Donald Trump on Saturday night managed to come up with a lie that may be even more absurd than the idea that he actually won an election he lost by an Electoral College margin of over 70, and a popular vote margin of over seven million.
“We did win. We did win,” Trump said during his rally in Washington Township, Michigan. “And you know, if we didn’t, I’d be the first person to stand up and say we didn’t.”
Trump didn’t win the election, but the delusion that he did was the theme of a speech that last nearly two hours. The speech made clear that in the 17 months since the 2020 election the former president has deluded himself not only into believing that the election was fraudulent (it was not), but that he actually won it in a landslide, and that re-litigating what happened two Novembers ago is the most important issue facing the nation ahead of both the 2020 midterms and the 2024 presidential election.
Trump once again hinted that he plans to be on the ballot for the latter. “I ran twice, we won twice, and we did much better the second time than the first,” he said. “Now, we may have to do it again.”
Trump’s obsession with the 2020 election took many forms. He at one point implied that Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO Trump says “used to come kiss my ass at the White House” (no lies detected there), should be in jail for giving hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund election administration. Trump drove his point home by lamenting that former Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was convicted of lying to the FBI about receiving illegal campaign cash from a foreign billionaire.
“A congressman is being put in jail over a few dollars that he possibly didn’t even know anything about, he’s going to jail,” Trump said. “And yet this guy, he gives $417 million to all these states. It’s passed around like pizza at a party, and nothing happens to him.”
Trump: In a great state Nebraska, a congressman is being put in jail over a few dollars that he possibly didn’t know anything about. A few thousand dollars… I don’t know him well.. it was over a very small amount… over a number of thousands, like 20 thousand… pic.twitter.com/Rgqx26kvFm
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 3, 2022
Trump spent plenty of time on Saturday complaining about crime, but only the “bloodthirsty criminals and vicious thugs” he says have overrun cities controlled by Democrats. Republican politicians lying to federal law enforcement about financial crimes doesn’t qualify, apparently.
Trump later imagined a scenario in which he might concede to Biden, and how it would have been easy if he’d have actually lost the election. He turned this bit into claiming the media edited the tape of him calling on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails prior to the 2016 election. The tape is pretty clear, though — so clear, in fact, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found that Russia began attacking Clinton’s accounts “on or around” the same day Trump made the public call for the nation to find her emails.
The clip has been in the news recently because Trump last month once again called on Russia to help him politically, this time by asking Vladimir Putin, who is currently waging war on an American ally, to give up dirt on the Biden family.
Trump starts to do an impression of what his concession speech to Biden would be like and stops short because he claims the media will edit it like the “Russia are you listening thing” pic.twitter.com/0nMsIj1iZq
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 3, 2022
Trump covered a range of topics on Saturday night — from the border, to gas prices, to the Green New Deal, to Joe Biden — but the former president always found a way to ramble his way back to the 2020 election. He talked incessantly about “massive and overwhelming voter fraud” and the “crime of the century.” He bashed the idea of mail-in voting and how it took more than a single day to determine the winner in 2020. He claimed that “thousands and thousands of times” people went to the polls to vote for Trump but were denied the opportunity to do so, prompting them to get angry and cry. “We’re a third-world country,” Trump said, referring to the nonexistent corruption within the nation’s election systems.
None of this is true, of course, but reality is carrying less and less significance as Trump works to destroy the careers of anyone who doesn’t buy into the Big Lie. It’s why he was in Michigan on Saturday, promoting candidates who have been telling the same lies he has in an effort to convince people to support the end of democracy in the United States. “We won big,” Trump said toward the end of his speech, “and we won big in Michigan, your state.”
Trump lost Michigan by over 150,000 votes. He could lose it again in 2024, but if he’s able to get his cronies elected to positions that manage the state’s election systems, it might not matter. “You elected a president twice,” Trump said, “and we’re going to possibly have to do it a third time.”