The leader of the controversial far-right group Proud Boys visited the White House on Saturday as thousands of Trump supporters gathered in front of the Supreme Court to protest its decision not to overturn the election results.
Enrique Tarrio, who heads the movement that has been denounced as an extremist group, posted a photo of the White House on his Parler social media account.
‘Last minute invite to an undisclosed location…’ Tarrio, wrote on the social media site, which has emerged among many die-hard Trump supporters as a go-to alternative to Twitter.
‘Wow…I’m in awe,’ Tarrio added. He ended the post with the hashtag #Trump2020.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere told DailyMail.com on Saturday that Tarrio ‘was on a public White House Christmas tour’ and that he ‘did not have a meeting with the president nor did the White House invite him.’
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump returned to Washington on Saturday for rallies to back his desperate efforts to subvert the election that he lost to Joe Biden.
They cheered as Trump flew overhead on the Marine One helicopter on his way out of town for the Army-Navy football game in West Point, New York.
The rallies are intended as a show of force just two days before the Electoral College meets to formally elect Biden as the 46th president.
Addressing the crowds in Washington DC, pardoned General Michael Flynn told supporters they ‘must be fearless’ in their support of the president.
Trump tweeted his apparent surprise Saturday morning at the rallies, publicly known for weeks: ‘Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn´t know about this, but I´ll be seeing them! #MAGA’
Tarrio is among several thousand of the president’s supporters who descended on Washington, DC, on Saturday to stage a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally denouncing the alleged ‘voter fraud’ that they say led to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Conservative groups that allege, without evidence, that Biden stole the election from Trump planned protests nationwide on Saturday, including a Washington rally headlined by Trump’s recently pardoned former national security adviser Roger Stone.
Tarrio, 36, has previously been pictured with Trump confidant Stone, the president’s son Don Jr., Florida governor Rick Scott and senior Republican senator Ted Cruz, who co-sponsored a Senate resolution based on a petition written by Tarrio to designate the anarchist left wing group Antifa as a ‘domestic terrorist organization’.
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser recently pardoned by Trump, was speaking from the stage at the rally on Saturday when Trump flew over in Marine One.
‘That´s pretty cool. Imagine just being able to jump in a helicopter and just go for a joy ride around Washington,’ said Flynn, whose pardon wiped away his conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation.
Saturday marks the third time during his presidency that Trump has attended the annual Army-Navy game.
George W. Bush and Harry Truman are the only other president who have gone to the game three times while in office.
More than 50 federal and state court rulings have upheld Biden’s victory over Trump.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by Trump seeking to throw out voting results in four states.
Trump has refused to concede defeat, alleging without evidence that he was denied victory by massive fraud.
The Washington rally began with marches around the US Capitol, the Supreme Court and Justice Department ‘with prayers for the walls of corruption and election fraud to fall down,’ according to StopTheSteal.com.
The plans reference the Biblical miracle of the battle of Jericho, in which the walls of the city crumbled after priests and soldiers marched around it.
Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with the former Russian ambassador, spoke from the high court steps, his first public address since Trump pardoned him on November 24.
Republican political donors and religious figures, including My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell and radio host Eric Metaxas, are expected to attend.
An anti-Trump group called a rally near the White House on Saturday as well, raising the potential for a repeat of clashes that occurred on November 14.
The high court’s order was a stark repudiation of a legal claim that was widely regarded as dubious, yet embraced by the president, 19 Republican state attorneys general and 126 House Republicans.
Trump had insisted the court would find the ‘wisdom’ and ‘courage’ to adopt his baseless position that the election was the product of widespread fraud and should be overturned.
But the nation’s highest court emphatically disagreed.
Friday’s order marked the second time this week that the court had rebuffed Republican requests that it get involved in the 2020 election outcome and reject the voters’ choice, as expressed in an election regarded by both Republican and Democratic officials as free and fair.
The justices turned away an appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Electoral College meets to formally elect Biden as the next president.
Trump had called the lawsuit filed by Texas against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin ‘the big one’ that would end with the Supreme Court undoing Biden’s substantial Electoral College majority and allowing Trump to serve another four years in the White House.
In a brief order, the court said Texas does not have the legal right to sue those states because it ‘has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.’
Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who have said previously the court does not have the authority to turn away lawsuits between states, said they would have heard Texas’ complaint.
But they would not have done as Texas wanted – setting aside those four states’ 62 electoral votes for Biden – pending resolution of the lawsuit.
Trump complained that ‘within a flash,’ the lawsuit was ‘thrown out and gone, without even looking at the many reasons it was brought. A Rigged Election, fight on!’
