BREAKING NEWS : Coroner: Two teens shot to death inside Cumberland Ave garage Full Story

'Sore loser' Trump reaps fruits of election lies in Arizona

'Sore loser' Trump reaps fruits of election lies in Arizona

Posted: Jul 25, 2021 9:31 AM
Updated: Jul 25, 2021 9:31 AM

Ex-President Donald Trump's big lie came full circle on Saturday as he traveled to Arizona to dangerously seize on the false fruits of a sham election "audit" precipitated by his own discredited claims the 2020 election was stolen.

On a late afternoon of delusion and incitement, Trump offered a preview of how he could exploit grievances of millions of supporters who buy his lies about voter fraud to power a possible new presidential run in the future.

His speech underscored the nation's split reality over last November's election — the real one in which he lost and President Joe Biden was fairly elected and the nonsensical but powerful one that he sells to his supporters.

The now self-sustaining myth that Trump was improperly ejected from power is at the center of a belief system that the ex-President is imposing on his party and is making a litmus test for 2022 GOP candidates seeking his endorsement, including in the Arizona Senate race, which is one of the GOP's top targets as they try to take back the Senate.

In his latest return to campaign speeches, Trump showered praise on Arizona state senators who organized the non-scientific audit. He insisted he wasn't involved, trying to create a false impression of independence and legitimacy in a politicized process inspired by his lies.

"There is no way they win elections without cheating," the former President said of Democrats, at a packed event entitled -- with Orwellian overtones -- the "Rally to Protect Our Elections." The one-term, twice-impeached ex-commander-in-chief related prolonged and false stories of election fraud across the country. He also claimed that many more Republican-run states were seeking their own audits of election results, even though multiple judges have ruled that there was no election fraud.

Trump's appearance was full of the usual bluster, boasting, self-pity and too many falsehoods to count, and was in many ways a sideshow compared to the critical current challenges — including a pandemic that is quickly worsening again because millions of Republican voters will not get vaccinated.

But his appearance was also a warning of one of the most dangerous problems haunting a divided nation's deeply polarized politics — the fact that lies and conspiracy theories now represent sincerely held views of a large minority of the electorate thanks to Trump's mastery of demagoguery and the endless flattery of a compliant right-wing propaganda machine.

Trump reinvents the big lie

The ex-President did tell his supporters to get the vaccine on Saturday — but in such a way that offered an out for those who have bought into conservative misinformation about it -- and in an attack on Biden, he further politicized the issue. Yet again, Trump showed that he was not willing to diminish his own political capital for the greater good.

"I recommend that you take it, but I also believe in your freedoms 100%," Trump said, before adding, "because they don't trust the President, people aren't doing it."

On the vaccine, and many other issues, Trump is seeking to do nothing less than create a new truth.

"The big lie they call it, you know what is the big lie? The opposite was the big lie. The election was the big lie," Trump said, in a concise example of his malevolent method as he seeks to reshape Republican orthodoxy.

"Does everybody here understand that the 2020 election was a total disgrace?" the ex-President said at the rally, inciting a frenzied chant of "Trump, Trump, Trump," that demonstrated how effective his wholesale lying has become.

Trump also lashed out at Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to buy into his lies and conspiracies about the last election. He also attacked former Vice President Mike Pence for fulfilling his constitutional duty to oversee the certification of the election in Congress and former Attorney General William Barr for saying there was no election fraud.

Among unanswered questions is whether Trump's campaign of falsehoods and refusal to accept the result in 2020 — which is rife among his base voters — will further alienate the suburban and more moderate voters who were crucial in his defeat last November. The coming months and years will also show whether Republican voters — especially when the next presidential primary race heats up — want to spend the entire campaign going over lies about the last election or will seek new candidates who might share Trump's populist extremism but offer a path to the future.

But there is no doubt about the power of Trump in fast forming primary races ahead of the midterm elections next year. A stream of pro-Trump candidates has made the journey to Arizona to curry favor with the ex-President by highlighting the unofficial audit that has so far shown no evidence of voter fraud but has twisted the facts about the election.

In a briefing earlier this month, about the "audit" of votes in Maricopa County -- the crucial battleground where Biden outpaced Trump to win the state and its 11 electoral votes -- the firm running the process expressed multiple untruths.

Doug Logan, the chief executive of Cyber Ninjas, a firm with no experience in election audits, claimed that the audit uncovered 74,243 mail-in ballots with no clear record of them being sent.

