Trump presses own grievances at rally for Georgia senators

(AP) — President Donald Trump pressed his own grievances over losing the presidential election at a rally Saturday in Georgia, more so than trying to help two Republican Senate candidates whose fate will decide the balance of power in Washington once President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month.

Trump rallied thousands of largely maskless supporters in Valdosta, not long after he was rebuffed by Georgia’s Republican governor in an astounding call for a special legislative session to give him the state’s electoral votes despite Biden winning the majority of the vote.

The latest futile attempt to subvert the presidential election results continued his unprecedented campaign to undermine confidence in the democratic process, but overshadowed his stated purpose — boosting Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Republicans need one victory to maintain their Senate majority. Democrats need a Georgia sweep to force a 50-50 Senate and position Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking majority vote. Party officials had hoped the president would dedicate his energy to imploring their supporters to vote in the Jan. 5 election, when Perdue and Loeffler try to hold off Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.

Trump did echo Republican rhetoric that the races amounted to “the most important congressional runoff, probably in American history.” That is only true because he lost.

But after Air Force One landed, it quickly became apparent that Trump’s aim was to air his own complaints and stoke baseless doubts about the conduct of last month’s vote, rather than boost his party.

“I want to stay on presidential,” Trumps said minutes into his speech. “But I got to get to these two.”