In an interview with CNN, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) compared former President Donald Trump's repetitive and ongoing falsehoods about the integrity of the 2020 general election to the theatrics of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), formerly known as World Wrestling Federation (WWF) events, which are staged wrestling entertainment.
Trump's remarks are "a bit like WWF," said Romney, who is one of Trump's most vocal GOP critics in a Senate where Democrats have only a razor-thin majority and must regularly court Republicans to pass legislation.
Romney's observations grew only more scathing from there. He noted, for instance, that no credible sources have backed Trump's baseless assertions that the election was rife with fraud and abuse:
"It's entertaining, but it's not real. And I know people want to say, yeah, they believe in the 'Big Lie' in some cases, but I think people recognize that it's a lot of show and bombast. But it's going nowhere...
"Did he hear it from the Justice Department? No. Did he hear it from the intelligence community? No. So where did he hear it from? The MyPillow guy? Rudy Giuliani? What are their sources of information? It's pretty clear the election was fair, it wasn't the outcome the president wanted, but let's move on."
"Here in the US, there's a growing recognition that this is a bit like WWF -- that it's entertaining, but it's not… https://t.co/K4kKapvOwc— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1624799778.0
Romney's criticisms generated significant discussion. Many social media users pointed out that Trump's behavior is designed to further sow discord at a time when both major political parties are sufficiently polarized, largely torn apart by the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen.
@justinbaragona Trump’s willing to treat his fellow citizens like mortal enemies. He’s the most divisive character… https://t.co/qYtRlMPko6— Luke Zaleski (@Luke Zaleski) 1624809586.0
@atrupar They'll continue this lie for the next three years because they don't have an actual platform. They'll con… https://t.co/AyiAvodGOD— Al (@Al) 1624800359.0
@thehill A ‘bit’ like? It’s TOTALLY the WWE model - a made up story, a villain, a good guy, and a rabid crowd baying for blood— the rural juror (@the rural juror) 1624803558.0
@therecount It’s all fun and games until people get killed and government gets crippled.— Tom Wills (@Tom Wills) 1624800985.0
Romney has a rocky history with the former president and has often been among the few Republicans to openly challenge his often competing fictions about the election. Romney, who faced calls that he be censured for voting to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection against Congress, was among the first to support a commission to investigate the Capitol riot of January 6. Speaking to reporters last month, he said that Republicans who do not support the commission, which failed to attain bipartisan support in the Senate, "would be seen as not wanting to let the truth come out."
The senator's remarks came a day after Trump once again aired his grievances about the election during an Ohio rally.
"The media and the Democrats are now admitting that I was right about everything. ... Now they're saying, 'Well, you know, he was right about these things. That's all right. Big deal, right? They lied about so many things before the election,'" Trump said without offering support for his claims. During his campaign-style event, he called the election result the "scam of the century" as well as the "crime of the century."
There is no evidence to support Trump's claims that the election was fraudulent; the integrity of the election has been affirmed by numerous local, state, and federal officials, as well as independent observers.
Additionally, Trump's own security agencies disputed his claims. A statement from the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of a joint statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, revealed the agencies found "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised." The statement went on to refer to the 2020 general election as "the most secure in American history."