The Slatest

In First Postelection TV Interview, Trump Suggests He Will Never Accept He Lost the Election

Trump in profile, speaking on the South Lawn
President Donald Trump at the White House on Sunday. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump keeps criticizing Fox News lately, and even told his followers not to watch the network recently, but on Sunday he basically took over the show Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. In the 46-minute phone interview, his first since the election, Trump made clear he’s not going to concede by going as far as to suggest he won’t ever accept he lost the election to Joe Biden. Without receiving any sort of pushback for his claims, Trump went on a long tirade, repeating over and over again his baseless claim there was widespread voter fraud in the election even as his team keeps losing legal cases.

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“It’s not like you’re going to change my mind. In other words, my mind will not change in six months,” Trump said. “There was tremendous cheating here.” Bartiromo received plenty of criticism for not ever asking Trump to back up his claims and even cheered him on at points. After Trump called the election a “fraud” and insisted it was “rigged,” Bartiromo seemed almost as upset as the president: “This is disgusting and we cannot allow America’s election to be corrupted.” While Bartiromo did ask Trump to provide evidence “to enable you to prove this in court,” she didn’t push back on claims that had already been proved false. Trump said he was winning the election until “they did dumps, they call them dumps, big massive dumps.”

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Even though his legal team has pretty much lost all legal challenges to the election, Trump said he’s determined to “use 125 percent of my energy” to prove his allegations that the vote was rigged. “You need a judge that’s willing to hear a case,” he added. “You need a Supreme Court that’s willing to make a real big decision.” At one point he said he wanted to file “one nice, big, beautiful lawsuit talking about this and many other things with tremendous proof.”

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The president also seemed to suggest that the FBI and Justice Department should be doing more to help him make the case the election was rigged. “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.

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At one point of the interview Trump said he regretted endorsing Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, repeating baseless conspiracy theories about the voting machines used in the state. “The governor’s done nothing. He’s done absolutely nothing,” Trump said of Kemp. “I’m ashamed that I endorsed him. But I look what’s going on. It’s so terrible.” Some are concerned that the president’s repeated claims of fraud in Georgia will push Republicans to stay home in the Senate runoff elections in January.

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