The Slatest

Trump Says “Probably Not” Prepared to Lose in 2020, Doesn’t Believe He Lost Popular Vote

Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media prior to departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in D.C. on June 22.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said he isn’t prepared to lose the 2020 presidential election. In the interview with NBC’s Meet the Press that aired Sunday, Trump also said he does not believe the official vote count of the 2016 election, illustrating how losing the popular vote is still a sore subject for the president.

“No. Probably not,” Trump said when asked whether he was “prepared to lose” in 2020. “It would be much better if I said, ‘Yeah.’ It would be much easier for me to say, ‘Oh, yes.’ No, I’m probably not too prepared to lose. I don’t like losing. I haven’t lost very much in my life.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd went on to ask Trump about an infamously sore subject for the president: “You didn’t like the fact that you lost the popular vote. That bothered you, didn’t it?” Trump then went on to cast doubt about the final vote tally in the 2016 election. “I’ll say something that, again, is controversial. There were a lot of votes cast that I don’t believe,” Trump said. He went on to say “there was much illegal voting” on Election Day. The president then switched talking points quickly, saying he didn’t “campaign for the popular vote.” If the election were decided by popular vote, “I would have done … even better.”

Trump expressed confidence in his reelection prospects in the interview that aired on Sunday, using it as an opportunity to disparage former Vice President Joe Biden, claiming he would be easier to beat than Hillary Clinton. “I actually think that Hillary Clinton was a great candidate. She was very smart. She was very tough. She was ruthless and vicious,” Trump said. When Todd brought up that Trump seems to spend an awful lot of time talking about Clinton, Trump pushed back saying he would rather run against Biden. “Sleepy Joe. He’s sleepy. She was not sleepy,” Trump said, before going back to talking about the Electoral College. “Let me just tell you something, the Electoral College is tougher for a Republican to win than the popular vote. At least me. I feel that I go to three places. I went to 19 or 21 states. I went to Maine four times because I wanted to get one. And I did get it. And that’s the beauty of the Electoral College.”