Trump meets U.S. House Republican allies to push voter fraud claims
From Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump met with a group of Republican lawmakers on Monday in his unsuccessful attempt to boost claims that the November 3 presidential election, won by Democrat Joe Biden, had been rigged.
Trump has been looking for ways to prevent Biden's win from being certified by the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6. The victory has already been confirmed by the Electoral College and Biden is preparing to take office on January 20th.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows announced the meeting on Twitter.
"Several members of Congress have just finished meeting President @realDonaldTrump in the Oval Office to fight back the mounting evidence of election fraud. Stay tuned," Meadows tweeted.
A source familiar with the meeting said lawmakers in attendance were trusted Trump allies of the House of Representatives, including Representatives Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Mo Brooks. The White House declined to comment on the meeting.
Trump has also considered appointing a U.S. special adviser to investigate his allegations of massive election fraud after his campaign attempts to assert such claims failed in various courts, largely due to a lack of evidence.
A second source familiar with the situation said Sidney Powell, an attorney advocating conspiracy theories, was at the White House for the third time in the last few days on Monday. Powell has encouraged Trump to pursue election fraud claims.
Trump has asked allies if he should select Powell for the role of special adviser and many of them have urged him not to, the source said.
Trump has sat in the White House for days talking to advisers about how to fight election results while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
He plans to leave Washington on Wednesday for the remainder of the year for his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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