President Donald J. Trump gave his full support to Arizona conservatives, who are still investigating the handling of the 2020 presidential election, and he expressed confidence that state Attorney General Mark Brnovich would take action on the findings of the Maricopa County audit and other investigations Saturday at his Canyon Moon Ranch rally in Florence, Arizona.
The president said he was counting on state Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate how the 2020 presidential election was handled in Arizona.
“We’re now anxiously awaiting for Attorney General Brnovich, and hopefully, he’s going to do his job,” he said.
“I think he’s a good man. I think he’s going to do his job,” he said.
“We’ll find out. I think it’s a very easy job to do because anybody with any common sense is going to look, and they’re going to take a look, and they’re going to say this was a total fraud,” he said. “All we want him to do is his job. Well, he’s got to move quickly.”
This week, President Biden, VP Harris, & U.S. Senate Democrats are again renewing their assault on states’ sovereignty and abilities to set & conduct their own elections.
States should never abdicate their constitutional powers and responsibilities. https://t.co/zz8PZFRfqX
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) January 12, 2022
Trump also called on the Arizona legislature to investigate the 2020 presidential election.
“We’ve all been waiting a long time,” he said. “I understand what you’re saying, but to take appropriate action, along with the state legislature, regarding what we call, ‘The Big Steal.’”
Brnovich is running for the GOP nomination for Senate, but he did not get the Trump endorsement.
Trump used the rally to promote many of his endorsed candidates. Still, he did not take the opportunity to endorse a Republican candidate for Senate, including the president of the Thiel Foundation, Blake Masters, who held a fundraiser at his Mar-A-Lago Palm Beach, Florida, resort club that the president attended.
Rather than giving the nod to Masters or Brnovich, or the other two major candidates, retired Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, solar businessman Jim Lamon, Trump continues to watch to see how that fight will play out.
He did knock the Democratic incumbent, retired astronaut and Navy captain Sen. Mark E. Kelly. “We’re going to fire the radical Democrat Senator, the ‘do-nothing-on-borders Mark Kelly.’”
Republican state Rep. Jake Hoffman, who for many years was a GOP operative and strategist before his 2020 election, told The Arizona Sun Times whole state was buzzing about Trump’s arrival for a “Save America” rally.
“President Trump was at his absolute best in front of tens of thousands of patriots tonight in Arizona,” he said to The Arizona Sun Times.
“The crowd was electric to hear him speak, and there was a clear 2024 feeling in the air,” he said. “Arizona is clearly ready for Trump to send Biden to the nursing home where he belongs and Make America Great Again.”
Trump spoke for roughly two hours, sticking primarily to his script but still delighting the crowd with his asides. Throughout the speech, he taunted the media, whose reporters and photographers were corralled in a pen in the middle of the crowd.
Whenever he called out the media, it seemed to give him extra pleasure that they had no choice but to cover his rally one year after he left office.
Trump asked rhetorically why the mainstream media outlets did not investigate the irregularities in the 2020 election and instead called his efforts to challenge the reported results as “The Big Lie.”
The term “The Big Lie” is an allusion Nazism because it refers to a tactic practiced by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and first spelled out in Adolf Hitler’s 1925 book “Mein Kampf.” Hitler wrote then that the tactic was to tell a colossal lie so out of proportion that no one could believe you made it up. Then, the next step was to repeat the lie repeatedly until it became normalized.
“The lamestream media refused, and they refused, and they refused,” he said.
“They refused to talk about it. They continue to refuse to talk about it. They say: ‘Well, it is unsubstantiated and ‘The Big Lie,’” he said. “The Big Lie is a lot of BS; that’s what it is because they’re in the pocket of the radical left Democrats, the same people who are destroying our country – and they’re destroying our country.”
Trump said President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken over the government and has run the country into the ground.
“We’ve had more problems, we’ve had more destruction, I think than five Presidents put together in the last year,” he said. “On top of it all, people are being persecuted for using freedom of speech. You talk about the corrupt election, but more and more information is coming out, and it’s coming out far worse than anyone ever thought it could be.”
The president said he was pleased with the job the former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and Arizona Republican, Rep. Andrew S. “Andy” Biggs, did challenging the Arizona 2020 results on Capitol Hill when the Maricopa County officials testified.
“Andy Biggs did a great job,” he said. “They read this statement, which was nonsense, and then he asked them a couple of basic questions, and they looked like a bunch of real dumb unpatriotic, crooked people.”
Biggs did not let the Maricopa County officials off the hook for the irregularities on their watch.
“He asked them why had they deleted much of the data, which was under subpoena. That’s not a bad question,” he said.
“They couldn’t answer why,” Trump said. “Why? Why did you delete everything? Why did you delete so much?”
