Donald Trump is ending his presidency with all the grace of a drunken sailor on shore leave.
On Wednesday, the departing US president made a last-ditch attempt to subvert democracy and re-install himself in the White House – despite losing November’s election by seven million votes.
Trump gave a speech to thousands of his acolytes – including QAnon conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and violent extremist groups including the Proud Boys – in Washington DC on the same day elected officials were set to certify the Electoral College votes from the presidential election and declare president-elect Joe Biden the winner.
His deluded hope is for his vice president, Mike Pence, to instead choose Trump as the electoral winner – even though the involvement of his second-in-command is mostly ceremonial.
Trump, in true dictatorial style, attempted to make the most of his last few days in the big chair by reiterating conspiracy theories and whining about his loss before an adoring crowd.
“Does anybody believe that Joe had 80m votes?” Trump told supporters. “Does anyone believe it? He had 80m computer votes. It’s a disgrace – there’s never been anything like that.”
In fact, Biden got more than 81m votes and Trump received just over 74m. No evidence has been presented to back any of Trump’s claims of fraud.
There were also some vintage Trump moments that would be funny if they didn’t come with more than a whiff of fascism.
‘Explosions of bullshit’
He delighted the crowd – who cheered as he repeated the groundless conspiracy theories that have consumed his final days in office – by calling Democratic victories the product of what he called “explosions of bullshit”.
“Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!” the crowd chanted in reply.
‘I had to beat Oprah’
It being Trump, he actually seemed just as concerned about minor grievances and how his stock has fallen with the elites he claims to be fighting against.
And Hillary Clinton appears to be living rent-free in his head
Gets his candidate’s name wrong
Trump campaigned at rallies for Kelly Loeffler during a crucial Senate run-off in Georgia, which his Republican Party is now set to lose and in turn hand control of the upper chamber to the Democrats. But he perhaps his support was half-hearted.
He has previously called her “Karen”.
The real crowd
Perhaps it wasn’t braying loyalists but Mike Pence who Trump was addressing.