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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Postgame

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign, where Trump openly encouraged violence.  His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical.    But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.

Felicia Sonmez, Josh Dawsey, Dan Lamothe and Matt Zapotosky at WP:
President Trump has intensified efforts to overturn the election, raising a series of radical measures in recent days, including military intervention, seizing voting machines and a 13th-hour appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, Trump said in a radio interview that he had spoken with Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) about challenging the electoral vote count when the House and Senate convene on Jan. 6 to formally affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory...Trump’s conversation with Tuberville is part of a much broader effort by the defeated president to invalidate the election. He is increasingly reaching out to allies like Giuliani and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for ideas and searching his Twitter feed for information to promote, according to Trump advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.



In total, the president talked to at least 31 Republicans, encompassing mostly local and state officials from four critical battleground states he lost — Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. The contacts included at least 12 personal phone calls to 11 individuals, and at least four White House meetings with 20 Republican state lawmakers, party leaders and attorneys general, all people he hoped to win over to his side. Trump also spoke by phone about his efforts with numerous House Republicans and at least three current or incoming Senate Republicans.

And it all occurred in parallel to his campaign’s quixotic efforts to launch recounts and file lawsuits demanding ballots be tossed.

Trump’s efforts to cling to power are unprecedented in American history. While political parties have fought over the results of presidential elections before, no incumbent president has ever made such expansive and individualized pleas to the officials who oversee certification of the election results. Trump even used his presidential perch to compel officials to talk with him, summoning state officials to the White House on a few-hours notice and insisting that his outreach was simply part of his presidential duties.