January 11, 2022
Former president Donald Trump lashed out on Monday, January 10, at Senator Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota)—calling him a “jerk,” a day after the GOP senator said on Sunday that the 2020 election was “as fair as we have seen” and dismissed Trump’s widely debunked allegations of extensive voter fraud, reports The Washington Post.
Speaking to ABC’s “This Week” on January 9, Rounds said that Trump’s claims that fraud rigged the election for Democrat Joe Biden are baseless and that conspiracy theories asserting the 2020 election was stolen from the former president are unfounded.
“We looked at over 60 different accusations made in multiple states,” Rounds said. “While 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.”
“Moving forward—and that’s the way we want to look at this—moving forward, we have to refocus once again on what it’s going to take to win the presidency,” he said.
In a statement Monday, Trump doubled down on his false allegations of voter fraud, accused Rounds of being a RINO—“Republican In Name Only—and said he would never endorse the South Dakota Republican again. Rounds doesn’t face a reelection race until 2026.
“Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump asked of Rounds. “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 five years, I will never endorse this jerk again.”
A spokesperson for Rounds didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the ABC News interview, Rounds—who voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial last year—didn’t rule out supporting him if he runs for president again in 2024, saying he would “take a hard look at it.”
Rounds also said Trump could still be prosecuted if the Justice Department were justified in doing so.
“Every single person who is accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty. We all know that. The same thing with the former president,” Rounds said. “So, if they think they have got that, they can bring the evidence forward. In my opinion, they haven’t done that yet. And it’s going to be up to them to make that case. But that shield of the presidency does not exist for someone who is a former president.”
Research contact: @washingtonpost