Former President Donald Trump has warned that Republican leaders in Wisconsin’s legislature will be “primaried” and “run out of office” if they do not give in to his demands for a new audit of his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
Amid Trump’s repeated false claims that widespread voter fraud was to blame for him losing the White House, loyalists of the former president have continued to promote efforts to initiate new state election audits more than six months after Biden took office. Trump lost to Biden by 74 votes in the Electoral College, including 10 electoral votes from Wisconsin—results that have been confirmed by multiple recounts and audits that found no credible evidence of massive fraud.
While GOP Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos recently announced a new investigation into the election despite no evidence to support Trump’s claims having been found previously, the former president threatened Vos and Republican leaders in the state Senate on Friday. Trump alleged that the lawmakers were trying to “cover up election corruption” by not pushing harder for a new “forensic audit” similar to the controversial recent effort in Arizona’s Maricopa County.
“Wisconsin Republican leaders Robin Vos, Chris Kapenga, and Devin LeMahieu, are working hard to cover up election corruption, in Wisconsin,” Trump said in a statement. “They are actively trying to prevent a Forensic Audit of the election results, especially those which took place in Milwaukee, one of the most corrupt election locales in the country. Don’t fall for their lies!”
“These REPUBLICAN ‘leaders’ need to step up and support the people who elected them by providing them a full forensic investigation,” added Trump. “If they don’t, I have little doubt that they will be primaried and quickly run out of office.”
Newsweek reached out to the office of Vos for comment.
Trump issued a similar threat to GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania earlier this month, suggesting that those who did not amplify his demands for a new audit were “stupid, corrupt, or naïve” and would “be primaried and lose by big numbers” if they chose to continue “along this path of resistance.” Trump lost in Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, a margin of just over 1 percent.
Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by a thinner margin of less than 1 percent, a total of a little more than 20,000 votes. After the loss, the Trump campaign paid almost $3 million for a partial recount of the state’s results—leading to Biden netting 87 more votes than he had on the initial count.
The audit in Arizona is being led by the company Cyber Ninjas, a firm with a CEO who expressed support for pro-Trump election conspiracy theories on social media prior to the audit taking place. Officials involved in the audit tweeted that the “Paper examination and counting” had been completed on Friday, although findings are not expected to be released to the public for some time.