Former US president Donald Trump has issued a strange threat, saying Republican voters will boycott the nation's next two election cycles unless his claims about widespread fraud in 2020 are "solved".
Trump made the declaration in a brief, two-sentence statement after a judge in Georgia dismissed a lawsuit from his supporters, who were seeking to inspect 147,000 mail ballots.
Eleven months on from his defeat to Joe Biden, Trump still insists he actually won.
"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," he warned yesterday.
"It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."
His message went into no further detail as to how the aforementioned "Presidential Election Fraud of 2020" would be solved.
The Trump campaign's repeated efforts to overturn Biden's victory in the final months of 2020 were fruitless. Judges at state and federal level, including conservatives appointed by Trump himself, repeatedly berated the then-president and his allies for failing to produce any evidence to back up their claims.
The former president's suggestion that his supporters should stay home is curious because by doing so, they would actually harm his party's prospects in both the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.
Trump's election rhetoric was widely blamed for the poor turnout among Republican voters for a pair of close Senate elections in January, which resulted in Biden's Democrats claiming total control of Congress.
Senior Republicans suggested that by telling his supporters ahead of time that the result would be fraudulent - and therefore, that their votes wouldn't count - he convinced some not to show up at the polls at all.
Georgia's Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, a fellow Republican, slammed Trump over his statement yesterday.
"The statement below is another painful reminder that his pride is more important than his party," Duncan wrote.
"We can't afford [literally] four more years of failed leadership from Joe Biden.
"Please show up to vote Republicans in '22 and '24, our future depends on it."
As for the decision in Georgia to throw out his fans' latest lawsuit, in a separate statement Trump called it a "disgrace", adding that he had "little doubt" the ballots "are terrible".
"Why can't the public see the ballots? Our country is going to hell and we are not allowed transparency even in our elections," Trump said.
"The people of Georgia deserve to know the truth. So unfair to them and our Country. The fight continues, we will never give up!
"Our Elections are so corrupt and nobody wants to do anything about it!"
Georgia conducted multiple recounts to check its results in 2020, including a recount by hand. No proof was uncovered supporting Trump's claims, which were also thoroughly tested in the courts.
The former president is currently under criminal investigation in the state for his attempts to pressure election officials into overturning Biden's victory there.
Trump's latest threat has some speculating that he may not run for president again in 2024 - something some of his Republican colleagues would welcome.
Republican senators "with a few exceptions … definitely don't want to see Trump announce a bid before the 2022 midterm elections, fearing that could sink their hopes of winning back the Senate", according to The Hill.
"I think we're better off when he's not part of any story," said one Republican, who told the publication his view is widely shared in the GOP conference.
"He's a clinical narcissist. He threw away the election in the debate with Biden and he threw away the Senate out of spite."
Another Republican senator, whose seat is up for re-election next year, said Trump's re-emergence as a candidate would be a "gift" to Democrats who want to make the mid-terms about the former president, taking the heat off the Biden administration.
"The way my colleagues see it, he's an asset in the primaries if he's with you and then it creates challenges in the general election," he said.
"He's different than any political person that I've ever known."
A recent Pew Research poll found that, while two thirds of Republicans in the US want Trump to remain a "major political figure", fewer than half want him to seek the Republican presidential nomination a third time.
"I think there are better options out there for the Republican Party," University of Iowa senior and member of the school's College Republicans, Josh Luedtke, told the BBC.
"Yes, Donald Trump did a lot of great things for our country. But he also did a lot of dividing of the people."