The president said he blames the doorstep of Republican Gov. Douglas A. Ducey Jr.
“There can only be one reason,” he said. “Your RINO, Republican, governor, Doug Ducey, and a group of other RINO’s that you have, they did nothing to help our country or our state.”
Trump: Other states need to have their 2020 results investigated
“Supposedly, it’s on tape. It’s on camera. And we’ll see what happens, but they have illegal ballot harvesting at a level that nobody could even believe possible,” he said. “We’re going to see what happens in Georgia, but it’s far more than necessary to win the state of Georgia. Just like this is far more than necessary to win the state of Arizona.”
In other states, officials at the local level are waking up to the problems in their states in 2020, he said.
“Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and other states, many things are likewise happening, and they’re happening fast,” he said.
“People are very angry, and I’m talking about political people – politicians,” he said.
“They got duped, and now they’re finding out what happened,” Trump said. “The people have to be free to find the answers to a very corrupt election, and if not, they will never trust again, and our country will be absolutely decimated.”
Trump said he is worried about members of his own party who have become part of the problem.
“Weak Republicans who fail to recognize election fraud and frankly, open borders, and all of the other things they are doing now to destroy our country,” he said.
“They’re going to be losing elections at a level that nobody thought possible because the people of our country understand, in many cases, much better than the politics,” he said.
Trump platforms his endorsed gubernatorial Kari Lake
Trump called up the leading candidate for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination, former TV news anchor Kari Lake – whom he endorsed.
In yet another example of Trump’s hold on the Republican Party, state Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced shortly before the rally; she would drop out of the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
“I am withdrawing from the governor’s race to stand for re-election as Treasurer. There is additional work to be done as the Treasurer of Arizona,” she said. “As I transition my campaign, I want to thank my supporters and invite them to join me in my re-election efforts for Arizona Treasurer.”
The president was full of praise for Lake, who has also impressed the operatives at the Republican Governors Association in Washington.
“We’re going to elect an incredible person, Kari Lake,” he said.
“I tell you, she is incredible,” he said. “She’s been with us from the beginning on the election fraud and everything else, and she’s going to be your next governor.”
Trump called up Lake so that she could address the rally.
“Where is Kari? Where is she? Kari, come up here. Kari, come up here. Let’s go. Come on up. Come on up. Proud of her. Get out and vote. Make sure it’s not a rigged vote, please. Come, please,” he said.
Lake lowered the microphone and turned, so she was at once addressing the crowd and the president standing behind her to the left.
“Oh my gosh. Is this the greatest President we’ve ever known? Arizona loves you, and I predict at the end of 2028, when you leave office, after your second term, the whole country’s going to love you,” she said.
“They’re going to figure it out,” she said. “They’re just afraid of him because he’s bringing back the principles that this country was founded upon, and if our Founding Fathers were here today, they would be Trump Republicans,” she said.
“I can see it right now, Mr. President, George Washington crossing the Delaware with a Make America Great flag at the back of the boat,” said Lake. “Teddy Roosevelt would have his Make America Great cowboy hat – We love you, we are so thankful that you’re here in Arizona, and when I’m elected, we will finish your big, beautiful wall.”
When Lake was finished, the crowd chanted: “Kari! Kari! Kari!” as she embraced Trump.
.@KariLake: "When I am your governor, there will be no mandates and no lockdowns. Actually, let me, let me revise that just a little bit. I want to lock somebody down. And it's that liar, Dr. Fauci."
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 16, 2022
“What a job she’s done as a politician,” the president said. “For 22 years, she was your anchor. She was your highest rated anchor, by the way, and people loved her, and she said she just couldn’t stand watching it anymore – and thank you very much, Kari. Great job.”
Russ T. Clark, the host of Yuma’s KBLU morning show, told The Arizona Sun Times local law enforcement officers cut off the crowd at roughly 45,000 Trump supporters, at or around 7 p.m. local time, once the president started speaking.
“People were still trying to get in a four-mile backup; the police were turning them around,” he said.
“This is a small town with just a two-lane road out. It’s impossible to move this kind of traffic. It’s phenomenal how many people squeezed into this thing,” he said.
Trump at rally in Arizona just mentioned how low Biden poll numbers have gone down pic.twitter.com/BKr7f7SnLA
— The Russ Clark Show (@RusstClark) January 16, 2022
“People have been here four to 11 hours, and it is electric,” Clark said. “Everyone is on their feet singing ‘Macho Man’ while waiting for Trump. The wind died down, and we were packed in tight. No one felt the chill in the air.”
The host of the “Russ Clark Show” said he was surprised by the positive vibe at the rally.
