Trump called the 2020 election “the real insurrection” last week and described the attack on the Capitol as “a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”
Days later, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who recently announced he’s running for his eighth term in the Senate, joined Trump at a Saturday rally in Des Moines.
Back in February, Grassley called the Capitol attack “completely inexcusable” and said Trump was to blame. But he seems to have moved on.
“Anybody who’s got the approval rating of 91% of the Republicans in Iowa, you surely wouldn’t be stupid enough to turn down that help,” Grassley told Fox News.
Other Republicans have shown they’ll stick with Trump even as his statements about the riot get more and more brazen.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, refused to say on “Fox News Sunday” whether the election was stolen. Instead of answering the question, Scalise claimed states “didn’t follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president.”
The “independent state legislature doctrine” is the more respectable, legalistic way that some Republicans claim the election was stolen without having to use the words “stolen,” “rigged” or “fraud.” It’s a highly dubious constitutional theory that lets Republicans question the legality of the result without openly positing a wild conspiracy theory.
Like Grassley said, Republicans want to use Trump to excite their voters. They lack the gumption to contradict his election fraud lies or repeat them themselves, so instead, they talk about state laws or change the subject entirely.
When HuffPost pressed Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) Tuesday on whether he believed the election was stolen, he started yelling about dead bodies in Texas.
“Why won’t you focus on the fact that there are 98 dead bodies in Brooks County, Texas,” Roy said, referring to a tally of migrants who’ve died this year trying to cross through a part of the U.S. border with Mexico.
President Joe Biden, Roy said, is “causing people in my state to have to deal with dead migrants on their ranches, and you guys don’t give two shits about it at all, because you’re caught up in the bullshit of this town.”
Meanwhile, the ex-president on Wednesday released another statement decrying “massive” 2020 election fraud and attacking the work of a bipartisan congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot, an attempt to overturn the 2020 election that Trump incited by riling his supporters with lies about fraud.
“You cannot study January 6th without studying the reason it happened, November 3rd,” Trump said. “If we had an honest media this Election would have been overturned many months ago, but our media is almost as corrupt as our political system!”