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Trump attacks No. 2 Senate Republican as the President turns on allies in his final days in office

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Trump, again on the White Home after his Mar-a-Lago holiday with no public occasions on his schedule, attacked Sen. John Thune, a South Dakotan who’s the No. 2 Senate Republican, in a day tweet on New 12 months’s Day.
“I hope to see the good Governor of South Dakota @KristiNoem, run in opposition to RINO @SenJohnThune, within the upcoming 2022 Main. She would do a unbelievable job within the U.S. Senate, but when not Kristi, others are already lining up. South Dakota desires robust management, NOW!” he wrote in a tweet.

Trump has railed in opposition to Republican management broadly a number of instances this week, however this time is naming names. Thune, the Senate majority whip, had been one of many high Republicans to talk in favor of accepting the Electoral School outcomes and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, drawing Trump’s ire.

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“As soon as anyone will get 270, I perceive they’re ruling proper now, however I feel that is the method we’ve, sure. … In the long run in some unspecified time in the future you need to face the music. And I feel as soon as the Electoral School settles the difficulty at this time, it is time for everyone to maneuver on,” Thune mentioned forward of the formal electoral school voting course of final month.

Trump’s tweet comes simply 19 days earlier than he leaves the White Home and days earlier than a joint session of Congress is about to formally certify the Electoral School outcomes, with some Trump allies planning to join his baseless efforts to overturn the outcomes of the election.
At least 140 House Republicans to vote against counting electoral votes, two GOP lawmakers say

The President returned to Washington forward of the January 6 occasion, when as many as 140 Home Republicans, joined by at the least one senator, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley, may vote to throw out electoral votes in key swing states Trump misplaced. Trump praised Hawley in a tweet Thursday night.

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On Friday, Hawley informed reporters he has but to determine what number of states’ Electoral School outcomes he plans to object to, saying, “I have not labored out the mechanism but.”

A number of of Hawley’s Republican colleagues expressed concern Friday over his plans, and the impression such a transfer may have on American democracy. Retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee mentioned he thinks Hawley’s deliberate objection is a mistake, whereas Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a vocal Trump critic, mentioned that “spreading this type of rumor about our election system not working is harmful for Democracy right here and overseas.”

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McConnell, who referred to as the congressional certification “the most consequential vote” of his profession, wouldn’t reply Friday when requested by CNN if he was contemplating any sanctions or punishments in opposition to the freshman senator if he goes by means of with the problem that GOP leaders have strongly opposed.

Thune informed reporters on Friday that “this is a matter that is extremely consequential, extremely uncommon traditionally, and really precedent setting. So, our members are — it is a massive vote, they’re interested by it.”

“I feel now that we’re locked in to do it, we’ll give air to the objections and folks can have their day in courtroom and we’ll hear all people out and we’ll vote,” he continued. “Like I mentioned, I feel ultimately, I do not suppose something adjustments.”

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McConnell called Hawley out over Electoral College objection during conference call Hawley wasn't on

“We’re letting individuals vote their conscience,” Thune mentioned, with a number of Republican members saying there’s not a lot they will do to cease Hawley from objecting.

Trump is already starting to preview how he’ll spend his post-presidency. In current days, he has advised Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who he had endorsed and had been a loyal Trump ally till the November vote, resign as a result of he wouldn’t assist overturn Biden’s win in that state. He has additionally repeatedly attacked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, one other Republican who he had endorsed throughout the 2018 midterms.

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The President has raised a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} because the November 3 election, a majority of which fits on to a brand new fundraising management PAC, Save America, that’s anticipated to aide him in donating to different candidates and political pursuits as he considers a possible presidential bid in 2024.

With this tweet, Trump is already planting the concept that he would assist candidates providing major challenges to present Home and Senate Republicans he sees as disloyal.

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For her half, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a high Trump ally, mentioned final week that she wouldn’t pursue the Senate seat.

“@johnthune is a good friend of mine, and I can’t be difficult him. I am honored to be Governor of South Dakota and can ask the individuals to provide me a chance to proceed serving them as Governor in 2022,” she wrote.
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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska blasted Trump for encouraging a 2022 major problem in opposition to Thune. She informed CNN on Friday, “I feel it is fairly attention-grabbing that he has demanded a loyalty check from so many Republicans after which when they’re loyal to him — and there may be one incident, one assertion — and he’s the primary one to throw these loyal people underneath the bus. That is not loyalty as I do know loyalty.”

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As a key member of the GOP management group, Thune has executed a lot to advance Trump’s causes on Capitol Hill — from passage of tax cuts and different laws, confirmations of Supreme Courtroom nominees and quite a few different judges, in addition to important acquittal votes throughout Trump’s Senate impeachment trial — even when he has spoken out often about a few of the President’s most controversial acts.

For his half, Thune shrugged off the presidential tweet with laughter.

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“Yeah, effectively, lastly an assault tweet. What took him so lengthy?” a peaceful and soft-spoken Thune informed reporters as he was leaving the Capitol after the vote to override Trump’s veto of the protection invoice. “It is high quality, that is the way in which he communicates.”

Thune mentioned there was no effort to patch issues up with the President: “No, I am unsure what I did to be deserving of all that however that is, that is high quality. Like I mentioned, I am unsure that if something adjustments his thoughts as soon as he makes it up.”

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This story has been up to date with extra reporting.

CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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