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‘Sad and an utter scam’: Republican congressman accuses Trump of temper tantrums and conspiracy theories

‘They will raise money and gain followers by blaming everyone else,’ says Adam Kinzinger

James Crump
Sunday 27 December 2020 16:44 GMT
Donald Trump and First Lady Melania deliver pandemic Christmas address
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Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger has said Donald Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn November’s presidential election results are an “utter scam” meant to “raise money and gain followers.”

Although President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last month, Mr Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed there was widespread voter fraud and has still not conceded.

Mr Trump and his team have had more than 50 legal challenges dismissed over the last month, as he and his allies are still attempting to overturn last month’s election results. There is no evidence for the claims.

On Saturday morning, Mr Trump reiterated his baseless claims and tweeted: “The 'Justice' Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation's history, despite overwhelming evidence.

“They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in DC on January 6th.”

Replying to the post, which was labelled by Twitter as a disputed claim, Mr Kinzinger, from Illinois, wrote: “My God. Trying to burn the place down on the way out because you can’t handle losing. No evidence, nothing but your temper tantrum and crazy conspiracies. Embarrassing. #RestoreOurGOP.”

In a later tweet, the Illinois representative added: “All this talk about Jan 6th from @realDonaldTrump and other congressional grifters is simply explained: they will raise money and gain followers by blaming everyone else knowing full well they can’t do anything. It’s sad, and an utter scam. #restoreourgop.”

On 6 January Congress will meet to count the Electoral College votes to confirm Mr Biden as the next US president.

In his posts on Saturday, Mr Kinzinger appeared to be referencing reports from The New York Times earlier this month that said Mr Trump had raised around $170 million (£127m) since 3 November to help him overturn the election result. A majority of the funds were secured in the week after the election.

Since then, Mr Trump and his campaign team have repeatedly sent out emails asking for donations for an “Election Defence Fund”.

Although the campaign has claimed the donations are for the “defence fund”, the fine print of the communication suggests much of the money donated to support that effort since election day has instead paid down campaign debt and replenished the Republican National Committee.

The money has also been spent helping Save America, a new political action committee Mr Trump founded following the election, get started. Money raised by the committee is able to be used for personal expenses.

Mr Kinzinger’s criticisms of Mr Trump also came amid reports that Alabama representative Mo Brooks and incoming senator Tommy Tuberville will challenge the Electoral College votes in January.

Earlier this month, Mr Brooks announced he will object to the electors chosen for six states Mr Biden won in the election when Congress meets to confirm him as the next US president on 6 January, while Mr Tuberville has suggested that he might join the effort.

In order to force a debate and vote on an objection, a representative from both the House and the Senate need to object in writing. Even then, the motion is unlikely to make it past the Democrat-controlled House.

GOP members of Congress met privately with Mr Trump at the White House on Monday to discuss plans to object to the Electoral College results, according to The Hill.

Joining Mr Brooks at the meeting were Matt Gaetz of Florida, Georgia lawmakers Jody Hice and Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Jim Jordan of Ohio, who all tweeted about it.

Bloomberg reported that Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona were also at the meeting.

However, several high-profile Republicans and Trump allies, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Rules Committee chairman Roy Blunt, have urged representatives to not object at the vote on 6 January, warning it could harm the party politically.

Earlier this month, the US Electoral College voted for Mr Biden as the winner of the presidential election, with 306 electoral votes to Mr Trump’s 232.

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