- Trump told aides he wouldn’t leave office in the days following the 2020 election, CNN reports.
- “We’re never leaving,” Trump told an aide, NYT reporter Maggie Haberman writes in her book.
- Haberman’s book on Trump, “Confidence Man,” will be released on October 4.
President Donald Trump told aides he would refuse to leave office in the days following the 2020 election, according to a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
CNN reported Monday on exclusive details from the book by Haberman, a top Trump reporter, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” which is due for release on October 4.
Trump told one aide, “I’m just not going to leave,” Haberman reports, per CNN.
“We’re never leaving,” Trump said to another aide, according to the book. “How can you leave when you won an election?”
Shortly after 2 a.m. on election night, Trump delivered a defiant speech in the East Room of the White House where he baselessly declared the election “a fraud on the American public” and said, “Frankly, we did win this election.”
But Trump, to some, initially seemed like he might accept his election loss in the immediate aftermath of the election, telling one aide, “we did our best,” and saying, “I thought we had it,” to some press aides, Haberman reports in the book, per CNN.
Trump quickly decided, however, to double down on his lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him and to contest the election results until the very end in both the court system and the public eye, not even admitting he lost after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Someone overheard Trump asking Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, “Why should I leave if they stole it from me?,” Haberman reports in the book.
Trump even asked the White House valet who delivered his Diet Cokes to the Oval Office about what he should do following the election, according to CNN’s report on the book.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr said in a recent podcast interview that “no one” except informal advisor Steve Bannon knew of Trump’s plans to prematurely declare victory in the election and refuse to leave office, admitting that he “underestimated” how far Trump would go in his quest to overturn the 2020 election and stay in office.
“Suggesting there was major fraud as early as he did, in retrospect, looks to me like that was the plan on election night,” Barr said.