Trump's NPR interview shows his delusion about Arizona's election still burns bright

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President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on Feb. 19, 2020.
President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on Feb. 19, 2020.

The former president of the United States has once again extended his stay in fantasyland.

In an interview with NPR – cut short by Trump when the reporter insisted upon a return trip to reality – Trump proclaimed yet again that Arizona’s vote in the 2020 presidential election was stolen and that an audit of Maricopa County’s election proved it.

“The findings are devastating for Arizona,” Trump told NPR’s Steve Inskeep on Tuesday. “They’re devastating like nobody’s seen before.”

What?

Not even the Cyber Ninjas could find fraud

Here in the real world, not even the Trump supporters who conducted the audit found fraud. Instead, the Cyber Ninjas in September announced that while Biden got more votes, they found “anomalies” in voting that required further investigation or explanation.

Republican-run Maricopa County spent the last three months delving into the ninjas’ findings that more than 53,000 ballots were potentially suspicious. Last week, county officials soundly and roundly debunked 74 of the ninjas’ 75 findings.

“We determined that nearly every finding included faulty analysis, inaccurate claims, misleading conclusions and a lack of understanding of federal and state election laws,” the county wrote.

The county did find 87 questionable ballots – 37 that were potentially fraudulent and 50 that were mistakenly double counted.

That’s 87 out of 2.1 million cast.

That is, indeed, “devastating.” And yet the ex-president either refuses or is just mentally incapable of seeing it. He continues to cling to the fantasy that, facts be damned, he could not possibly have lost the election.

Plenty in Arizona still enable Trump's fantasy

His delusion is, of couse, encouraged by the bootlickers and hangers-on who hope to profit, either politically or financially, by continuing to claim that Trump was robbed.

Just last week, after Maricopa County released its 93-page report on where the ninjas went wrong, Rep. Mark FInchem, the Trump-endorsed candidate who is running for secretary of state, proclaimed that “tens of thousands” of phony votes were cast in Maricopa and Pima counties.

“The real insurrection was run by (then-Maricopa County Recorder Adrian) Fontes and (Secretary of State Katie) Hobbs in Maricopa and Pima on the run up to Nov 3rd and several days after where they rigged the vote in Arizona with tens of thousands of fraudulent votes in each of those counties,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed candidate for governor, proclaimed last week that “BAG LOADS” of ballots were dumped in Arizona and Georgia and demanded that Attorney General Mark Brnovich start arresting people.

“BREAKING: Video & cell phone ‘ping’ proof of ballot traffickers dumping BAG LOADS of ballots,” she tweeted. “Report says 242 in GA and 200 in ARIZONA! At least one of them is talking … Where are the arrests? We the people demand action”.

Anyone who balks Trump is a RINO

I’m quite sure that Brnovich would be making arrests if he could. He is, after all, running for the Senate, facing a crowded Republican field and craving Trump’s endorsement.

He’s just not been willing to descend quite that far into kooksville to claim it.

The fact that Brnovich hasn’t made any arrests should give Republican voters pause to wonder whether they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

But, of course, it won’t.

Which is probably why Trump chose Arizona on Saturday for his first campaign rally of 2022. Look for Lake, Finchem and all the Trump enablers to be there with bells on.

Don’t look for anyone on the GOP-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to attend.

Trump, in his NPR interview, branded them as RINOs for refusing to buy into the fantasy that he was robbed, and he lashed out at his one-time Arizona campaign attorney, Kory Langhofer, for daring to tell a judge in November 2020 that he wasn’t alleging fraud or a stolen election.

Even a respected Republican attorney

Langhofer, a respected Republican attorney who filed one of eight unsuccessful lawsuits seeking to overturn the election, told the judge he was simply raising concerns about a “limited number of cases” involving “good-faith errors” by poll workers.

That, apparently, is enough to assign him to the ranks of the faithless and the feckless.

“When you look at Langhofer, I disagree with him as an attorney,” Trump told NPR. “I did not think he was a good attorney to hire. I don’t know what his game is, but I will just say this: You look at the findings. You look at the number of votes. Go into Detroit and just ask yourself, is it true that there are more votes than there are voters? Look at Pennsylvania. Look at Philadelphia. Is it true that there were far more votes than there were voters?”

To answer your question, Mr. Trump. No, it isn’t true, according to any reputable fact check in the land.

Yet on and on you wail about a stolen election and God help anyone who dares to try to introduce a note of reality into this now 15-month-old trip into the land of make-believe.

With friends like these, who needs reality?

I doubt even the Lollipop Guild could get through to this guy.

It’s worth noting that when NPR’s Inskeep pushed back against Trump’s claims of a stolen election, Trump hung up on him.

He is simply unable, or unwilling, to imagine a world in which he lost. The real world, that is.

And by surrounding himself this weekend with Arizona enablers like Lake and FInchem – and Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko, Wendy Rogers and Kelli Ward, to name just a few – he doesn’t have to.

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Trump's NPR interview puts his Arizona delusion on full display

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