With mounting desperation, Donald Trump has declared he would "fight like hell" to hold on to the presidency and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when they convene this week to confirm the Electoral College vote.
Electoral voters won by President-elect Biden are "not gonna take this White House!" he shouted as supporters cheered at an outdoor rally in Georgia on Monday night.
Trump's announced purpose for the trip was to boost Republican Senate candidates in Tuesday's runoff election, but he spent much of his speech complaining bitterly about his election loss - which he insists he won "by a lot." Earlier, in Washington, he pressed Republican lawmakers to formally object Wednesday at a joint session of Congress that is to confirm Biden's victory in the Electoral College, itself a confirmation of Biden's nationwide victory November 3.
Though he got nothing but cheers Monday night, Trump's attempt to overturn the presidential election i s splitting the Republican Party.
Vice President Mike Pence, who is under pressure to tip the results for Trump, will be closely watched as he presides in a ceremonial role over Wednesdays joint session.
"I promise you this: On Wednesday, well have our day in Congress," Pence said while himself campaigning in Georgia ahead of Tuesdays runoff elections that will determine control of the Senate.
Trump said in Georgia: "I hope that our great vice president comes through for us. Hes a great guy. Of course, if he doesnt come through, I wont like him quite as much." He added, "No, Mike is a great guy." One of the Georgia Republicans in Tuesday's runoff - Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who faces Democrat Raphael Warnock - told the crowd she will join senators formally objecting to Bidens win. The other Republican seeking reelection, David Perdue, who is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff, will not be eligible to vote.
Biden, speaking at a drive-in rally in Atlanta, said Trump "spends more time whining and complaining" than he does working on solving the coronavirus pandemic. He added dismissively, "I dont know why he still wants the job - he doesnt want to do the work." During the day Monday, more current and former GOP officials rebuked the effort to upend the election.