Michigan's Republican Officials resisted intense White House pressure to certify Joe Biden's election victory on Monday while the Chief administrator of the executive branch finally relented and began the transition to the president elect.
Still, it was Rush Limbaugh who dealt the heaviest blow to President Donald Trump's campaign to cast doubt on his election loss. The terminally ill radio host became the most influential conservative to dismiss voter fraud claims that have routinely been thrown out of court.
"They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened," Limbaugh said on Monday. "And that's just, that's not—well, it's not good."
The conservative radio kingpin, who had spent weeks aggressively echoing Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud, lambasted the president for failing to deliver after hyping up "massive bombshells" at a press conference on November 19. "There better be something other than what we got," he said.
Limbaugh's rare remarks are notable, given that he has been one of Trump's closest allies and public protectors over the past four years. The radio host, 69, wept live on television when Trump used the State of the Union this year to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian accolade. The president's decision to award the honor came after Limbaugh told his listeners he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Limbaugh's grim news dealt a sobering blow to conservatives around the country. Trump supporters—a group that accounts for nearly 74 million votes this year—and a number of other conservatives view him as a fearless truth-teller who isn't afraid to fall on the wrong side of political correctness in his pursuit to stand up to the tyranny of the elite, the idiocies of big government and the out of touch left-wing academics and reporters.
On the other hand, his opponents have accused him of contributing to the country's political polarization through the use of bigoted lies and "alternative" facts.
Hours after Limbaugh broke with Trump, GSA administrator Emily Murphy informed President-elect Joe Biden that the president's administration was ready to formally start the transition process. The letter sent to Biden came two weeks after most media outlets declared him the winner of the 2020 election and was the first solid acknowledgement from the Trump administration of the president's defeat.
Trump immediately thanked Murphy and affirmed the decision to begin the transition process. But the president also vowed to continue his lawsuits filed in several swing states alleging widespread voter fraud and seeking to reverse his defeat. "We will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!" he tweeted. Despite Trump's insistence that he's merely following protocol, television hosts and Democrats have interpreted his remarks as essentially close to a concession.
Around the same time on Monday afternoon, Michigan's Board of State Canvassers officially certified Biden's victory in the state, marking the final nail into the coffin of Trump's election fraud claims and attempts to overturn the results. The certification came after the Trump campaign dropped its remaining federal lawsuit in the Wolverine State.
In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser for Trump campaign, called the state's certification "simply a procedural step," and said they will "continue combatting election fraud around the country as we fight to count all the legal votes."
Biden has secured 306 Electoral College votes but Trump—with 232 Electoral College votes—has still not conceded. In an attempt to flip the election, his campaign filed a series of lawsuits in several swing states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud and a stolen election in remarks issued to the public through Twitter since Election Day, but the contents and claims of the suits have been narrower, and so far, largely unsuccessful in court.
Trump needed to flip at least three states to pull his current total past the winning line, but with Michigan having certified, his path to victory has narrowed to virtually non-existent.
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for further comment.