Trump demands Abbott back election audit in Texas

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE is pressuring Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottThe Memo: Will COVID-19's dip boost Biden? GOP leaders escalate battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Lincoln Project files ethics complaint against Abbott MORE (R) to back a bill to launch an election audit in the Lone Star State, signaling an expanded effort to throw his broader 2020 election defeat into question.

While Trump won Texas handily in November, he issued an open letter to Abbott on Thursday repeating his unfounded claims of voter fraud and other irregularities "in some" counties in the state and urged the governor to back the election audit bill in the Texas Legislature's upcoming special session. 

“Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit! You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election,” Trump said.

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“Texas needs you to act now. Your Third Special Session is the perfect, and maybe last, opportunity to pass this audit bill,” he added. “Texans know voting fraud occurred in some of their counties. Let's get to the bottom of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam!”

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The call from Trump echoes others he’s made in states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. However, it is among the first in a state he easily won in 2020.

Several election reviews have confirmed President BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE’s victory in November, though Republicans in Arizona, Pennsylvania and other states are still pressing for audits under the guise of election integrity.

The move could also apply pressure on Abbott, who is running for reelection next year. While he has proven to be a staunch conservative, including by signing into law some of the nation’s strictest abortion restrictions, he is facing primary challenges from a pair of Trump acolytes next year.

Abbott has already been a vocal advocate of implementing voter restrictions, pushing a bill earlier this year tightening pathways to voting that led Democratic legislators to flee to Washington to deny the state legislature a quorum.

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The bill, which passed in August after a quorum was reached, banned curbside voting, empowered partisan poll watchers, curtailed the use of drop boxes and more.

While Democrats lambasted the bill as voter suppression, Trump Thursday called it “watered-down” and demanded Abbott sign legislation to look into his unfounded claims about the last presidential election beyond just future races.

“Texans demand a real audit to completely address their concerns,” he said.