Republican congressman Ralph Norman has said that the only thing he regrets about sending a text message demanding martial law be imposed in response to Donald Trump’s bogus 2020 election fraud claims is his poor spelling.
“Mark, in seeing what’s happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of no return in saving our Republic !! Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law [sic]!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!” he wrote.
Now backing Nikki Haley for the Republican nomination, Mr Norman was asked about the message by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during an interview on Wednesday evening – and, specifically, whether he still stands by his request to use the US military to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
“The only thing I regret: I misspelt ‘martial law’!” the congressman responded.
“Look, everything happened so quick in that election. The time that was given to see if the ballots were real… You’ve seen 2,000 Mules, most people have. There’s a lot of questions…”
Ms Collins interjected to point out that the widely debunked, conspiracy-peddling 2022 pseudo-documentary to which he alluded was made by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza – a Mr Trump supporter whom the 45th president pardoned while in office after he was convicted and sentenced for making an illegal campaign donation.
“That movie is not based in reality,” the anchor said.
“There is no election fraud and courts have proven that. Republican judges that were appointed by Republican presidents have noted that. There was no evidence of that by the time 17 January rolled around congressman.”
But Mr Norman continued: “There were questions, as you know, there were questions throughout the election process. What happened in Georgia was unusual. What happened in Arizona was unusual.
“Look I talked to the congress people that served those particular states but, no, I don’t regret that at all and it’s still questions that linger today [sic].”
Exasperated, Ms Collins hit back: “Sir, what questions are there that linger today?
“Because this is really important. We are approaching another election and when you talk to Republican voters, as seen in exit polls, half of them don’t believe that Joe Biden won the election, which he did and calling for martial law because you have questions about the election, I think most people would agree, is subverting the will of voters, which you often talk about as so important.”
Mr Norman attempted to pivot towards stressing the importance of keeping the electoral process “honest” and attacking Democrats for “circumventing” Republicans’ call for photo identification for voters and for attempting to register “illegal aliens” to vote.
Now quite amused by the congressman’s evasions, Ms Collins pulled him back to his appeal for martial law to which he answered: “Look, I texted Mark Meadows. That’s the only person. He didn’t have the power. I asked him. Donald Trump was shocked too…
Asked if Mr Meadows had responded to him, he said: “You know, I don’t think he… Everything was going so fast I don’t think he did.
“But the bottom line is we’ve got to have secure elections and whatever that takes. There are a lot of questions that still exist… Um, you know you’ve seen the lawsuits that were there.
“But no I wouldn’t take it back. I misspelt it. I should have taken the time. I was in a hurry. But no. I don’t regret that.”