02 Doug Ducey  FILE
CNN  — 

In the month since the presidential election, President Donald Trump has repeatedly argued that Arizona’s vote was somehow fraudulent because, uh, he lost.

“Such total corruption,” Trump tweeted Monday as the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, certified President-elect Joe Biden’s narrow win in the state. “So sad for our country!”

Ducey decided to fight back. And he used Trump’s favorite medium to do it.

In a nine-tweet thread on Twitter, the Arizona governor laid out – in clear terms – Arizona’s election laws, asserted that those rules were followed and affirmed his faith in the result. (Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes.)

Here’s the key bit:

“In Arizona, we have some of the strongest election laws in the country, laws that prioritize accountability and clearly lay out procedures for conducting, canvassing, and even contesting the results of an election. We’ve got ID at the polls. We review EVERY signature (every single one) on early ballots — by hand — unlike other states that use computers. Prohibitions on ballot harvesting. Bipartisan poll observers. Clear deadlines, including no ballots allowed after Election Day.”

Ducey also noted that in order to delay the certification – as Trump insisted he should – specific counties in the state would have to decline to certify their results. “ALL 15 counties in Arizona — counties run by both parties — certified their results,” tweeted Ducey.

While it is difficult to respond to Trump’s allegations – because they are so incredibly vague by their very nature (We were cheated! Fraud!) – Ducey does an excellent job of it here. His point is simple: Arizona isn’t new to early voting. Its has voter ID, which means that you cannot cast a vote unless you also display a form of identification. There was no evidence of fraud. Therefore, Ducey is simply doing the job the state’s Constitution lays out for him.

It’s a simple – yet total – rebuke. And it’s all the more effective because it is coming from a governor who long touted his close relationship with Trump.

Here’s Ducey from this summer:

“When there’s a need in Arizona I talk to him (Trump) directly. My senior staff knows this. We’ve had so much outreach, personally, from both the president and the vice president that I had to change the ringtone on my phone. And it rings ‘Hail to the Chief’ because I didn’t want to miss another phone call from the White House to help the state of Arizona.”

Local 12 News reporter Brahm Resnik caught what seemed to be an incoming call with the “Hail to the Chief” ringtone while Ducey was certifying Arizona’s results – which Ducey declined.

And because there is a tweet for everything, here is Trump endorsing Ducey for reelection in 2018:

“Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona is doing a great job. It would be really nice to show your support tomorrow by voting for him in Tuesdays Primary. Doug is strong on Crime, the Border, and our Second Amendment. Loves our Military & our Vets. He has my full and complete Endorsement.”

Trump’s decision to turn on Ducey is, of course, not surprising. Trump’s allies only remain as such if they are willing to say and do everything he asks. The second they step out of line, he hammers them. (Witness Trump’s ongoing savaging of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who paid more homage to this President than almost any other governor in the country.)

What’s more surprising and, candidly, refreshing is Ducey’s willingness to stand up to Trump’s barbs. There has been very little political courage on display among Republicans amid Trump’s ongoing attempts to use false claims and conspiracy theories to raise doubts about the election results in the minds of Americans. Ducey, at least, is willing to go public with the fact that Arizona’s election was fair – even if it didn’t produce the result he wanted.

This is what leadership looks like. More Republicans, especially in Congress, should follow Ducey’s lead if they want to preserve the GOP beyond the Trump years.