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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tweeted Thursday that President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result make it "difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president."

Why it matters: It's Romney's sharpest, most focused criticism of Trump yet. While the Utah senator has publicly needled the president over his actions during the last few months — especially regarding Trump's embrace of conspiracy theories like QAnon — he often has couched his criticism by targeting people across the political spectrum.

What he's saying:

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. It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president.

The state of play: Romney's tweet comes ahead of Trump's White House invitation on Friday to Republican Michigan election officials — just as that state moves to certify its election results in President-elect Biden's favor, per the New York Times.

  • A GOP canvasser in Wayne County, Michigan's most populous, said that Trump called her after she attempted to rescind her decision to certify results there.
  • Biden won Michigan over Trump by nearly 150,000 votes.

The big picture: Trump and his campaign are seeking to discredit election tallies in Michigan and other key swing states that flipped to Biden this cycle as the president has engaged in baseless and unproven claims of widespread voter fraud that affected their results.

  • Secretaries of state and election officials across the nation have reported no instances of widespread voter fraud, whether through in-person or mail-in voting.

Go deeper

24 hours ago - Podcasts

The test of the electoral system

Two weeks ago, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan met to certify the presidential election results and both Republican members refused. The two Democratic canvassers voted to approve the results. That meant it was a tie. A few hours later, the Republicans relented — there was another vote, and the certification happened.

It wasn’t just these Republicans in Michigan. A Republican Secretary of State in Georgia, a Republican county supervisor in Arizona and Republican-appointed judges in Pennsylvania were among the state and local officials who ended up validating Joe Biden’s presidential win over Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Did it all come down to these few people?

  • Plus, President Trump wants to auction drilling rights in Alaska’s Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
  • And, a new genealogy database dedicated to enslaved people and their stories.
Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Trump refuses to say whether he has confidence in Barr

President Trump declined to say on Thursday whether he still has confidence in Attorney General Bill Barr, after insisting that Barr "hasn't done anything" to investigate his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

Why it matters: Trump has weighed firing Barr in recent days, seething about the attorney general's statement this week that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.