On Saturday, Lin Wood—the pro-Trump, QAnon-loving lawyer—was decisively beaten in his attempt to become the chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, with incumbent Drew McKissick winning 67% of the vote.
Former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed McKissick multiple times in the lead up to Saturday’s vote, even called the winner to congratulate him.
“I think the party spoke with a pretty clear voice here today,” McKissick said following his victory.
But that’s not how Wood saw things, and rather than graciously accepting defeat, the conspiracy theory-loving lawyer is now calling for a statewide audit of all recent election results.
Wood skipped the convention Saturday and instead rode his 1931 Ford Model A Roadster to a “Win with Lin” rally at the 716-acre Cotton Hall Plantation, one of two huge plantations Wood purchased in Beaufort County.
At the rally, videos of which were posted on his Telegram channel, Wood continued to boost election fraud conspiracies, claiming he was the real winner of the election. “I Won We the People,” Wood cryptically posted to Telegram on Saturday.
And on Sunday, Wood, whose license to practice law is being investigated by the State Bar of Georgia’s disciplinary board, claimed the entire system was rigged and called for an audit of all recent election results.
“The November 2020 election in South Carolina must be audited to ensure that the vote was lawful and no cheating occurred,” Wood said. “Demand the audit and then watch which RINO Republicans oppose it or make excuses as to why no audit should be undertaken.”
Wood, of course, has provided no proof whatsoever for his claims that the vote was rigged, and his claims that the elections were rigged is all the more extraordinary claim given the recent success the GOP has had in South Carolina.
As well as flipping five seats in the State House, McKissick helped keep Lindsey Graham in Congress despite an unprecedented challenge from Democrat Jamie Harrison. Republican Nancy Mace also flipped a House seat back to red in November’s election.
Wood has some experience with election audits, given that he has reportedly given $50,000 to help fund the recount currently taking place in Arizona.
Wood is also attempting to dismiss Trump’s repeated endorsement of his opponent, claiming it is part of some grand scheme that will ultimately see Trump return to the Oval Office.
“I think Donald Trump has a reason for keeping the RINO Republicans close,” Wood told the audience on Saturday evening. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
Wood dismissed Trump’s endorsement of McKissick as fake during his speech Saturday, but on Sunday he revelled in the fact that, in the very same statement, Trump referred to him in the as a “strong and talented opponent.”
Wood continued his praise of Trump on Sunday via his Telegram channel where he has amassed over 850,000 followers.
“I support President Trump 100%,” Wood said, adding: “President Trump is a genius. He plays chess at a level we will never fully understand.”
These comments should come as no surprise, given that Wood has been making outlandish claims about Trump throughout his campaign to become chair of the South Carolina Republican Party.
At a Bikers for Trump rally recently, Wood claimed Trump was tackling child sex trafficking rings, the existence of which is a central tenet of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Last week he claimed that Trump was in fact still president and that he still had access to the nuclear codes and could order a military strike if he wanted. He also claimed Trump had probably signed the Insurrection Act during a secret meeting while he was still in office.
The South Carolina GOP race was being closely watched by many people who are tracking the rise of support for more extremist views—like QAnon—within the Republican Party. While his loss will reassure some that those views are not yet mainstream within the party, Wood did win more delegates than McKissick in the highly-populated conservative Greenville and Horry counties.