“Trump’s effort to overturn the election results may be inept. But it’s still a scandal.”

NBC First Read:

Forget Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Or Trump’s impeachment for asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

Arguably the biggest political scandal we’ve ever seen in this country is playing right before our eyes: President Trump and his allies are trying to reverse the election results of a contest he lost.

It doesn’t look like the scheme is going to work. The Wayne County (Detroit) Board of Canvassers last night certified its election results after its two Republican members initially withheld support. (Biden won Wayne County, 68 percent to 31 percent, and the state of Michigan by 148,000 votes.)

But being unsuccessful doesn’t erase the magnitude of the scandal — or the fact that the president of the United States has cheered it on every step of the way.

Consider the last 24 hours:

  • The two Republican members of Wayne County’s canvassing board voted against certifying its election results before reversing course, and Trump praised the action: “Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!”
  • In Nevada — a state Trump lost by 2.4 percentage points — the president’s campaign team filed a lawsuit asking a judge to either declare Trump the winner or to reject the state’s election results.
  • In Pennsylvania — which Biden won by more than 82,000 votes — Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in court asking a judge to overturn the state’s results. (“At bottom, you’re asking this court to invalidate some 6.8 million votes thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the commonwealth,” the judge said.)
  • And to top it off, the president on Tuesday fired the federal government’s head of cybersecurity, who had debunked many of the conspiracy theories that Trump’s team had been promoting.

Bottom line: Trump’s efforts to overturn the election have stumbled and gained no significant traction yet. But it’s still disturbing to watch, especially with so many elected Republicans staying silent.

And it provides a road map for someone else to do it better next time.

That said, we’re going to find out at 6:00 p.m. ET if Trump is going to put his money where his mouth is — that is, pay the required $7.9 million for Wisconsin’s recount by today’s state deadline.


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