President Trump on Sunday gave his first interview since losing the Nov. 3 election. As he has done for almost four weeks, Trump continued to angrily deny that reality, this time adding a new claim: His own Department of Justice and the FBI are falling down on the job of investigating his allegations of fraud.
“We won the election easily,” the president falsely said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
President-elect Joe Biden comfortably won the election, but Trump has seized on mail-in voting, which increased sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, to sow confusion. He has used Twitter and lawsuits — most of which have been tossed out of the courts — as the vehicle for that confusion. On Sunday, he took to Maria Bartiromo’s Fox News show.
At one point during the interview, Trump even speculated that his own administration’s law enforcement entities could be complicit in the alleged conspiracies, which spanned across mail-in and in-person voting.
“This is total fraud. And how the FBI, and Department of Justice — I don’t know, maybe they’re involved — but how people are allowed to get away with this is stuff is unbelievable. This election was rigged. This election was a total fraud,” Trump said.
He later said, “All I can say, is: With all of the fraud that’s taken place, nobody has come to me and said, ‘Oh, the FBI has nabbed the people that are doing this scheme.’”
The Department of Justice, he said, in response to a leading question by Bartiromo, is “missing in action.”
He also charged news media and social media companies with ignoring what he said was the worst political scandal in American history, and alleged, again with no evidence, that ballots were requested in the names of dead people, and that “many mailmen are in trouble for selling ballots.” He accused two leading Republicans in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, of failing to properly administer the election. “I’m sorry I endorsed him,” Trump said of Kemp.
The almost-hour-long interview was a series of similarly brazen claims, with Bartiromo egging him on and echoing his most extreme pronouncements.
“They cheat, and they cheat like crazy.”
“They stuffed the ballot boxes.”
“People were not allowed to vote.”
“They found ballots under rocks.”
And so on.
On Saturday night, the Washington Post published an extensive account of Trump’s failed mission to overturn the election through litigation in the states he narrowly lost. The paper documented how Trump spurned former allies to surround himself in a bubble of loyalists willing to placate him with a scattershot of fringe conspiracy theories claiming he won.
“He spent part of Thanksgiving calling advisers to ask if they believed he really had lost the election,” the Post reported, citing a person familiar with the calls.
Though Trump continues to deny the reality of his loss, his administration finally took a step last week to fund Biden’s transition efforts. The president’s staff, the Post and other outlets reported, convinced him that taking that bureaucratic step did not amount to a concession.
He has continued to declare the election a scam even as a series of judges — many appointed by Republicans, himself included — dismissed his lawsuits as baseless. On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed out a Republican lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the Keystone State’s election.
“They make it like we don’t have evidence. We have evidence all over the place,” Trump insisted Sunday. He went on to complain that some of his own team’s lawyers were threatened — “psychologically and otherwise” — into resigning from the effort.
At the interview’s close, Trump implied that he would not be conceding the election to Biden even after his successor enters the Oval Office.
“It’s not like you’re going to change my mind. In other words, my mind will not change in six months,” he said. Yahoo News