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Everyone processes crushing disappointment in their own way, and that’s particularly true for President Donald Trump’s biggest allies who are—very publicly—grasping for answers to explain why their MAGA hero has apparently not won the election in a landslide.
And they’re pushing baseless claims of widespread voter fraud with hashtags like #StopTheSteal while doing it.
For example, Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins posted a (since-removed) video to his personal Facebook page Thursday night to express his feelings. In it, his head is floating, illuminated by the red glow of what appears to be a fire directly in front of him. “Donald J. Trump, President Donald Trump, has been an anointed blessing to our nation,” Higgins tells the camera. “I have inside data this election is compromised. Our president is NOT compromised.”
As of Friday night, with mail-in ballots still being counted in six states, the election had still not been called. Trump performed well through in-person voting, but, as expected, his chances of winning increasingly slipped away as the surge of mail-in ballots were processed in the following days. Trump essentially claimed victory on election night and has since stoked unfounded claims about a Democrat plot to steal the presidency.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who is currently facing federal fraud charges, was permanently removed from Twitter after he suggested that FBI Director Christopher Wray and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be beheaded during a livestream of his show “War Room: Pandemic” that he posted online Thursday. In that livestream, he claimed Trump had already won the reelection (despite several states still being too close to call) and said the president should fire Fauci and Wray.
Bannon then suggested going a step further. “I’d put the heads on pikes,” he said. “I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”
Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs, a stalwart Trump supporter, lashed out at former Trump intelligence chief Richard Grenell, during an on-air interview and accused him of letting down the campaign by not doing enough to advance legal fights against states where the president was losing.
Trump’s adult son Don Jr. has taken a slightly more relatable approach to the news that his father’s chances of winning are slipping away: tweeting through it. In the last 24 hours alone, Don Jr. has tweeted no less than 23 times—four of those tweets were censored by Twitter for containing information that “might be misleading about an election or another civic process.”
“The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long,” Don Jr wrote, regurgitating several conspiracy theories galvanizing Trump supporters. Don Jr has also been promoting the “Stop the Steal” conspiracy, galvanizing protesters in some of the key contested states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, which look favorable for Biden.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, from Florida, has also been blowing off steam on Twitter and urging his Republican colleagues to rally around their flailing president.
“If Republicans don’t dig in and fight this fraud now, we will never win another election again,” Gaetz said Friday.
MAGA lawyer Lin Wood, who has been fundraising for Kyle Rittenhouse—the 17-year-old who killed protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin—tweeted his outrage on Thursday and insisted that Trump had, in fact , already won.
“Mainstream & socialist media reported LIE that @realDonaldTrump did not win re-election. Trump won by a landslide,” Wood wrote. “Now as election fraud is being revealed, leftist media will shut down almost ALL information being conveyed to us in an effort to prevent us from learning TRUTH.” Wood’s tweet was promoted by the likes of Tony Shaffer, of Trump’s 2020 Advisory Board and Fox News host Jeanine Piro.
Rep. Paul Gosar, also a staunch Trump supporter, has appeared at the Maricopa Elections HQ for the last few days, where protesters have gathered to urge poll workers to continue counting votes in the hope it might cut Biden’s lead. At Wednesday’s protest, a few members of Patriot AZ, an anti-immigrant militia, even went inside the building. Local officials erected fencing around the building to prevent the growing throngs of protesters from entering.
When Gosar isn’t protesting, he’s tweeting. For example, on Thursday, he shared a drawing that appears to show Trump on a motorcycle with Melania, driving over a cracked road through crowds of adoring fans.
Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has been a Trumper from the get-go, has resorted to his own familiar fallbacks: blaming China and screaming about war. “America is At War!” Infowars wrote on Parler, the alternative social media site. “Communist China Is In The Process of Overthrowing the United States & Installing a Puppy Government!”
“The country is being captured by the globalists, and the Chicoms, and Joe Biden,” Jones screeched through his megaphone. “You think they’re attempt to steal this election is a defeat for us? This will only awaken the sleeping giant. If they’re even able to remove Trump, that will make their defeat much worse down the road. They better pray they fail, because they are conjuring the sleeping giant that will destroy them if they are successful in the first phase.”