BOSTON (CBS) – “They’re not taking this White House,” said President Trump at his Georgia rally Monday night. “We’re going to fight like hell, I’ll tell you right now.”
And no doubt, the president is throwing everything in sight in the path of his imminent ouster, including putting his ultimate loyalist on the spot. At that event in Georgia, he renewed his call for Vice President Mike Pence to use his ceremonial role in Wednesday night’s Congressional certification of the Electoral College results to overturn the outcome, which he has no power to do.
“I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us,” said Trump. “He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through I won’t like him quite as much.”
Monday night, Kelly Loeffler, one of the two GOP senators trying to hold their Georgia seats, joined the dozen other senators already pledged to back what seem sure to be futile challenges Wednesday, a sign of how the president has turned his last-ditch effort to overturn the election outcome into a threatening loyalty test. “People will remember the people that don’t support us,” he said.
Trump has already tweet-shamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for urging his colleagues to shun the Electoral College challenges. Nonetheless, many of the Republicans backing certification note there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the voting. Even West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, who votes with Trump 94% of the time, says, “Refusing to count a state’s electoral votes in the absence of such evidence would disenfranchise millions of American voters.”
Adds another arch-conservative, Sen. Kevin Cramer/(R) North Dakota: “I don’t want to have our votes overturned by other members of Congress from other places. I don’t see in the constitution where we have that authority quite honestly.”
But the facts seem to mean little to the thousands of Trump supporters expected to protest outside the Capitol Wednesday, in what is shaping up to be the last gasp of a desperate Trump lunge for survival that has been rejected by courts, the public at large and most members of Congress.