Trump plotting final loyalty test for Congressional Republicans

Washington: President Donald Trump is plotting a final stand in Congress on Jan. 6, casting it as the ultimate loyalty test in his quest to remain in power and shutting out anyone who won’t get in line, reports Politico.

Trump has been strategizing in recent days with a band of his fiercest congressional supporters about the effort, which will involve lodging objections during the typically pro forma congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

It’s a gambit that even Republican leaders and those around Trump concede is doomed to fail, given the makeup of Congress. But the objections will also force Republicans in Congress to go on record voting to affirm Biden’s victory — acknowledging the outcome and likely inflaming Trump’s diehard supporters, a crucial GOP faction that has joined the president in denying the election results. Republican strategists and Trump allies inside and outside Washington said Trump’s core supporters will remember how their lawmakers vote on Jan. 6.

“There’s no base of voters more passionate than President Trump’s,” said Lou Barletta, a former member of Congress and top Trump ally in Pennsylvania. “They are not going away and they will remember who isn’t standing up to fight for President Trump and fair and free elections.”

As the Jan. 6 strategy came together in recent days, Trump started dispatching advisers to decry “weak” Republicans who refuse to back him.

Trump and his allies have even turned on once-staunch supporters who have declined to indulge the president’s baseless claims of election fraud — eviscerating everyone from Attorney General Bill Barr to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the Supreme Court justices Trump appointed. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, lamented the “Republican turncoats” and “Republican quislings” who he accused of failing to stand up against pressure to move past the election.

Meanwhile, Trump participated in more than an hour of meetings Monday with hardline GOP House members — including QAnon-boosting Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene — to map out a strategy for one final crack at challenging Biden’s victory.

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