The formal transition process has begun, but President Donald Trump refuses to voice defeat in the 2020 election. What are his aides and lawyers thinking?
There has been a rift between those making more extravagant fraud allegations, and those more realistic about the incumbent’s chances of flipping the results of the 2020 election, according to a Saturday report from The Washington Post. When asked for evidence of their “most explosive claims” over the election, longtime Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, and attorney Sidney Powell could not provide the information, said Trump advisers cited by the outlet.
It is hard to describe the internal relationships as anything but tense. Sources said the president called Giuliani on speakerphone from the Oval Office on November 13, while others, including Vice President Mike Pence, were there. The former New York City mayor did not seem to mince words: He claimed the president could still win the race, and the other advisers were lying to him. One of those advisors, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark, cursed at the ex-Hizzoner, and said Giuliani was giving POTUS bad information.
Those besides Giuliani were considerably more reserved about the president’s chances. On November 7, Clark, and others–campaign manager Bill Stepien, and advisers Jason Miller and David Bossie–reportedly briefed Trump on the possible strategy for winning, but said it would be tough and complicated. They gave him a five-to-10 percent chance to win, said a person involved with the meeting.
Still, aides were hardly described as being obstinate when it came to telling the president to let the 2020 election go. One adviser said others were “happy to scratch his itch.”
“If he thinks he won, it’s like ‘Shh … we won’t tell him,'” this person said.
Trump said in an appearance before reporters on Thursday that he would leave the White House if the Electoral College chose Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Nonetheless, it was anything but a full-throated acceptance of defeat.
“But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January,” he said. “A lot of things. Massive fraud has been found.”
Massive fraud has not been found. Trump campaign and supporters have faired poorly in court. Facing a Pennsylvania federal judge, even Giuliani said “This is not a fraud case.”
That is the exact quote, word-for-word, as Giuliani’s fellow Trump campaign lawyer Kory Langhofer in Arizona last week, which, unlike today’s proceedings, is on tape. https://t.co/rTE3TseVAa
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 17, 2020
Signs point to Trump pursuing a second-term in the 2024 presidential election. He reportedly floated the idea of announcing his candidacy on the day of Biden’s upcoming inauguration.
[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
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