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Monday, March 4, 2024

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Republican support for Trump cracks

The party oscillates between distancing itself and rejecting the president’s false accusations of electoral fraud

The diatribe delivered this Thursday by the President of the United States, Donald Trump – in which, once again, he again denounced electoral fraud without evidence to support his accusations or a court to endorse them -, has supposed a break between the President and his inner circle of advisers with the Republican Party, whose leadership is scrupulously silent, and with its communication arm, the conservative Fox News channel, which could even become, against all expectations, the first medium to confirm victory from his rival, Democrat Joe Biden.

Reactions to the appearance have once again highlighted the differences that have always separated Trump from the Republican party he claims to represent. Without going any further, on Wednesday’s election night, after Trump declared his electoral victory in full recount, the Republican leader in the Senate and, for all intents and purposes, the party’s chief executive outside the White House, Mitch McConnell , left no doubt about his position: “Saying that you have won the elections and waiting for the count to finish are two different things.”

Although the vice president and unofficial spokesman for the Republican party in the Administration, Mike Pence, has been trying to recontextualize the president’s statements in recent days as an effort to protect “the integrity of the vote,” Trump’s family has spent the last hours condemning without palliative what they understand as a complete lack of support from the Republican caucus.

“The complete absence of shares from virtually all ‘Republican presidentials by 2024’ is quite staggering,” the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. wrote Thursday afternoon. “They have the perfect platform to show they are willing and capable. to fight, but instead they cower before the mob of the media, “he added.

McConnell has not yet responded to Thursday’s appearance, but several Republican senators have responded for him. “We have to respect the process and make sure that all the deposited ballots are counted according to the laws of the state. It’s that simple,” said Republican Senator Rob Portman late Thursday.

The Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, also expressed themselves in the same terms – “Taking days to count votes is not a fraud,” he said on his Twitter account – and the former governor of New Jersey and former Trump adviser, Chris Christie. “As a former lawyer that I am, there is no basis for the argument I have heard tonight. It is that there is not and I completely disagree with what I have heard,” he added.

The strongest, however, have been Republican representatives from Democratic-majority cities, notably Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. “Enough. Period. Enough. We cannot undermine our own electoral integrity with comments like these, which can incite violence,” he maintained. “This is becoming crazy,” he stressed.

The representative for Virginia (also in favor of Biden), Denver Riggleman, joined the words of his partner with an even more energetic message. “I have taken the oath to defend this country and fight for the democratic ideals it represents. Let’s count all the votes, yes, but enough to say nonsense, Mr. President, and respect the democratic process that really makes America great,” he wrote on Twitter .

Even some of the ultra-conservative section of the party has come out against Trump, such as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. “If the president loses, then he loses. We can never forget that here he wins with votes, not with bullets.”

Trump has not only starred in a disagreement with the Republicans, but with the medium that until now has been his faithful squire, Fox News, which on election night surprised locals and strangers by becoming the first – and, for several hours, the only – means of awarding victory in the state of Arizona to Joe Biden, a blow to the table of the Democratic candidate for the White House in a traditionally Republican fiefdom.

Fox has not changed his position one iota despite pressure from the Trump family to rectify their estimate of him. According to sources from the Administration to the magazine ‘Vanity Fair’ and to the CNN network, Trump himself called the owner of the chain, Rupert Murdoch, to demand that they immediately retract and return to the state of the game. Murdoch declined to do so, and Fox News chief electoral analyst Arnon Mishkin has insisted for the past two days that his forecasts are correct, and that Biden has won the state.

The network now gives Biden a total of 264 electoral votes, just six from the final victory. Other high-profile media, such as CNN, are still reluctant to grant Arizona to the vice president, so Fox News, paradoxically and in a scenario unthinkable two years ago, during the height of the president’s term, could become the first medium to certify his defeat.

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