A Republican senator lost favor with Donald Trump over the weekend by uttering four words hated by the former president: "The election was fair." Mike Rounds of South Dakota went on ABC News and declared that Trump's claims of a stolen election do not hold up, reports the Washington Post. “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." Trump, he said, "simply did not win the election." On Monday, Trump fired back in a statement.
"Is he crazy or just stupid?" Trump wrote. "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 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again." He called Rounds "weak and ineffective" to boot. As the Hill notes, supporting Trump's claims of a rigged election has "become something of a litmus test" for GOP lawmakers or candidates these days.
Rounds voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial last year, and he did not rule out the idea of supporting a 2024 candidacy by Trump. If the former president runs, he will "take a hard look at it," said Rounds. However, he also said Trump could be prosecuted if the Justice Department finds evidence to do so, notes Axios. The "shield of the presidency does not exist for someone who is a former president," Rounds said. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)