Arguably against his better judgement, Trump has emerged from the semi-quiet hiding he’s been in since the election to give his first TV interview on – where else? – Fox News.
The highly anticipated interview with anchor Maria Bartiromo has already been labelled “delusional” for Trump’s continued insistence that he won the election, despite the fact that he actually lost. One person even compared his ramblings to that of a “drunk dude at the end of the bar bar getting tired”.
So what did the president actually say?
He began by pushing more discredited election conspiracy theories, raging about “dumps, big massive dumps in Michigan, in Pennsylvania and… all over.” He goes on to outright claim that “this election was rigged” and “a total fraud”.
He then continues to perpetuate a discredited claim that Republican poll watchers were “thrown out” of polling stations. Trump has tried to bring forward various legal challenges based on this theory, which has been largely discredited.
Due to the pandemic, the capacity for poll watchers was limited, but polling stations across the country maintain that the Trump campaign was granted sufficient access.
Earlier this week an appeals court in Pennsylvania threw out the president’s case, which sought to overturn the election result. In his ruling, the the judge said: "Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."
Trump then goes on to discuss to the upcoming election in Georgia, which will be a run-off for the two remaining senate seats for which no candidate won a majority in the election. This baseless claim of fraud in the state has been peddled by the president for weeks. It is rightly concerning to Republicans, who face the possibility of a low turnout if their supporters believe their vote is essentially pointless.
"Look at the election you have coming up [in Georgia] right now. You're using the same garbage machinery, Dominion"… https://t.co/8ydgQHI80l
Trump then went on to repeat a strange argument that his son Eric has joined him in peddling: that the election results can’t be accurate because Biden couldn’t have won more votes than Obama. (He did win more votes than Obama – and any other president in history – in part due to record number of mail-in ballots cast by Democratic voters.)
He then seems to get a bit confused when talking about Black voters. We can’t exactly follow what he’s trying to say, so we’ll leave his words here for you to make up your own mind:
“[Biden] didn’t beat Obama in the Black communities. You go to some of these communities where Obama’s very very popular, and he beats him in some of these communities, but all throughout the rest of the United States, in a Black community, he does actually poorly, he doesn’t do very well. But he beats Obama in swing states. Now think of that. He beat Obama in swing states. You know that didn’t happen. They stuffed the ballot box.”
Aside from the fact that Biden was of course not running against Obama, it goes without saying that the political and social landscape of 2020 is vastly different to that of 2012. So whatever point he’s trying to make doesn’t really hold up.
Trump then goes on to baselessly claim that he has “thousands of votes, in some cases hundreds of thousands of votes, more than we need in every swing state that we’re talking about”. He complains that the FBI and the DOJ are “missing in action", and moans that they’re not investigating his accusations of voter fraud.
At this point, Trump pivots to ranting about the “Russia Russia hoax, pure hoax!” And that’s basically that on that.
Next up, catch the sitting president bizarrely complaining about the “where the country’s gone over the last 10 or 15 years”. For avoidance of doubt, that is the same country he’s been running for the past four.
He also goes on to talk about how he’ll fix it “if I got in or get in” thanks to a deal with Iran. Again, for avoidance of doubt, Trump lost the election. He did not “get in”, nor will he “get in” again any time soon.
He makes a brief interlude here in the midst of the conspiracy theories to praise Sean Hannity for no apparent reason:
Not a single soul:
Trump finally tells Baritomo that he’s going to “use 125 per cent of my energy” to prove his claims in the coming weeks. This doesn’t feel like the best use of a president’s energy in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s almost enough to make you miss the golfing.
To close out, Trump claims that “they” (no clarity on who exactly they are – his supporters, perhaps?) say that it’s “statistically impossible” that he lost the election.
And with that, the exchange concludes. A wild ride indeed, but we expected nothing less.