US President Donald Trump has vowed to take revenge against congressional Republicans he deems to be disloyal for refusing to back his allegations of election fraud.
In blistering remarks posted on Twitter, Trump warned Republican senators that he would never forget their lack of support as he continues to fight the outcome of the November 3 election. That threat is a potential concern for Republicans up for reelection in 2022.
“I saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election,” Trump tweeted Thursday. "Now they (almost all) sit back and watch me fight against a crooked and vicious foe, the Radical Left Democrats. I will NEVER FORGET!”
I saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election. Now they (almost all) sit back and watch me fight against a crooked and vicious foe, the Radical Left Democrats. I will NEVER FORGET!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2020
Trump has been furious with Senate Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have acknowledged that President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election. A handful of GOP senators have rallied behind Trump’s allegations.
After weeks of foot-dragging, McConnell finally acknowledged that Biden had won the presidency during a floor speech this month.
“Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,” the Senate leader said. “But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20. The Electoral College has spoken.”
Trump, however, has refused to concede the election to Biden, who bested him in both the popular and electoral vote by wide margins. He has repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged against him and mounted multiple legal challenges to overturn the results. A majority of those lawsuits were dismissed.
Some GOP senators have promised to challenge the congressional count of the electoral votes, slated to take place in January.
Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, said on Monday that the expected GOP challenge to the election would fail in the Senate. “I just don't think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be,” Thune told CNN.
Trump hit back on Twitter, describing Thune as “Mitch's boy” and a “RINO [Republican in Name Only].”
“Republicans in the Senate so quickly forget,” the president wrote. “Right now they would be down 8 seats without my backing them in the last Election. RINO John Thune, 'Mitch's boy', should just let it play out. South Dakota doesn't like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!”
A number of Republicans in the House of Representatives have also said they intended to challenge the electoral vote next month. A representative, however, must be joined by a US senator in order to formally mount a challenge, a prospect that remains less than clear at this juncture.
Trump continues to maintain a strong hold on his Republican base, a large segment of the House delegation who owe their seats to his base and on influential members of the Senate. The president and his loyalists are hoping to use that influence to punish apostasy in the next primaries.