeted Charlie Kirk, founder of the right-ring group Turning Point USA. “Just look at what happened in Michigan and Wisconsin overnight.”
Kirk’s implication was that counting mail-in votes is fraudulent and that those ballots should be tossed. Separately, he ominously wondered why counting mail-in ballots in massive cities — in states where pre-processing mail-in ballots is prohibited! — was taking so darn long.
Does anyone else find it strange that it’s only Democrat strongholds like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Detroit that are having massive delays counting their votes?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 4, 2020
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and husband to Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp, tweeted a photo of the so-called “Brooks Brothers Riot” of 2000, where conservative activists bullied and intimidated ballot-counters during the Florida recount.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) November 4, 2020
“The Democrats don’t want Americans to know that they were planning on STEALING this election from the beginning,” wrote Marjorie Taylor Greene, a newly elected future member of Congress who in the past has voiced support for QAnon, a conspiracy theory that asserts a cabal of child molesters — Democrats and Hollywood elite — is secretly running the world.