President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted another false claim about the election after he reportedly unsettled close White House advisers by speaking to conspiratorial allies who fueled his fantasies of undoing Joe Biden’s victory.
You have made proposals, including that Trump declare martial law and repeat elections in states where he narrowly lost. seek to get Republicans in Congress to annul Biden’s victory during a session next month; and seizure machines.
At the head of the indictments were Attorney Sidney Powell, whom Trump dismissed as an election attorney last month, and Powell’s client Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor, whom Trump recently apologized for lying to FBI agents.
“People out there are talking about martial law like we’ve never done it before,” Flynn told conservative Newsmax news agency last week.
“Martial law has been instituted 64 times,” said Flynn, a retired army lieutenant general.
Powell, who was fired from the Challenge team for campaign re-election last month because her theories about voting machines used to run the post-Biden elections appeared to be too extreme even for other Trump attorneys, the White House has had since Friday visited three times.
Trump has reportedly pondered the idea of appointing her as a special adviser to investigate alleged election fraud. Powell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another person who has urged Trump to ignore the more moderate suggestions from White House attorney Pat Cipollone and other advisors is Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com.
Byrne’s admitted affair with Russian activist Maria Butina while giving information about her to the FBI plays a key role in his conspiratorial worldview.
Byrne said he was at a lengthy, sometimes controversial meeting with advisors to Trump, Powell, Flynn and Trump on Friday as they discussed the election challenge strategy.
NBC News reported that White House Chiefs of Staff Mark Meadows and Cipollone closed the meeting because it was headed in an alarming direction.
“My involvement is that I was in the room when it happened,” Byrne wrote in a tweet.
“The voices raised included my own. I can promise you that President Trump is being served terribly by his advisors. They want him to lose and lie to him. He is surrounded by mendacious mediocrity.”
Byrne later wrote, referring to Powell and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, “For the first time in my life I feel sorry for Donald Trump. He’s standing in lines to the waist. Only trust Rudy and Sidney.”
The president’s talks with Powell and the others were quickly relayed to the New York Times and other media outlets, underscoring their reports that Trump’s own advisers in the White House are concerned about the tenor of these talks.
The Times reported Saturday that Trump asked about Flynn’s proposal to introduce martial law at the meeting.
Trump called this report “fake news” in a tweet on Monday.
One of the other Trump campaign lawyers, Jenna Ellis, tweeted early Tuesday: “For those who oppose not applying the Insurrection Act (which does not apply in this context), President Trump himself believes it is is fake news that he is even considering. “
“He’s also a constitutionalist. We’re not undermining the rule of law,” Ellis wrote in her tweet, which cited proposals from some Trump supporters to enforce martial law from the president.
But Ellis’ tweet and the likes of her around the same time met criticism from Trump supporters calling for more extreme measures to undo Biden’s victory over lawsuits and effectively have Trump’s legislation pass on to Trump what they rejected to do.
“This is our problem. While we worry about following the ‘rules’, dems break all, invent new ones and get away with it all!” One person wrote in response to Ellis.
Trump repeated that frustration, attacking Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky Republican confirmed Biden defeated Trump. McConnell also tried to dissuade other lawmakers, almost certainly doomed, for Congress to cancel the election.
Trump’s personal assistant emailed Republicans in Congress Monday night a slide attributing McConnell’s own election victory to a Trump tweet and a robocall recording from the president.
“Unfortunately, Mitch forgot. He was the first off the ship!” said the slide.
Meanwhile, the president has maintained a steady pace on Twitter posts, underscoring his refusal to accept that Biden won and his baseless claim that he lost the election due to widespread electoral fraud.
“THE DEMOCRATS HAVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS BALLOTS IN THE ROCKING STATES LATE EVENING,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
“IT WAS A RIGGED CHOICE !!!”
Twitter promptly labeled Trump’s tweet with the message, “This election fraud claim is controversial.” The social media site has clapped this label repeatedly on Trump’s tweets over the past few weeks.
Trump’s ranting on Twitter about the election – and the lack of news of the rising coronavirus death toll – has led a number of observers to liken the president to King Lear, the Shakespearean character who is maddened over his perceived betrayal.
Trump and his allies have lost or withdrawn all dozen of lawsuits that sought to undo or undermine Biden’s victory when the electoral college confirmed Biden’s victory last week and a number of Republican members of Congress accepted that Trump lost.
Particularly painful for the President was that Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press that the Department of Justice, which oversees Barr, had seen no evidence of widespread electoral fraud that would result in Biden’s victory being reversed.
While Trump has no control over how judges rule, even judges he appoints, he’s Barr’s boss and the Justice Department is part of the government’s executive branch.
Barr’s deliberate refusal to support Trump’s conspiracy theories about the election was soon followed by the attorney general’s resignation, which will take effect on Wednesday.
The losses in court and from Barr as an ally ready to obey the presidential commandments have brought Trump little more than Hail Mary scenarios promoted by Powell, Flynn and Byrne.
CNBC asked White House spokesman Judd Deere, following the advice Trump received from this trio, whether the president was considering declaring martial law, as Flynn has suggested, and what Trump believes Congress will do on Jan. 6 should do. This is the day that Congress is supposed to confirm the results of the electoral college.
Deere declined to comment.
But on Monday, Trump met at the White House with Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., And around a dozen other GOP members of the House whom Brooks said were ready to question the electoral college results.
“President Trump is very supportive of our efforts,” Brooks told The Associated Press.