President Donald Trump is still eager to push the message that he won the election even though there’s no evidence to support his baseless claims of election fraud. He’s so intent on continuing the efforts that at a Friday meeting he discussed naming attorney Sidney Powell as a special counsel to investigate the presidential election. Powell is the attorney who spewed crackpot conspiracy theories that there was a plot by Venezuela to rig voting machines used in the presidential election. Most people at the meeting opposed the plan, which was first reported by the New York Times but later confirmed by others. It isn’t clear whether Trump will pursue it anyway.
The meeting where the issue of appointing Powell was raised included lots of yelling and screaming as some were accused of not doing enough to try to overturn the election results. The meeting comes amid concern by senior White House officials that Trump is increasingly listening to his most fringe advisers and might abuse his power as president in the last weeks in office. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, for example, has publicly floated the idea of imposing martial law and Trump asked about the idea at the Friday meeting. The White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, reportedly strongly pushed back against the ideas raised by Trump. When the president is “retweeting threats of putting politicians in jail, and spends his time talking to conspiracy nuts who openly say declaring martial law is no big deal, it’s impossible not to start getting anxious about how this ends,” a senior administration official tells Axios.
As Trump spends more time considering conspiracy theories, Rudy Giuliani has been exploring options to seize voting machines. He even called Ken Cuccinelli, the second in command at the Department of Homeland Security, to ask about whether the department could seize voting machines. Cuccinelli said Homeland Security does not have that authority.
On Saturday, Trump called for a “wild” and “big” protest in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, the date Congress is scheduled to meet to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,” Trump tweeted. He went on to call on Republicans to not recognize Biden as the winner. “Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen,” Trump tweeted. “Don’t be weak fools!”
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