Republican US Senator Mike Rounds from South Dakota has fired back at former President Donald Trump and rejected his claims about the outcome of the disputed 2020 presidential election, saying he “lost” the vote.
Rounds issued a fiery statement on Monday in response to harsh criticism from Trump, who asked if the South Dakota senator is “crazy or just stupid” and vowed that he would “never endorse this jerk again.”
“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the former president’s reaction. However, the facts remain the same. I stand by my statement. The former president lost the 2020 election,” Rounds said in the statement.
Rounds added that “if we’re being honest, there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have altered the results of the election.”
“As a Republican Party, our focus should be on what lies ahead, not what’s in the past. Elections are about growing support for your party, not further dividing it,” Rounds said.
“Attacking Republicans certainly isn’t going to result in a winning formula. Neither is telling citizens not to vote. If we are going to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to move forward together,” he added.
Rounds on Sunday said that he didn’t subscribe to Trump’s claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him by the powerful US deep state.
The senator said that “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.”
“The election was fair — as fair as we've seen,” he added. “We simply did not win the election as Republicans for the presidency.”
In response, Trump issued a lengthy statement on Monday. He reiterated his assertion that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread fraud and vowed to withhold his support from Rounds the next time the South Dakota senator is up for reelection in 2026.
“Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump said in the statement. “The numbers are conclusive, and the fraudulent and irregular votes are massive. 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, who will break away. Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again.”
Trump also described Rounds as a “RINO” — Republican in name only — before repeating that he will not endorse the senator again.
“The Radical Left Democrats and RINOS, like ‘Senator’ Mike Rounds, do not make it easy for our Country to succeed,” Trump said. “He is a weak and ineffective leader, and I hereby firmly pledge that he will never receive my Endorsement again!”
Trump has been casting doubt on the outcome of his loss by insisting it was the result of fraud. He has said that the 2020 presidential election was “the greatest Election Hoax in history.”
Trump’s claims have significantly delegitimatized the democratic process in the United States. A recent poll has found that at least 50 percent of Republican voters surveyed believe their vote will not be counted accurately the next time they cast a ballot.