Former President Trump on Monday blasted out a tirade aimed at Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) after the GOP senator said during an interview that the 2020 presidential election was “fair” and that Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud are, indeed, false.
In a screed issued Monday morning, Trump accused Rounds of going “woke” because the GOP senator came out against the Big Lie of a “stolen” election.
“Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump asked, while pushing election fraud falsehoods.
“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.
The former president issued his irate rebuke of Rounds a day after the GOP senator appeared on ABC News, and said, factually, that the 2020 election was “fair” and that Trump did not win the presidency.
“While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state,” Rounds said. “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency.”
When asked whether Trump should be able to run for another term as president — despite his role in inciting the insurrection, his impeachment and the pending legal proceedings against him — Rounds said those questions were best left to the courts, but noted that Trump was no longer shielded in the same way he was while president.
“What happens with a president is that he has the shield of office, which in many cases prohibits or limits the ability of the courts to address issues surrounding that. What an impeachment does is take away that shield. President Trump was no longer president at the time that that occurred,” Rounds said. “The courts are the appropriate place where those questions should be answered.”
Rounds also wouldn’t commit to endorsing Trump if the former president were to launch another presidential run in 2024.
“I will take a hard look at it. Personally, what I have told people is, I’m going to support the Republican nominee to be president. I’m not sure that the eventual nominee has even shown up yet,” Rounds said. “There’s still — we’re two years to go, where we’re going to focus on the next election cycle.”
Although Rounds voted to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory last year after a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol during the joint session of Congress, the GOP senator voted against impeaching Trump for “incitement of insurrection” in the former president’s second impeachment trial.
However, Rounds is among the handful of Republicans who have refused to boost the former president’s election fraud falsehoods. He also did not dismiss the possibility that Trump could be prosecuted under federal law.
“If [Department of Justice prosecutors] think they have got that, they can bring the evidence forward. In my opinion, they haven’t done that yet,” Rounds said.
Rounds is just the latest GOP lawmaker to earn Trump’s ire. The former president has made a practice of endorsing challengers to those who dare to buck his baseless claims of widespread election fraud.