PHOENIX (AP) — Calls by top advisers to former President Donald Trump to reverse Trump’s 2020 election loss was an unsupported, ill-advised and “youthful” effort that attacked a bedrock of American democracy, the speaker of the statement said. Home of Arizona Monday.
Republican Chairman Rusty Bowers is among a series of state election officials who will testify on Tuesday before the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurgency in which Trump supporters tried to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Bowers spoke to The Associated Press after he arrived in Washington Monday afternoon. He will be questioned about a phone call he received from Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani in the weeks following the November 2020 election, where Giuliani proposed to replace Arizona’s Biden voters by letting the state legislature be the ones elect who are committed to voting for Trump.
Bowers declined, saying the settlement was illegal and unconstitutional. Last year, he told the president in an interview that he would not break the law to help him win the presidency.
He revealed a second phone call from Trump on Monday, saying the president called again on December 4, 2020, but did not pressure him. He said Trump mostly talked and asked about his family and the upcoming holidays.
“But then he said, ‘I want to call you to tell you I remember what you said the first time.’” Bowers said. “And I guess it was about when I told him I wouldn’t. That I supported him, walked for him, campaigned with him. But I wouldn’t do anything illegal for him.”
Bowers said the efforts of Trump supporters have harmed the nation, undermined confidence in elections and people’s right to vote on their conscience.
“I just think it’s terrible. It’s terrible,” Bowers said. “The result of throwing the pebble into the pond, the reflections off the pond, have been, I think, very destructive.”
Bowers said he did not watch the committee hearings, but did see some video clips showing the disaster at the Capitol. He said it made him sick to see people supporting Trump attacking police, including a man who had protested at the Arizona Capitol.
“I’m shocked by what I’ve seen,” Bowers said, “I don’t mind them having these hearings. I do not mind. I think it highlights something we need to see big, and take stock of ourselves. And I hope it would make us sober.”
Bowers was one of five recipients of this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Prize for his refusal to consider undoing the 2020 election results, despite pressure from Trump and his supporters.
But while Bowers said the efforts of Giuliani and other Trump supporters have been hurtful, he does not directly criticize Trump and would support him if he were on the ballot.
“If he’s the nominee, if he’s up against Biden, I’d vote for him again,” Bowers said. “Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the province. In my eyes it was great.”
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