“I was expecting a good showing; I think this was much more than double of my expectations,” he said. “There seemed to be a lot more enthusiasm, like let’s-fix-this-thing type enthusiasm, like what do you need me to do enthusiasm that was here.”
Clark said the rally exceeded his expectations.
“I was still expecting somewhat of a mixed bag of like: ‘Well, what can we possibly do? I’m glad to help, but I don’t if there’s a way to do it,’” he said.
“There wasn’t any of that today. None of it. It was a pretty strong commitment to: ‘We’re with you, we’re going to get it done, we’re going to do the work,’” Clark said.
“I tried to walk around as much as I could to talk to people, but more upbeat than I would’ve thought, more spring in their step,” he said. “I’m on the radio every day, and I hear a lot of people still that are unsure whether their voting will make a difference. I didn’t get any of that here, and this was kind of uplifting for me. I was kind of spurred on.”
Trump calls for AT&T boycott in retaliation of its Direct TV unit dropping OAN
As Trump was wrapping up his address, he made another aside about the news that broke Friday that AT&T’s Direct TV unit would not renew its contract with the San Diego-based One America News Network.
The satellite provider first carried on the network in April 2017 as part of an agreement that OAN would support AT&T’s purchase of Direct TV with regulators.
Because OAN’s business model relies on fees from cable systems and Direct TV, not advertising, leftwing opponents of the channel targeted AT&T because its cable systems and Direct TV constitute a significant source of OAN’s revenue.
“Does everybody like one of my loves, One America?” he asked.
“One American News has done a great job,” he said.
“The woke executives, I don’t know what the hell they’re doing; they have so much debt,” he said. “AT&T is saying that they may no longer agree to carry this network that’s doing very well.”
Trump said what was happening to OAN was happening to other companies that do not toe the leftwing line.
“Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T,” he said. “If we did what they do to Republican companies, we would have no difficulty. We just don’t do it. It seems not nice. Right? But, they’re not nice.”
“I want to just thank the Herrings – who are here, Charles and Robert, wherever you may be,” he said.
“These are patriots; these are great, great men,” he said. “Where are you? What people. Thank you very much. Thank you, Robert. Thank you very much. So I don’t know what this is. This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time, and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics, but purely political reasons.
It’s a disgrace what’s going on, but I don’t think the people are going to stand for it, especially with One American News. The job you’ve done, you really should be commended, both you and Robert. Thank you, Charles,” he said.
Trump said the elder Herring asked him not to call for a boycott of AT&T, but he seemed to go ahead anyway.
“They said, ‘Please don’t mention the word boycott,’ so I won’t mention it. I’m not going to use the word boycott,” he said. “I will not say boycott AT&T because I promised Robert I will not do it, so I will not say boycott them.”
Biggs: I am begging McCarthy to expel Cheney, Kinzinger from GOP House Conference
Biggs used his opportunity to address the Trump supporters to call out California Republican and House Minority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy for his soft touch on rogue Republicans Wyoming’s Rep. Elizabeth L. “Liz” Cheney and Illinois’ Adam D. Kinzinger, who is serving on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Of the 13 committee members, five members are supposed to be named upon consultation with McCarthy, according to the authorizing resolution. However, Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s five selections, including Rep. James D. “Jim” Jordan (R-OH-04), and chose Cheney and Kinzinger – leaving the committee with seven Democrats and two nominal Republicans and three members short of the total called for in the resolution.
“Pelosi has created an illegitimate committee to attack any Trump supporter, and she is aided and abetted by Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger,” Biggs said.
“I’m begging you, Mr. McCarthy, please, will you finally expel Cheney and Kinzinger from the Republican Conference?” he asked. “That’s all I ask.”
Biggs said Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the group of progressive House Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) had changed the nature of equal justice in America.
“Biden and Harris and The Squad have promoted a two-tier justice system that let’s violent criminals out to roam our streets – the streets of our cities,” he said. “At the same time, they keep Jan. 6 prisoners in solitary confinement without proper medical attention – shame and boo – shame and boo on them!”
Arizona GOP leader Kelli Ward: I hope we’re going to decertify 2020 – how about you?”
The Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward chairwoman greeted the crowd with a question that she knew how they would answer.
“Who won the election?” she asked.
Then, when the crowd roared back that Trump won the election, she said: “You’re right. Trump won! Trump won, and we are here, we are gathered with our fellow patriots who believe in faith, family, and freedom – who are never going to stop, right?”
During the Jan. 6, 2020, joint session of Congress, Republicans objected to Arizona’s slate of electors pledged to Biden, and each chamber set off on their own to debate whether or not to certify that slate.
This was the first step in the Trump Team plan to decertify enough of Biden’s slates to take his electoral total from 306 to below 270. When no presidential candidate achieves 270 votes, the election is turned over to the House of Representatives. In the House, each state votes as a single delegation, giving Trump the advantage because the GOP had the majority in the majority of delegations.
