US President Donald Trump who campaigned in Georgia for two Republican senators, his first rally since losing the presidential election, echoed false claims of widespread spread.
The event in Georgia came before key Senate runoff elections there in January, which will decide control of the upper house.
He pressed his grievances over losing presidential election, using the weekend rally to spread baseless allegations of misconduct in last month’s voting in the state and beyond.
“Let them steal Georgia again, you’ll never be able to look yourself in the mirror,” Trump told rally-goers.
Trump’s 100-minute rally before thousands of largely mask-less supporters came not long after he was rebuffed by Georgia’s Republican governor in his astounding call for a special legislative session to give him the state’s electoral votes, even though President-elect Joe Biden won more votes than any other candidate.
The January 5 Senate run-offs in Georgia will determine the balance of power in Washington after Biden takes office. Republicans in the state are worried that Trump is stoking so much suspicion about Georgia elections that voters will think the system is rigged and decide to sit out the two races.
The President resonated Republican rhetoric that the races amounted to “the most important congressional runoff, probably in American history.”
He told the cheering crowd that he could still win the election. Repeating his unsubstantiated claims, he said “they cheated and rigged our presidential election but we’ll still win it.”
The crowd – many waving “Make America Great Again” posters – chanted “Stop the steal” and “Four more years”.
Despite the euphoria of the event, some Republicans are concerned that the president’s continuing allegations of fraud will discourage his supporters from voting in the Senate races by falsely convincing them that the system is rigged.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump phoned Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and pressured him on Twitter to take further steps to help him overturn the election results.
“I will easily & quickly win Georgia if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State permit a simple signature verification … Why are these two ‘Republicans’ saying no?” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The January runoffs pit two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, against well-funded Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, seeking to capture a state that has not elected a Democratic senator in 20 years.
Biden said he would visit Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates but did not give a timetable for his trip.