Three Trump appointees sit on the high court.
In his push to get the most recent of his nominees, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed quickly, Trump said she would be needed for any post-election lawsuits.
Barrett appears to have participated in both cases this week. None of the Trump appointees noted a dissent in either case.
Trump lost a federal lawsuit on Saturday while his attorney was arguing his case before a skeptical Wisconsin Supreme Court in another lawsuit that liberal justices said ‘smacks of racism’ and would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters only in the state’s most diverse counties.
U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee, dismissed Trump’s federal lawsuit asking the court to order the Republican-controlled Legislature to name Trump the winner over Democrat Joe Biden.
The judge said Trump’s arguments ‘fail as a matter of law and fact.’
The ruling came as Trump attorney Jim Troupis faced a barrage of questions about his claims from both liberal and conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Troupis asked the court to toss more than 221,000 absentee ballots, including his own, saying they were cast fraudulently based on incorrect interpretations of the law by elections officials.
‘What you want is for us to overturn this election so that your king can stay in power,’ said liberal Justice Jill Karofsky.
‘That is so un-American.’
Conservative justices appeared to be sympathetic to some issues raised by Trump, but also questioned how they could fairly disqualify ballots only in the two counties where Trump sought a recount and not other counties where the same procedures were followed.
Biden attorney John Devaney said tossing any ballots in just those two counties would be a violation of the Constitution’s equal protection clause.
Trump is challenging ballots only in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state’s most liberal counties with the largest non-white populations.
He is not challenging any votes in more conservative counties where he won.
‘This lawsuit, Mr. Troupis, smacks of racism,’ Karofsky said.
‘I do not know how you can come before this court and possibly ask for a remedy that is unheard of in US history. … It is not normal.’
Justice Rebecca Dallet, another liberal justice, questioned why Trump didn’t raise his same concerns about the absentee ballot process in the 2016 election that he won in Wisconsin.
Troupis said Trump was not an aggrieved party that year.
Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, a conservative, voiced concerns with ballots that the city of Madison collected over two weekends at parks, saying that appeared to be the same as early voting, which had not started yet.
Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley also implied that the court must not allow for ballots to be counted if they were cast contrary to the law.
But she questioned how the court could fairly disqualify more than 28,000 ballots cast by people who said they were indefinitely confined, given that some were.
The court in March said it was up to individual voters to determine whether they were ‘indefinitely confined,’ a designation allowed voters to cast absentee ballots without showing a valid photo ID.
During Saturday’s arguments, other conservative justices raised concerns with allowing election officials to fill in missing information on envelopes that contain absentee ballots.
And Troupis, who voted that way, said that he believes his vote was cast illegally and should be discounted.
Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,600 votes, a margin of 0.6 per cent that withstood a Trump-requested recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties.
Biden’s attorney asked the court to rule before Monday, when Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes are scheduled to be cast for Biden.
Trump asked for a ruling before January 6, the day Congress counts the Electoral College votes.
Trump and his allies have suffered dozens of defeats in Wisconsin and across the country in lawsuits that rely on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud and election abuse.
Also Saturday, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell asked the Supreme Court to hear a federal case she lost in Wisconsin seeking to order the GOP-controlled Legislature to declare Trump the winner.
Powell has lost similar cases in Georgia and Arizona.
Wisconsin’s highest court agreed to take the case at Trump’s urgent request Friday, soon after a state judge ruled against him and with Monday’s Electoral College vote bearing down and the state’s 10 electoral votes about to go to Biden.
The court is controlled 4-3 by conservatives, but its willingness to take the case isn’t necessarily an indicator of how it will rule.
The court previously refused to hear the case before it went through lower courts, and a majority of justices have openly questioned whether the remedy Trump seeks is appropriate.
Trump sought to have more than 221,000 ballots disqualified in Dane and Milwaukee counties.
He wanted to disqualify absentee ballots cast early and in-person, saying there wasn’t a proper written request made for the ballots; absentee ballots cast by people who claimed ‘indefinitely confined’ status; absentee ballots collected by poll workers at Madison parks; and absentee ballots where clerks filled in missing information on ballot envelopes.
The circuit judge on Friday ruled that none of Trump’s arguments had merit and that state law was followed during the election and subsequent recount.
A Trump-appointed federal judge in Wisconsin said on Thursday that the president’s lawsuit was ‘incredible,’ ‘bizarre’ and ‘very odd,’ and that overturning the results would be ‘the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary.’
Ludwig’s ruling was pending.