Shortly after the debate over Arizona’s electors began, a mob rushed the doors of the Capitol and overwhelmed Capitol police officers, forcing both chambers to adjourn and allow congressmen and senators to seek shelter.
When the chambers returned to session, the morning’s momentum was lost in the wake of the many hours of trespassers filling the hallways and offices of the Capitol, with several violent clashes between the mob and law enforcement.
Ward recalled to the crowd Trump’s 2016 victory. “In 2016, there was cheating, but guess what? We, Deplorables, we, people who love this country, overwhelmed the cheating algorithms-and we gotta do it again in 2022, 2024and beyond.”
The osteopathic physician said changes are still to be made in Arizona to keep the elections fair.
“Get rid of the dropboxes, make sure we have voter ID, let’s restore integrity to our elections,” she said.
Ward said the audit of the voting in Maricopa County was not yet complete.
“The audit is going on,” she said. “America’s audit is still ongoing. We are going to get to the bottom of 2020. We are going to fix 2020. I hope we’re going to decertify 2020 – how about you?”
State Sen. Wendy Rogers calls on the legislature to decertify Arizona’s 2020 results
Trump-endorsed GOP State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) wore a red ‘Save America’ ball cap when she came to the podium.
“We are so blessed to have the true president, President Donald J. Trump, with us today,” said the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and pilot.
“We know the election was stolen, don’t we?” she asked.
“Let me tell you, ya, Arizona is a red state,” she said. “We are not turning purple – and President Trump won.”
Rogers said so far in the legislative session that opened Monday; she has filed more than 50 bills related to restoring election integrity in Arizona, including bills to abolish voting machines, drop boxes and local mail-in ballots.
“Bills, although good, don’t do enough to atone for the theft that happened in 2020 – we need, we much decertify the presidential election of 2020,” she said.
“I am a ‘yes’ vote to decertify,” the former Air Force Academy instructor said. “Many of my colleagues in the Arizona Senate want to decertify.”
Rogers said everyone knows that the election was not run properly.
“We all saw the 3 a.m. dump in all the swing states,” she said. “The graph of that vote dump defies reality, where all the Biden votes suddenly jumped ahead of President Trump.”
The retired colonel said Trump supporters need to remember the Republicans who rushed to accept the 2020 results.
“Let us not forget the weak-kneed Republicans, who sold us out,” she said. “The Crenshaws, the Kinzingers, the Maces, they all need to go.”
The three GOP members of Congress Rogers referred to were Texas’ Daniel R. Crenshaw, Illinois’ Adam D. Kinzinger and South Carolina’s Nancy R. Mace.
Hoffman: Arizona loves Trump
“The mood is energized and excited that he’s back in town,” Hoffman said. “I have talked with numerous legislators who are all amped and going to be there at the event, who are bringing guests and we expect a crowd of tens of thousands of people.”
Arizona loves Trump, he said.
Hoffman said he was convinced Ducey would not attend, given the bad blood between him and the president after the governor pushed to certify Arizona’s 2020 presidential results.
Friday, Trump sent out a message from his supporters: “Rumors are that Doug Ducey, the weak RINO governor of Arizona, is being pushed by Old Crow Mitch McConnell to run for U.S. Senate. He will never have my endorsement of support of MAGA Nation.”
Hoffman said Ducey should attend out of respect for Trump, and considering how Ducey has taken to criticizing Biden.
“You would think and if you listen to his State of the State that he just gave last week,” he said. “It was about 60 percent bashing the Biden administration and the complete contempt for the people of Arizona from the current administration in Washington, D.C. – not just Biden, but also Pelosi and Schumer and the entire cabal of Democrats.”
Ducey should recognize Trump’s contribution to the country, Hoffman said.
“You would think that he would be here because President Trump is a natural ally and has been one of the most effective presidents in terms of getting Washington D.C. to work for the average American in our entire nation’s history,” he said.
“I mean, it’s Reagan, it’s Trump, there’s only a handful of presidents who were as successful as Trump was in terms of putting Americans first—you would think Ducey would be here,” he said.
Hoffman said conservatives at the Arizona statehouse are still pressing to complete the audit of the Maricopa County 2020 presidential results, beyond just the 22,000 ballots from voters who were no longer at the address assigned to the ballot.
He said the Maricopa County officials adjudicated 11 percent of the ballots compared to the usual 1 percent rate in other elections.
“It’s more than just the ballots,” he said. “There are numerous irregularities in terms of not only what the audit found, but what we’ve just been able to ascertain through regular records requests, that point to this is still Trump country, and Arizona is an America First state.”
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