President Donald Trump on Wednesday trained his fire at his own party, raging against the dying light of his presidency by lashing out at those who he felt had betrayed him.
He aimed primarily at those set to certify Trump’s loss and Biden’s victory Wednesday: The majority of Republican senators and Vice President Mike Pence.
Referring to each group at separate points during a speech in front of the White House, Trump said that objecting to Biden’s victory was the easy, logical thing to do — and that, in fact, it would take “courage” to defy Trump.
“I actually think, though, it takes more courage not to step up, and I think a lot of those people are going to find out,” Trump said after thanking each of the Republican senators who’ve said they will object to Biden’s victory. He singled out a specific congresswoman a few minutes later: “We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good. We’ve got to get rid of the Liz Cheneys of the world.”
Later, he targeted Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state of Georgia who Trump pressed on a recently recorded phone call to “find” enough votes for Trump to win. “Maybe he was with the other side,” Trump said of Raffensperger, referring to Democrats.
“I thought it was a great conversation, frankly. People loved that conversation, because it says what’s going on. These people are crooked,” Trump said.
He repeated to the crowd the plea he made on his call with Raffensperger: “They should find those votes. They should absolutely find that. Just over 11,000 votes, that’s all we need.”
Trump returned to the vice president several times during his remarks.
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing,” the President said at one point. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”
“All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify,” he added.
Pence has reportedly insisted to Trump that he has no power to do what Trump has said he wants — though Trump called the report in question, from the New York Times, “fake” shortly after its publication.
“I just spoke to Mike, I said, ‘Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing,’” Trump said.
Later in his remarks, Trump panned “weak Republicans” and said he’d be watching which members of Congress who voted to certify Biden’s election.
“If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country,” he said.