In the aftermath of a disputed presidential election, some GOP lawmakers have broken with President Donald Trump’s challenges while affirming a media-declared victory for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Among those Republicans is Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who has criticized Trump’s position and could face opposition from the president ahead of his bid for re-election to the Senate in two years, as reported by the Washington Times.
“Not going anywhere”
Trump’s remarks on the subject seemed to indicate he would support a primary challenger in Thune’s upcoming campaign.
At the heart of the dispute is a plan by some Republican lawmakers to formally object to the slate of electors from certain swing states during a joint session of Congress early next month.
If at least one member of the House and one senator object to the ratification of the electoral vote, both chambers would be forced to separately debate the objections and hold a vote on whether or not to accept the disputed tally.
For his part, Thune has dismissed the effort as “not going anywhere.”
In fact, he told reporters on Monday that if such an objection arose in his chamber, it would “go down like a shot dog.”
“Just let it play out”
According to the senator’s argument, it makes little sense “to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be,” clearly implying that Trump has no viable path to claiming a consecutive second term in the White House.
The president was apparently paying attention and shot back with a tweet putting Thune on notice.
On Tuesday, Trump wrote: “Republicans in the Senate so quickly forget. Right now they would be down 8 seats without my backing them in the last Election. [Republican In Name Only] 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!!!”
Two days later, he reiterated his vow without specifically mentioning Thune by name.
“I saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election,” he tweeted on 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!”