Trump defends calls to Pennsylvania House speaker to fix ‘total corruption’ in election


President Trump on Tuesday defended his calls to Pennsylvania’s House speaker to intervene in the election, pushing back against critics including former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who said Mr. Trump’s actions are “not normal.”

“Thank you to Speaker [Bryan] Cutler and all others in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who fully understand what went on in the 2020 Election,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “It’s called total corruption!”

Mr. Cutler’s spokesman confirmed that the president called the state House Speaker twice in recent days, asking what the Pennsylvania legislature could do to fix alleged election fraud. Democrat Joseph R. Biden won the state, and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration have certified the election.

Mr. Flake, a Trump critic who represented Arizona for one term in the Senate, slammed the president for lobbying Republican officials in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan to overturn the election results.

“There is long-term damage when this kind of behavior is normalized,” Mr. Flake said on Twitter. “It is not normal, and elected Republicans need to speak out against it.”

Mr. Trump fired back on Twitter, “And it’s not normal when a sitting Senator is forced to retire because his Arizona poll numbers were so low that he would have come out dead last in the Republican Primary, and had zero chance of winning the general election. Great job Jeff!”

Mr. Cutler and more than 60 other GOP state legislators in Pennsylvania have asked Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation to object on Jan. 6 to seating Mr. Biden’s presidential electors from the state.

Democratic state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia said Mr. Cutler “should have told the President to accept the results of the election and knock off the nonsense.”

“Instead, he joined a letter last week to ask Congress to overturn the electoral college,” Mr. Kenyatta tweeted. “The cowardice is stunning. And now members of his caucus are suing me and other electors in yet another doomed attempt to silence PA voters.”

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