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What We Learned from Trump’s Effort to Overturn the 2020 Election Results

Ultimately, Mr. Trump agreed to focus on a different goal: blocking congressional certification of the results on Jan. 6.

With attention focused on the president’s daily tirades and subversive maneuvers, a group of activists — little known but increasingly influential — was going town to town in MAGA-red buses, holding rallies to pressure key senators to contest the vote. The bus tour was organized by a group called Women for America First.

The group would help build an acutely Trumpian coalition that included sitting and incoming members of Congress, rank-and-file voters and the “de-platformed” extremists and conspiracy theorists promoted on an early version of its “Trump March” home page — since deleted but found through the Internet Archive — including the white nationalist Jared Taylor, prominent QAnon proponents and the Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio.

Women for America First had various ties to the president and those close to him. Its leader, Amy Kremer, was a leading organizer of the Tea Party era and an early supporter of Mr. Trump, having started a Women for Trump super PAC in 2016. And two of the group’s organizers had their own important ties. One, Jennifer Lawrence, knew Mr. Trump through her father, who had done business with him; another, Dustin Stockton, had credibility in the gun-rights community as a coordinator with Gun Owners of America. Both had worked with Mr. Bannon as well.

Among the sponsors of the bus tour were Mr. Bannon and Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, who says he has spent $2 million so far investigating voting machines and foreign interference. Mr. Lindell, along with Mr. Byrne, was part of a shift taking place in the Republican Party as traditional donors withdrew from what became an open attack on the democratic system, and new donors rose to finance the stolen-election narrative.

Women for America First was the original organizer of the Jan. 6 rally in Washington. But at the turn of the year, Mr. Trump decided to join the rally himself, and the event effectively became a White House production, with several people close to the administration and the Trump campaign joining the team.

The former Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson was the liaison to the White House, a former administration official said. And the president discussed the speaking lineup, as well as the music to be played, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations.

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