WASHINGTON - Former U.S. President Donald Trump lost his reelection contest to Democrat Joe Biden six months ago Monday, but he is still claiming he was cheated out of another term in the White House, leaving some Republican officials at odds with one another and Trump over the legitimacy of Biden's victory.
"The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!" Trump said in a new statement.
The former president's commentary from his Atlantic Ocean mansion in Florida appropriated the "big lie" sentiment his political opponents have used to describe his claims that he won. Trump decisively lost the election by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College, which determines the outcome of U.S. presidential contests, and by more than 7 million votes in the popular vote count.
After Trump made his claim Monday, one of his staunchest critics among Republicans, Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said on Twitter, "The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump for inciting a mob of hundreds of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol January 6 as Congress was certifying Biden's Electoral College victory. Five people were left dead.
Trump has vowed to endorse any Republican candidate who runs against Cheney in next year's congressional elections. He has also voiced support for other Republican candidates who are opposing the 10 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him in the waning days of his administration or the seven senators who voted to convict him in the Senate impeachment trial in which Trump was acquitted.
Shortly after Cheney's vote to impeach Trump, Wyoming Republicans voted to censure her, and several vocal Trump allies in the House called for her to be ousted as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. But other Republicans supported her, and she retained the position.
In Utah, another Western state, some Republicans on Saturday booed one of the state's U.S. senators, Mitt Romney, as he spoke at a party convention. Romney was the party's losing 2012 presidential nominee and voted to convict Trump at both of his Senate impeachment trials. An attempt to censure him failed.
Other Republicans have muted their criticism of Trump's continued unfounded claims that he was cheated out of reelection, and several have traveled to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida mansion, to visit with him and talk politics.
Trump lost dozens of court challenges to the election outcome but never formally conceded defeat to Biden, leaving Washington just hours ahead of Biden's January 20 inauguration.
Trump has suggested he might run again for the presidency in 2024 but has also said he would not decide until after the November 2022 congressional elections, in which control of both houses of Congress will be at stake. Democrats currently narrowly control both chambers.