Donald Trump was accused of “saying the quiet part out loud” on Sunday night, when he protested that Mike Pence, his former vice president, might have overturned his election loss to Joe Biden.
Although he seems to admit that Biden has won before, Trump generally insists that he won and that his opponent stole the election through voter fraud, the “big lie” that animates demonstrations like the one in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday.
On Sunday, Trump tried to take advantage of moves by a bipartisan group of senators to reform the Election Count Act of 1887, which Trump tried to use to get Pence to refuse to certify Biden’s victory.
Pence concluded that he did not have the authority to do so. On the same day, January 6, 2021, supporters whom Trump told to “fight like hell” attacked the US Capitol.
Seven people were killed and more than 100 policemen were injured. More than 700 people have been charged, 11 with seditious conspiracy. Trump and his aides are the subject of a congressional investigation.
But Trump survived impeachment when enough Senate Republicans remained loyal and he is free to run for office.
On Saturday, he promised pardons for the Jan. 6 rioters if they were re-elected and called on his supporters to protest investigations into their business and political affairs in New York and Georgia.
In a statement on Sunday, Trump claimed “fraud and many other irregularities” in the 2020 election (no large-scale fraud has been found) and asked, “How come Democrats and… Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins Are they desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?
“Actually what they are saying is that Mike Pence had the right to change the outcome, and now they want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he did not exercise that power. I could have annulled the elections!”
Collins, from Maine, was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump of the attack on Capitol Hill. Such is her control over her party that on Sunday she wouldn’t say she wouldn’t support him if he ran again. But he did tell ABC why he wanted to reform the Electoral Count Law.
“We saw, on January 6, 2021, how the ambiguities, the simple law, were exploited. We have to prevent that from happening again. I am hopeful that we can introduce a bipartisan bill that makes it very clear that the vice president’s role is simply ministerial, that he does not have the ability to stop the count.”
Dick Durbin of Illinois, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, said reforming the electoral college process had merit because Trump’s maneuvering, including the fake voter rolls, “really raises questions about the integrity of that process. It’s been 150 years since you looked at it. Now is the time.”
Pundits seized on Trump’s latest apparent blunder to uncover the truth.
Bill Kristol, a conservative writer, saying: “Speaking of saying the quiet part out loud. Trump here admits or rather boasts [about] what he wanted Mike Pence to do.”
chriskrebs, fired as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under Trump, but who pronounced the 2020 elections “the safest in the history of the United States”, saying:: “In the last 24 hours the former president: (1) issued pardons for [January 6] accused, (2) encouraged civil unrest if charged in [Georgia or New York], (3) once again confirmed that he pressured Pence to overturn a legal election.
“He is radicalizing his base to be his personal brown shirts.”
Olivia Troye, Pence’s former assistant, wrote: “Every Republican candidate and official should go on record with their answer: Do you support sedition and pardoning domestic terrorists?”
On Monday, Liz Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the House committee investigating Trump’s attempt to nullify the election, saying: “Trump uses language that he knows caused the January 6 violence; suggests he would pardon the January 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy; threatens prosecutors; and admits that he was trying to nullify the election.
“I would do it all over again if I had the chance.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism