Trump Encourages Primary Challenge after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Acknowledges Biden Victory

Trump Encourages Primary Challenge after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Acknowledges Biden Victory

President Trump speaks to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in Columbus, Ohio, October 24, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

President Trump took aim at Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Monday, a day after the Republican governor called Joe Biden the president-elect and said it is time for the White House to begin the transition to a Biden administration.

“Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio? Will be hotly contested!” Trump wrote in a tweet Monday morning, appearing to encourage potential GOP primary challengers to run against DeWine in 2022.

Trump backed DeWine, a former Ohio senator, in 2018 when he ran for governor of the state. DeWine, for his part, co-chaired Trump’s re-election campaign in Ohio this year.

“It’s clear that, certainly, based on what we know now, that Joe Biden is the president-elect. And that transition, for the country’s sake, it’s important for a normal transition to start through,” DeWine said Sunday on CNN. “And the president can go on his other track and his legal track. We should respect that, but we also need to begin that process.”

Since Biden’s projected victory over Trump in the general election last week, Trump has continued to claim victory even as his representatives have yet to produce evidence of voter fraud widespread enough to change the outcome. His legal team has launched several lawsuits in various key battleground states challenging the vote counting process.

The White House has also refused to work with the former vice president’s transition team, including blocking the release of millions of dollars and providing access to federal agencies and office space in Washington. Biden also said he is not receiving the daily classified briefing on security threats that a president-elect is typically given.

DeWine is among a small number of Republicans, including Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, to state directly that Biden won the election.

President Trump’s departure from the White House has been met with speculation that he will launch a new media venture and a leadership PAC, both of which can be used to exert influence over the direction of the Republican party after he has left office.

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