A Republican senator who previously insisted that the 2020 presidential election was fair is now urging members of his political party to get "louder" about former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud.
Speaking to The Associated Press earlier this week, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) stressed the importance of gaining the trust of the American people as he suggested how they could achieve that goal.
“If we want to keep the trust and gain the trust of more individuals that are wondering, we have to probably say it a little bit louder and in more places that many of us normally either aren’t invited to talk or have chosen not to get into the fray,” Rounds said.
Instead of just echoing Trump's claims of voter fraud like many of his colleagues, Rounds has conducted numerous interviews and made it clear that he did look into the claims of voter fraud. While he acknowledged there are some “irregularities,” he insisted there is no evidence of the type of widespread voter fraud that would have enabled Trump to overturn the full outcome of the presidential election.
As expected, the South Dakota senator has faced backlash for his remarks. Responding to Rounds' statement, Trump released a statement describing him as a “jerk.”
While his remarks have led to immediate backlash from the former president and other members of his own political party, the second-term senator has made it clear that he is standing by what he believes. He also insists there is a way for lawmakers to show their loyalty to their constituents.
“We have to be more aggressive in reassuring conservatives that their vote counts,” Rounds said, adding “to give them reassurance that they can trust us and that we will speak the truth. And even if it’s the hard truth that’s hard to swallow, we’re not going to lie to them.”