Donald Trump’s Persistent Election Lies Met with Skepticism Even Among His Closest Allies
Donald Trump’s steadfast insistence on the 2020 election’s alleged fraud has been marked by his repeated use of the phrase “everyone knows.” He fervently maintained that he won the election “in a landslide” and that “everyone knows” it to be true.
Even in pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find additional votes, Trump claimed that “everyone knows” he won the state, despite the clear election results.
However, the reality is that the number of people who truly believe in Trump’s defeat is far from “everyone.” The Washington Post reported that even his own White House chief of staff treated these claims lightly, joking about their baselessness.
This report, which builds on information from the House Jan. 6 committee’s final report, sheds light on how Trump aides and other Republican officials expressed doubt and mockery of the public election claims made by the former president.
While it is widely recognized across much of the political landscape that election officials, lawyers, judges, journalists, scholars, and Democrats concluded Trump’s claims were unfounded, what is often overlooked is that many close to Trump, including his own allies, reached the same conclusion.
For instance, his campaign manager, campaign lawyers, data experts, Justice Department appointees, and Department of Homeland Security appointees all acknowledged his loss. Even private researchers hired to disprove his defeat ultimately conveyed the same message.
This backdrop of skepticism is significant as it also includes Trump’s final White House chief of staff, a staunch conservative, who treated his boss’s claims as a literal joke.
It is crucial to note, however, that while Mark Meadows may not have been part of the Reality-Based Community, he seemed to be tacitly aware that the evidence to substantiate Trump’s absurd assertions was lacking.
Despite his involvement in controversial events, such as being with Trump during the January 6 Capitol attack and engaging in the fake elector’s scheme, Meadows privately acknowledged the lack of backing for Trump’s claims.
The focus now turns to the legal ramifications for Team Trump and its associates. Special counsel Jack Smith’s office is exploring whether Trump and his closest advisers understood the baselessness of the election fraud claims while still pressuring state officials to overturn Biden’s victory and perpetuating the belief of a stolen election among Trump’s supporters.