In a startling, though perhaps unintended, admission, former President Donald Trump explained Saturday that the GOP lost twin Senate races in Georgia — and its Senate majority — when Republican voters stayed away from the polls because they were discouraged by his complaints of a “rigged” presidential election.

It was exactly the scenario feared by mainstream Republicans: That Trump would so undermine faith in the American voting system that Trump’s Republican supporters, who were the most likely to believe his inaccurate claims of a fraudulent election, wouldn’t bother voting in the Senate election in Georgia two months after American voters picked Joe Biden as president.

“What happened is we had two senators running, a couple of months later, and you know what happened to them?” Trump said at a Phoenix rally. “Republicans said, ‘We’re not going out to vote, because this was rigged, this election was rigged,’” he noted, parroting his own claims about the election.

There is absolutely no evidence of fraud in the presidential election. Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock won both Senate seats up for grabs in January. That loss cost the GOP its control of the U.S. Senate.

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