As Nov. 3 approached, President Trump and most of his team had become convinced he would defy expectations and win re-election, but then Fox News called Arizona for Joe Biden and Trump "was yelling at everyone," a senior administration official tells The Washington Post, which pieced together the 20 days between the election and the Trump administration's reluctant approval of Biden's transition by speaking with 32 senior administration officials, campaign aides, and legal and other advisers to Trump.
Even when it became clear Biden won, Trump still "refused to see it that way," the Post reported Sunday, adding:
Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the telling of one close adviser, like "Mad King George, muttering, 'I won. I won. I won.'"
However cleareyed Trump's aides may have been about his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, many of them nonetheless indulged their boss and encouraged him to keep fighting with legal appeals. They were "happy to scratch his itch," this adviser said. "If he thinks he won, it's like, 'Shh . . . we won't tell him.'" The result was an election aftermath without precedent in U.S. history. [The Washington Post]
The Post's detailed account of "one of the final chapters in Trump's presidency" found that it mirrored much of Trump's tenure, including "a government paralyzed by the president's fragile emotional state; advisers nourishing his fables; expletive-laden feuds between factions of aides and advisers; and a pernicious blurring of truth and fantasy."
The account covers Trump's election night war room, Rudy Giuliani's "hostile takeover" of Trump's legal effort — and the resulting humiliations and court losses — and the president's failed efforts to convince GOP lawmakers to help him steal the election. It ends with Trump telling Pennsylvania Republicans via a scratchy cellphone connection last Wednesday that "if you were a Republican poll watcher, you were treated like a dog" — and the Post's aside that while "like a dog" is one of Trump's favorite put-downs, "many people treat dogs well, like members of their own families." Read the entire account at The Washington Post.
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