Sen. Mike Rounds stood his ground Monday after former President Donald Trump labeled the South Dakota Republican a “jerk” for insisting the 2020 presidential election results were legitimate.
Rounds, who acknowledged in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that Trump “simply did not win the election,” said in a statement that he was “disappointed but not surprised by the former president’s reaction” to his comments.
“However, the facts remain the same. I stand by my statement. The former president lost the 2020 election,” Rounds added.
“This isn’t new information. If we’re being honest, there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have altered the results of the election,” the lawmaker added.
Hours earlier, Trump had slammed the senator for his Sunday comments, calling him a “RINO” – Republican in name only.
“‘Senator’ Mike Rounds of the Great State of South Dakota just went woke on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020,” the 45th president said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. “He made a statement this weekend on ABC Fake News, that despite massive evidence to the contrary, including much of it pouring in from Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other states, he found the election to be ok—just fine. Is he crazy or just stupid?”
Trump also expressed regret for endorsing Rounds for reelection in 2020, saying the senator “thinks he has time.”
“Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again,” he added.
In his Monday statement, Rounds also defended former Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the certification of the 2020 election results. At the time, Trump urged Pence not to accept the results while pushing his claim that the election was stolen.
Rounds said that Pence “acted with integrity” in standing his ground against Trump’s request and added that it is time for the rest of the GOP to “do the same.”
“As a Republican party, our focus should be on what lies ahead, not what’s in the past. Elections are about growing support for your party, not further dividing it,” he said. “Attacking Republicans certainly isn’t going to result in a winning formula. Neither is telling citizens not to vote. If we are going to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to move forward together.”