REMINDER: Defending Political Violence and Election Denialism Is a GOP 2024 Litmus Test 

DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement: 

“It has been almost three years since insurrectionists attacked the Capitol on January 6, and Donald Trump and other members of the 2024 GOP field are still applauding political violence as they support, endorse, and literally embrace extremists who have peddled baseless conspiracy theories — including those who violently attacked the seat of our democracy. We have never seen a slate of Republican presidential hopefuls openly and repeatedly undermine our nation’s democratic institutions like this before — and with Trump leading the way, election denialism has become a litmus test for this extreme Republican primary, with candidates from Nikki Haley to Ron DeSantis falling in line to erode our democracy. The MAGA Republicans in this race should remember that election denialism has been repeatedly rejected by voters at the ballot box, and it will be again in 2024.” 

After losing the 2020 election by more than seven million votes, Trump has proudly declared himself an “election denier,” spread dangerous conspiracy theories, and praised the violent January 6 insurrectionists.  

Associated Press: “Trump, running for the White House for the third time, has signaled that the 2020 election will remain an integral part of his 2024 presidential bid. In a recent call with reporters about a new book, Trump pointed to polls that show a sizable number of people believe the 2020 election was stolen, even though there is no such evidence. ‘I’m an election denier,’ Trump said. ‘You’ve got a lot of election deniers in this country and they’re not happy about what’s happened.’”

Trump: “January 6, it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken to. And they were there proud, they were there with love in their heart. That was an unbelievable — and it was a beautiful day.”

Trump: “People in that crowd said it was the most beautiful day they’ve ever experienced. There was love in that. There was love and unity. I have never seen such spirit and such passion and such love and I’ve also never seen simultaneously and from the same people such hatred of what they’ve done to our country.”

NBC News: “Trump spoke at a fundraiser for Jan. 6 defendants”

Washington Post: ​​“Former president Donald Trump on Thursday praised and embraced a woman convicted of defying police orders on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. … Trump has steadily escalated his advocacy for people charged in the Capitol riot, including by pledging to pardon them if he returns to the White House, praising them as patriots, participating in a recording with Jan. 6 prisoners singing the national anthem, and playing it at his first rally of the 2024 campaign last month.”

NBC News: “Former President Donald Trump promised Wednesday night that if he is elected he will pardon a ‘large portion’ of the people convicted of federal offenses for their participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

Washington Post: “Former president Donald Trump said he would issue full pardons and a government apology to rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and violently attacked law enforcement to stop the democratic transfer of power. ‘I mean full pardons with an apology to many,’ he told conservative radio host Wendy Bell on Thursday morning. Such a move would be contingent on Trump running and winning the 2024 presidential election.”

Buck Sexton: “Will there be a lot of pardons and commutations of people you think were treated unfairly, J6 defendants, January 6 defendants under an administration, your administration?”

Trump: “Yes, absolutely. They were treated horribly … We had people put in jail for five, six, seven years who didn’t do anything wrong. And yes, that will happen very quickly.”

The Hill: “Trump called into small rally held in support of DC-jailed Jan. 6 prisoners”

“‘There’s never been a thing like this has happened in our country, and I just want to tell everybody that’s listening, we’re with you, we’re working with a lot of different people on this, and we can’t let this happen,’ Trump said.”

Nikki Haley campaigned with MAGA Republicans who have worked to undermine our democracy — even after saying she would not support candidates who endorsed Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election — and her first congressional endorser and New Hampshire campaign chair are both notorious election deniers.

Haley in October 2022: “Everybody that I’m helping acknowledges the fact that the elections, you know, were real.”

Washington Post: “[Haley] has endorsed and campaigned with a slate of Senate candidates who reject or question the 2020 election results as she positions herself as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. Haley appeared at a rally Tuesday with Don Bolduc of New Hampshire, who insisted Trump won the election and that President Biden was illegitimate … She also campaigned with Adam Laxalt of Nevada, who led the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the results in that state. And she endorsed Ted Budd of North Carolina, who as a congressman voted against certifying the electoral college results on Jan. 6, 2021.”

“In addition to Bolduc, Laxalt, and Budd, Haley has also endorsed Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who worked to keep Trump in office after the election, according to text messages obtained by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.”

Deseret News: “Nikki Haley adds controversial former U.S. Senate candidate to campaign team”

“Don Bolduc, a retired Army general and former U.S. Senate candidate, is the new chair for Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s New Hampshire campaign, the Haley campaign announced Tuesday morning. Bolduc made national headlines during his 2022 Senate campaign … for his controversial views on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.”

Boston Globe: “Nikki Haley teams up with Don Bolduc for N.H. town halls”

Fox News: “Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has secured the endorsement of a top Trump ally, House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ralph Norman. … His support comes despite former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his re-election the 2022 midterm elections and also after Norman did not vote to certify the 2020 election, in a nod to his loyalty to Trump.”

Business Insider: “Following the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capitol, and just three days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Norman texted then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and urged him to declare martial law — which would entail suspending the laws of the United States and imposing order through the military.”

Ron DeSantis said he would consider pardoning January 6 rioters and has used his seat in office to promote, embrace, and empower election deniers and insurrectionists.

DeSantis: “I think it’s ridiculous how much money that they pumped in for the Capitol Police. It was not an insurrection. These are people that were there to attend a rally and then they were there to protest.”

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: “With many blaming President Donald Trump and allies who encouraged him to challenge the election results for the lawlessness in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his support for the president’s unprecedented push to overturn the election. DeSantis said after the election that Trump should ‘fight on’ and ‘exhaust all options’ in challenging the results.”

New York Times: “Mr. DeSantis ducked only one question. A teenage boy invited him to condemn Mr. Trump’s efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021. Mr. DeSantis declined to do so.”

Florida Politics: “DeSantis on Thursday stopped short of blaming Trump, himself and enablers who fueled election conspiracies or refused to accept the election results.”

Tampa Bay Times: “On Jan. 6 anniversary, DeSantis disputes that Capitol attack was an ‘insurrection’”

Politico: “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday condemned the commemoration of the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riots as a way for Democrats and the news media to ‘smear’ supporters of former President Donald Trump.”

Politico: “DeSantis won’t say if he thinks 2020 was rigged. But he’s campaigning for Republicans who do.”

CNN: “DeSantis recently embarked on a national tour to boost the campaigns of some of the most fervent election deniers nominated by his party this cycle.”