John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, said Sunday that the president’s claim of election fraud is “all a blue smoke and mirrors.”
Mr. Bolton, an outspoken Trump critic since being ousted from the White House, said Republican leaders need to explain to Trump voters that the president lost the election fair and square.
“This is a character test for the Republican Party. I don’t buy the argument that Donald Trump has hypnotized Republican voters or that they’re not capable of accepting the truth,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
He predicted that Republican leaders were getting ready to break with Mr. Trump over claims of a vast Democratic conspiracy that fixed the election for presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
He said the Trump campaign has no evidence of vote tampering, though Trump campaign lawsuits identify problems in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.
“Their basic argument is this was a conspiracy, so vast and so successful that there’s no evidence of it,” said Mr. Bolton. “Now, if that’s true, I really want to know who the people are who pulled this off. We need to hire them at the CIA. The fact is, this is all a blue smoke and mirrors, and I think people will accept that if they see leaders they respect explain it.”
Mr. Bolton emerged as an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump after the president fired him in September 2018, including writing a tell-all book about his 17 months in the Trump White House.
The Trump campaign launched a series of state and federal lawsuits claiming shenanigans with ballot counts that made Mr. Biden the projected winner.
Mr. Trump also promoted allegations that Dominion Voting Systems, a widely used ballot-scanning and tabulation system, is susceptible to tampering.
The company fiercely denies its products have vulnerabilities. Left-leaning mainstream news organizations have aggressively defended Dominion with fact checks.
Suspicions about took hold after a Dominion ballot-scanning machines in the GOP stronghold of Antrim County, Michigan, were discovered to have switched 6,000 votes from Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden.
Michigan election officials blamed the mix-up on human error.