The executive summary of the House Jan. 6 committee’s report details how former President Donald Trump was repeatedly warned that claims that he had lost his reelection due to fraud were false by those closest to him, including Cabinet members, campaign officials, and even family members. Trump nevertheless spread those lies.
According to David Becker, co-author of “The Big Truth,” a book about the harm caused by Trump’s election lies, “This was not him hearing this from Joe Biden’s spokesman on MSNBC.”
The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was sparked by Trump’s lies about his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, which have also fueled millions of dollars in donations to the former president. These facts demonstrate that he was informed of his loss honestly but chose to conceal it.
Trump had long-standing plans to declare victory, whether or not he actually won, according to the Jan. 6 committee. His supporters were bragging about how they would try to mislead the populace into believing he had won reelection. In correspondence to the White House in October 2020 from the right-leaning organisation Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton urged Trump to declare after the polls closed: “We had an election. I won.”
The committee also got hold of a recording of Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who said to friends the week before the election, “What Trump’s going to do is just declare victory, right? He will proclaim victory. Even so, he is not necessarily a winner. He will simply declare himself a winner.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mail voting gained popularity and was vilified by Trump for months. Additionally, the incumbent president insisted there would be widespread voter fraud as the only way he could lose the election. The day after Election Day, when Trump did declare victory early in the morning, he took advantage of a glitch in the voting process wherein in-person votes with a GOP lean were counted first, temporarily giving him the advantage. He insisted that the remaining ballots, which tended to be Democratic, stop being counted by the local election officials.
“President Trump’s decision to declare victory falsely on election night and, unlawfully, to call for the vote counting to stop, was not a spontaneous decision,” the committee wrote in the executive summary for its report. “It was premeditated.”
By November 7, when the remaining Democratic votes had been counted and Joe Biden’s victory had been declared by the majority of news outlets, Trump’s own campaign was aware that he had lost.
According to Bill Stepien, his campaign manager, “the group that went over there outlined, you know, my belief and chances for success at this point.” “And then, based on recounts, we estimated that at, you know, 5, maybe 10 percent.”
“He was pretty realistic with our viewpoint, in agreement with our viewpoint of kind of the forecast and the uphill climb we thought he had,” Stepien continued, adding that Trump believed him.