Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) refused to back down on his remarks calling the 2020 presidential election “fair” after former President Trump accused him of being “woke” for daring to defy his election fraud falsehoods.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Rounds said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the former president’s irate rebuke of him earlier that day after the GOP senator came out against the Big Lie of a “stolen” election.
Rounds also stood by his remarks to ABC News that the former president lost the 2020 election.
“This isn’t new information. If we’re being honest, there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have altered the results of the election,” Rounds said.
Rounds went on to point out that nearly all of his Senate Republican colleagues acknowledged Trump’s loss when they voted to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory after a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol on the day of the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rounds also noted that then-Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the Senate during the joint session of Congress certifying Biden’s win, “acted with integrity” by not challenging the results.
“It’s time for the rest of us do the same,” Rounds said.
After issuing his statement, Rounds told reporters that he did so because he felt that it was “appropriate to respond better” to Trump following a request from an aide.
Rounds’ latest remarks were issued after Trump knocked the GOP senator in a screed by accusing him of being “woke” after coming out against the former president’s bogus claims of election fraud during an interview with ABC News the day before. Rounds also wouldn’t commit to endorsing Trump if the former president were to launch another presidential run in 2024.
As part of his vengeance tour against Republican lawmakers who dared to defy his election fraud falsehoods, Trump also vowed to never endorse Rounds again.
“The only reason he did this is because he got my endorsement and easily won his state in 2020, so now he thinks he has time, and those are the only ones, the weak ones, that will break away,” Trump said.
“Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again,” Trump added.
Although he voted to certify Biden’s electoral victory last year, Rounds voted against impeaching the former president for “incitement of insurrection” in the former president’s second impeachment trial.
However, Rounds is among the handful of Republicans who refuse to boost the Big Lie of a “stolen” election.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) — who became a target of Trump after emerging as a vocal critic of the former president even before he voted to convict him following the deadly Capitol insurrection last year — came to Rounds’ defense after the former president went after him.