Throughout the 2020 campaign, former President Trump repeatedly lied about rampant voter fraud and claimed that the election would be “rigged” against him. He escalated this rhetoric after Election Day by falsely claiming victory, and continued pushing these lies after Biden became the projected President-elect.
Trump’s campaign and his allies then filed dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits across the country, seeking to overturn the results, based on spurious fraud claims. Despite losing those lawsuits, Trump continued promoting these lies while pressuring federal, state, and local officials to help him stop the transition of power. These officials largely refused to help Trump with his plan.
Trump repeated these lies during his Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, which helped spur the Capitol riot. Trump’s rhetoric inspired the majority of Republicans to believe that Biden did not win the 2020 election, according to CNN polling. Many of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol also expressed this view.
The Jan. 6 committee has released testimony from Trump advisers revealing that he was told shortly after the election that he lost – but he kept pushing ahead with disinformation and false claims about the election. Some academics and historians have dubbed this phenomenon as “the Big Lie.”