More than seven months after losing the election to Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump took one step closer to finally conceding defeat, although there was a caveat.
What You Need To Know
- More than seven months after losing the election to Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump took one step closer to finally conceding defeat, although there was a caveat.
- "We didn't win, but let's see what happens on that," Trump said in a phone interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity
- Trump has cast doubt on the election results by repeatedly making false claims about widespread fraud, which polls suggest have resonated with a majority of Republicans
- The ex-president has been keeping a close eye on an ongoing election audit in Arizona that has no formal legal authority and cannot change the results of the presidential election
“Shockingly, we were supposed to win easily at 64 million votes, and we got 75 million votes, and we didn't win,” Trump said in a phone interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “But let's see what happens on that.”
In the Hannity interview, Trump again said he’s considering running for the White House in 2024.
The closest Trump had previously come to accepting defeat was on Jan. 7, when he acknowledged for the first time that Biden would take office on Jan. 20.
In fact, not only did he repeatedly falsely claim he had won the election, he insisted he won by a “landslide.” Biden received 7 million more votes than Trump, winning the Electoral College 306-232.
The former president, however, has cast doubt on the election results by repeatedly making false claims about widespread fraud in states that he lost, which he alluded to again Wednesday when he added “let's see what happens on that.”
Trump has been keeping a close eye on an ongoing election audit in Arizona. The review, which has no formal legal authority and cannot change the results of the presidential election, is being led by an outside firm whose CEO has promoted election fraud claims on social media. Maricopa County investigated and upheld its election results three times, and its Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors has called the audit a “sham.”
There are efforts underway aimed at launching a similar audit in Michigan.
The Trump campaign and its allies lost some 60 lawsuits challenging the election results. The former president also unsuccessfully tried to pressure state officials, Justice Department officials, members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence to take the unprecedented step of blocking Biden’s victory.
Then on Jan. 6, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers convened to certify Biden’s victory. The riot happened just after Trump repeated his election falsehoods to a crowd at a nearby rally, told them, “If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore” and then directed them to march to the Capitol.
Trump was impeached for the second time by the House, for inciting an insurrection, although the Senate acquitted him.
Trump's repeated lies have landed with a majority of Republicans. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last month found that 56% of GOP voters believe the presidential election was tainted by illegal voting and that 53% of Republicans believe Trump is the “true president.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Association of State Election Directors described the 2020 election as "the most secure in American history.” And before resigning, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election.