Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, critiqued former President Donald Trump for continuing to focus attention on the 2020 election when the GOP aims to shift its sights to the 2022 midterms.
Trump and many of his supporters continue to promote baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, claiming that the results were “rigged” in favor of President Joe Biden. These extraordinary allegations have been thoroughly litigated and entirely debunked. Election audits and recounts in key battleground states have also reaffirmed Biden’s victory.
During a Sunday interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press, Blunt, chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, was asked whether he thinks Trump actually believes the lies he and his supporters spread about the 2020 election.
“You know, I really can’t analyze whether he believes or not. I’m sure that he believes that in a fair election he couldn’t have possibly lost. And of course, he had the ability to go to court and prove whether that election was fair or not,” the GOP senator responded.
Blunt pointed out that the courts rejected Trump’s allegations. “So we move forward and we continue to move forward.”
Blunt said that Trump is “an incredibly popular figure” among Republicans, saying he’d like to see the former president “get focused on the 2022 elections.” He said “there are plenty of things for Republicans to be talking about besides the election process itself.”
“He could be incredibly helpful in 2022 if he gets focused on 2022 and the differences in the two political parties,” the Republican lawmaker added.
Republicans currently believe they are well-positioned to retake the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. However, the GOP’s internal divisions continue to cause tension within the political party. A minority of Republican lawmakers have voiced staunch opposition to the former president, particularly in the wake of the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to spread lies and misinformation about the 2020 election—claiming it was “stolen” by Biden and the Democrats. The former president has not provided evidence to substantiate the allegation. On the contrary, dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies have been rejected in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have dismissed the groundless lawsuits.
Audits and recounts in key battleground states—including in places where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have reaffirmed Biden’s win and Trump’s loss. Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of the former president’s most loyal Cabinet members, said in December that there is “no evidence” of fraud that would impact Biden’s win.
Additionally, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security described the 2020 election as the “most secure in American history.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.