Reach of 'big lie' grows 6 months after Jan. 6: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein

“Remember this day forever!” former President Donald Trump implored his followers on the afternoon of Jan. 6, in what would be one of his final tweets before being suspended from Twitter.

Half a year later, Trump got his wish and then some. If anything, the “big lie” and the attempted insurrection have become more critical to understanding politics — and, in some quarters, surviving in it — as time has solidified facts as well as turned up new ones.

Revelations in a wave of new books are adding layers to the events around that critical period. Law-enforcement authorities continue to turn up stunning new details; just last week, an alleged member of the extremist “Boogaloo” movement was charged, and on Tuesday, the Justice Department unsealed charges alleging that another suspect “coordinated” surveillance of the Capitol before the attack.

PHOTO: Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

Meanwhile, partisan “audits” of the last election are still ongoing in a few states, fueling baseless theories that Trump will be proven right and even potentially reinstated. The former president himself is holding a news conference Wednesday at his New Jersey golf club, as he increases pressure on Republicans in battleground states to reexamine November’s results and tighten their election laws going forward.

As for prospective candidates, The Washington Post found that at least a third of the nearly 700 Republicans who have filed to pursue House or Senate bids next year have publicly embraced Trump’s lies about the election.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump arrives at the Sarasota Fairgrounds to speak to his supporters during the Save America Rally in Sarasota, Fla., July 3, 2021.

Some of the corporations that announced to some fanfare that they would no longer support lawmakers who sought to overturn the election are still funding entities that help them, as an Associated Press analysis found this week.

For all of this, as the House’s Jan. 6 select committee gets organized, there remain huge holes to fill in what Trump administration officials and members of Congress — including some in leadership — were doing and saying on and around that day.

Six months have been long enough for history to be written and rewritten — in many cases quite dishonestly. The coming months will fill gaps but appear less likely than ever to achieve political consensus surrounding the facts.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

After a two-week wait, New York has a Democratic nominee in the race for mayor: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: an (sic) historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers for Mayor of New York City,” Adams said in a statement Tuesday. “Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers.”

Adams currently leads former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia by more than 8,000 votes with a small number of absentee ballots outstanding.

PHOTO: New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams speaks during his election night party, June 22, 2021, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Earlier mistakes in the first count of ranked-choice votes are more illustrative of well-established ineptitude within the city’s Board of Elections, than the effectiveness of ranked-choice voting. The system is used in jurisdictions across the country without major incident.

Still, that hasn’t stopped Republicans outside of the Big Apple — including Trump and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton — from using the BOE’s counting calamity to slam the voting system.

Adams will face Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee, in the general election. Adams is widely considered the favorite to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

The 2022 campaign cycle is still technically light years away, but early challenger announcements to GOP incumbents signal that a messy primary season is ahead for Republicans. So far, at least two high-profile state GOP chairs have entered the fray in opposition to prominent incumbents in western states.

With former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West announcing his gubernatorial challenge against sitting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over the holiday weekend, a similar scenario played out one state over in Oklahoma.

PHOTO: Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer speaks at an event to announce his run for the U.S. Senate, March 16, 2021 in Jenks, Okla., while President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn sits by his side.

As reported by The Oklahoman, the state’s Republican Party Chairman, John Bennett, recently announced his support for Jackson Lahmeyer, a pastor who is challenging incumbent Sen. James Lankford. Bennett apparently based his decision on Lankford’s vote in favor of certifying the 2020 election results.

In a tweet, Lahmeyer said he was “thankful” for Bennett’s leadership and his backing, but the move remains highly unusual given that party chairs typically either offer endorsements following the primary season or support incumbents. While it remains to be seen whether Bennett’s endorsement creates meaningful hurdles for Lankford, the intraparty divide is likely to continue growing ahead of 2022.


ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. Wednesday morning’s episode features ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, who brings us up to speed on the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan. Dr. Ashish Jha from Brown University’s School of Public Health explains why the Delta variant is a cause for concern even in mostly vaccinated communities. And ABC News Senior Investigative reporter Aaron Katersky tells us about a militia group that caused a scare in Massachusetts over the long weekend.

FiveThirtyEight’s Politics Podcast. The Pew Research Center released its verified voter survey looking at how different groups in the electorate voted in 2020. It’s generally considered one of the most comprehensive pictures of trends within the electorate. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew talks about the most notable data points in this analysis and what it means for Democratic and Republican strategies going forward. They also discuss ranked-choice voting and the reasons for delays in New York City’s final vote count in the Democratic mayoral primary.


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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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