In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign, where Trump suggested that he would not acknowledge defeat. His legal challenges to the election of Joseph Biden have toggled between appalling and farcical. But his base continues to believe the bogus narrative.
Top officials are trying to stay away from the West Wing right now.
A source who spoke to Trump said the president was complaining about Pence and brought up a Lincoln Project ad that claims that Pence is "backing away" from Trump. This ad has clearly got inside Trump’s head, the source said.
- Trump is lashing out, and everyone is in the blast zone: At this point, if you're not in the “use the Department of Homeland Security or the military to impound voting machines” camp, the president considers you weak and beneath contempt.
- Trump is fed up with Cipollone, his counsel. Some supporters of Cipollone are worried that Trump is on the brink of removing him and replacing him with a fringe loyalist.
Pence’s role on Jan. 6 has begun to loom large in Trump’s mind, according to people who’ve discussed the matter with him.
- Trump views Pence as not fighting hard enough for him — the same complaint he uses against virtually everybody who works for him and has been loyal to him.
- Trump would view Pence performing his constitutional duty — and validating the election result — as the ultimate betrayal.