The speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, Robin Vos, said former President Donald Trump called on him to decertify the 2020 election results in the state last week, more than a year and a half since the race was called for Joe Biden.
In an interview with WISN Channel 12 Milwaukee, the state’s most powerful Republican said he had talked to Trump within the last week and described the conversation as, “It’s one of those things that’s very consistent. He makes his case, which I respect, he would like us to do something different in Wisconsin, I explained it’s not allowed under the constitution, he has a different opinion, then he put the tweet out, so that’s it.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says former President Trump called him last week in another push to decertify Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential results after the WI Supreme Court ruling on absentee ballot drop boxes. Shortly after, Vos says, Trump posted on social media calling him a RINO pic.twitter.com/rLFtYtHlh6
— Matt Smith (@mattsmith_news) July 19, 2022
After the conversation with Vos, Trump wrote in a July 13 post on Truth Social, "Looks like Speaker Robin Vos, a long time professional RINO always looking to guard his flank, will be doing nothing about the amazing Wisconsin Supreme Court decision.” RINO, meaning "Republican in Name Only," is used as an insult in intraparty conflicts.
The court decision that Trump was referring to was a July 8 ruling that made most absentee drop boxes in the state illegal in future elections. The former president, who continues to push the baseless conspiracy theory that he did not in fact lose the 2020 election, wanted Vos to use the Wisconsin ruling retroactively to decertify the race, which Trump lost to Biden by 20,000 votes after winning the state by a similarly tight margin in 2016.
Trump added that Vos was letting Democrats get away with “murder” and said Vos's comments were “a waste of a brilliant and courageous decision by Wisconsin’s Highest Court.”
Thanks to an extensive Republican gerrymander of its state Legislature, Vos essentially controls Wisconsin politics, and last year Politico referred to him as the “shadow governor,” even though a Democrat, Tony Evers, won the governor’s seat in 2018.
In a post Tuesday night, Trump threatened Vos ahead of the Aug. 9 Republican primary, writing, “This is not a time for him to hide, but a time to act! I don’t know his opponent in the upcoming Primary, but feel certain he will do well if Speaker Vos doesn’t move with gusto. Robin, don’t let the voters of Wisconsin down!”
“I think we all know Donald Trump is Donald Trump,” Vos said in the WISN interview. “There’s very little we can do to control or predict what he will do.”
The view that the 2020 election was stolen is shared by a majority of Republicans, and the GOP nominees in both the Pennsylvania and Maryland gubernatorial races also deny that Biden won the presidency. The promotion of that false belief helped lead to the violence in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop the formal counting of the electoral votes. The riot left multiple people dead. The hearings of the House Jan. 6 committee have presented damning evidence that Trump planned and incited the events of that day, but whether he will actually face charges from the Justice Department is still unclear.