The claim was quickly picked up by Trump and some of his supporters as the narrative of "magically appearing ballots" quickly gained steam among "Make America Great Again" supporters online.

A CNN fact check found that there is no evidence of either fraud or significant problems with these ballots. There are complicated reasons why it is not unusual that Maricopa County's submitted ballot lists includes a number of voters that do not match up with requested-ballots list. Logan's comments appear to be informed by misunderstandings, deliberate or not, about the county's voting procedures. The situation has been explained by several election experts, including Garrett Archer, an election analyst at ABC15 television in Phoenix and a former official in the Arizona secretary of state's office, who is regarded as an expert on the state's election procedures.

What is going on is 'dangerous'

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, called Trump a "sore loser" on CNN on Friday. On Saturday, she argued that the whole "audit" was designed to feed Trump's "ego, to placate his hurt feelings because he lost the election. And he's grifting a lot of people to pay for it instead of paying it for himself."

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump's political action committee had raised about $75 million so far this year but had not sent any money to the Arizona ballot review.

When CNN's Pamela Brown told Hobbs that the ex-President's crowd was chanting "lock her up" in reference to her at the Saturday rally, Hobbs warned that he was playing with political fire.

"What's going on right now really is dangerous and the former President is continuing to incite his followers to action that could end up with another insurrection and needs to be held to account for that," said Hobbs, who is running for governor in 2022.

It doesn't actually matter to Trump or his supporters if the allegations made in the audit are true or not. Trump's list of supposed irregularities that he spouted in a speech, which was often incoherent, made very little sense. But the conspiracies help fuel the massive nationwide lie that Trump created in order to avoid admitting he lost the election. Any morsel of information, no matter how quickly it is discredited, further expands the big lie. And as months pass, those who buy in travel so far from the truth that facts become meaningless.

The impact on American democracy, however, of millions of Americans losing faith in the election system — which is actually remarkably free of fraud — is deeply corrosive.

Trump's perpetuation of his own election fraud is taking place alongside a broader Republican effort to not just whitewash the behavior of the ex-President and his supporters during the Capitol insurrection on January 6 but to write an alternative history of events to cover up the truth.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has anchored the GOP's bid to win back the House next year on Trump, and Republicans are arguing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for what happened, apparently because she did not beef up security at the Capitol (even though the speaker is not in charge of security).

These claims are coinciding with regular releases of footage from the Justice Department and elsewhere of Trump supporters beating up police officers as they forced their way into the citadel of American democracy. But there is no place for evidence inside Trump's parallel reality bubble.

Like the Capitol riot, the Arizona audit was sparked directly by Trump's lies that the election was stolen from him. Saturday was the latest sign that he intends to pollute future election cycles with his dangerous grand illusion.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1731003

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1803711843
Cuyahoga1698662655
Hamilton1144371544
Montgomery810251405
Summit726231210
Lucas636141027
Butler57225814
Stark543091183
Lorain42754645
Warren36183417
Mahoning36035788
Lake32696501
Clermont31523369
Trumbull27614620
Delaware27394185
Licking26829344
Medina26290353
Fairfield24812287
Greene24540373
Clark22327390
Portage21504283
Richland21257342
Wood20300248
Allen19119326
Miami17456352
Columbiana17014335
Muskingum16873207
Wayne15873307
Tuscarawas14579362
Marion13440196
Ashtabula12927237
Erie12790199
Scioto12556188
Pickaway12308155
Ross11780226
Hancock11623175
Geauga11042179
Lawrence10698172
Belmont10509234
Huron9867159
Jefferson9687228
Union963775
Sandusky9428166
Seneca8993161
Knox8869176
Washington8714159
Darke8435181
Athens841897
Ashland8102152
Auglaize8018120
Shelby7551135
Defiance7418117
Crawford7356150
Fulton7262113
Brown7217116
Logan7061111
Guernsey700586
Mercer6959100
Highland6807120
Clinton6547106
Williams653899
Madison652590
Preble6334140
Putnam6288122
Champaign585187
Jackson584597
Perry570579
Ottawa5689102
Coshocton5688108
Morrow521765
Fayette497272
Hardin4947100
Gallia474278
Van Wert469395
Pike467678
Adams4619110
Henry439280
Hocking412493
Holmes4035141
Wyandot379275
Carroll371178
Paulding326351
Meigs307561
Monroe236861
Noble221549
Morgan219039
Harrison215253
Vinton189138
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 11°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 10°
Decatur
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 10°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 11°
Colder air continues to filter into the region, and we will experience the coldest day since February 2021.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events