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Trump says his fixation on the 2020 election could be 'a problem' or 'an asset' in 2022: book

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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021. Stephen Zenner/AFP/Getty Images
  • Trump acknowledged that his focus on 2020 may have cost the GOP the Senate and could hurt the party in 2022.

  • "It could be a problem," Trump said before tacking on that "it could be an asset."

  • Republicans largely view Trump's focus on the 2020 presidential election as a potential liability.

Former President Donald Trump says his focus on the outcome of the 2020 election - and belief that he could be somehow reinstated as the legitimate president - could be either benefit or hurt Republicans heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

That's according to David Drucker, who interviewed the former president at Mar-a-Lago in May for his new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," published on Tuesday.

"It could be a problem," Trump said of his fixation on the 2020 election, before insisting that it also "could be an asset."

Trump also acknowledged that he may have contributed to the Republican Party losing control of the Senate by making baseless claims about the results of the presidential election ahead of Georgia's January 5 runoff elections, when Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff narrowly defeated two Republican incumbents.

"They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump said of Georgia Republican voters, continuing to sow doubt in his approximately 12,000-vote loss in the presidential election, which was confirmed by two statewide recounts.

Drucker then posed a counterfactual to Trump: what if he had more aggressively urged Republicans to vote in the runoff?

"I don't know," Trump replied. "I did two rallies - very successful rallies. I did say a version of that, but not as strongly as you said, because I was angry with what happened there."

The former president also said the 2020 election, rather than upcoming elections in 2022 or 2024, was the "single biggest thing."

Trump's comments to Drucker align with statements he's been making in recent weeks.

On October 15, Trump spoke at the National Republican Senatorial Committee's retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, where he continued to push false claims about the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported. Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported from the retreat that Republicans were worried about Trump hurting the GOP's chances of reclaiming the Senate and House by doubling down on his 2020 election loss.

The former president also claimed that Republicans would not vote in upcoming elections if the 2020 election wasn't "solved."

"It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," Trump said.

At least some Republicans are uneasy with Trump's focus on the last election.

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the chairman of House Republicans' campaign arm, reportedly distanced himself from Trump's statement in a call with reporters, describing Trump as a "private citizen" who is "entitled to his opinion."

"Right now, if the party focuses on Afghanistan, inflation, the border, crime - we are going to win big," Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska told The Post. "If the party wants to make it about the election is rigged, we will lose. Independent voters don't respond well to that. If we keep the focus right, I think we're going to win big in 2022."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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