20 Nov 2020
Senior Republican figures in the U.S. are urging President Donald Trump to abandon his challenges to the election result, after his lawyers flagged-up more unsubstantiated conspiracy theories in a bizarre – and sweaty – press conference.
“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the president has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” Mitt Romney, the Utah senator and former Republican presidential nominee, wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.
“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president.”
It was in response to the president’s legal advisers, led by Rudy Giuliani - whose sweaty performance led his dark hair dye to trickle down his face - included allegations of Venezuelan involvement in vote manipulation, together with reports that Mr Trump had invited Republican state lawmakers from Michigan to the White House.
This “crossed a line even for some of his longtime supporters,” wrote The Financial Times.
“Tucker Carlson, the far-right Trump defender on Fox News, criticised the claims on his nightly show, while Chris Krebs, the former election security chief fired this week, labelled them “dangerous” and “crazy”, they reported.
Mr Giuliani once again blasted reporters saying: “I don’t know what you need to wake you up, to do your job and inform the American people, whether you like it or not, of the things they need to know!”
“This is real! It’s not made up! There’s nobody here who engages in fantasies.”
He was joined at the press conference by Sidney Powell, a defence lawyer who also represents Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser.