In his remarks on 5 June, the former president called the 2020 presidential election, which he definitively lost to Joe Biden, “by far the most corrupt election in the history of our country” and a “hoax,” amplified the baseless conspiracy that “they” used “mail-in ballots to steal an election,” and claimed that an election that saw record turnout was “a third-world country election like we’ve never seen before.”
He said that the 2020 election “will go down as the crime of the century” and praised a partisan vote “audit” in Arizona where Republican state lawmakers have sought to reject ballots from the largest county in the state.
Mr Trump spent months undermining vote-by-mail efforts before any ballots were cast before 2020 elections, fuelling a narrative suggesting that his loss would prove that the results were manipulated. That myth also propelled a pro-Trump riot to attack the US Capitol on 6 January to overturn the results as members of Congress convened to certify them.
His own campaign and attorneys, an elections commission that he disbanded, the Justice Department, FBI and elections officials from both parties across the US have not produced any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“I am not the one trying to undermine American Democracy, I’m the one trying to save it. Please remember that,” Mr Trump said in his speech on Saturday.
“We all know what happened with the election,” he added. “And we can never, ever let that happen again, and we’re going to go forward and we’re going to continue to look and things are being found that is not even believable.”
He said that he loves “what they’ve done” in Texas and Florida, among states that have passed restrictive elections bills that have sought to undermine ballot access and make it harder to vote.
Voting rights advocates and civil rights groups have argued that the former president’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him, and his legal team’s attempts to overturn millions of Americans’ votes, has emboldened Republican state lawmakers across the US to do what Mr Trump and his attorneys could not.
His ongoing disinformation campaign to undermine the 2020 results also follows a report that his former chief of staff Mark Meadows pressured the Justice Department in Mr Trump’s final weeks in office to investigate bogus election conspiracies, according to CNN and The New York Times.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies