early and often

Trump Spent His Holiday Weekend Bolstering His Loser Routine

Trapped in post-defeat purgatory. Photo: Erin Staff/Getty Images

While this was no ordinary Thanksgiving holiday for most Americans thanks to the surging wave of COVID-19 cases around the country, it was still a time to give thanks for anything that happened this year that wasn’t horrible. The only thing President Trump seems to be thankful for, however, is the opportunity to publicly wallow in his failure to retain power — both electorally and extra-legally. Though the president effectively conceded the election last week when he finally authorized his administration to work with President-elect Joe Biden on a presidential transition process, the soon-to-be ex-president still spent his holiday weekend raging against the dying of his White House light (at least when he wasn’t golfing). His campaign fights on, as well, though that has just meant adding more humiliations to the pile. The $3 million recount Trump requested in Wisconsin only expanded Biden’s lead in the state, while the only gains the president’s hapless legal team has been able to make have been giving more judges — including ones appointed by Trump — new opportunities to compose democracy-affirming dismissals of all the campaign’s baseless lawsuits.

It is not worth debunking every ridiculously false claim Trump has made about the election outcome over the last four days; he is far past the point of becoming a gold-plated broken record on that subject. But below are some of the most notable new absurdities he spent the holiday adding to his never-ending loser routine.

On Thanksgiving, Trump ranted about his loss, dressed down a reporter, and said the Electoral College shouldn’t vote for Biden

The president marked Thanksgiving by making calls to several American service members in front of the press at the White House, often showering himself with praise during those calls, and later took questions from reporters for the first time since losing the election. During the press event, he recounted numerous baseless allegations of voter fraud, repeating the words “fraud,” “fraudulent,” or “defraud” a total of 23 times, and “massive” and “rigged” eight times each. Trump also referred to Biden’s 80 million votes seven times.

During the Q&A, Trump was reminded by Reuters reporter Jeff Mason that the Electoral College was voting for Biden on December 14, then asked if he would concede after they had. “It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud,” Trump responded, adding that if the Electoral College does vote for Biden, “they made a mistake, because this election was a fraud.” After Mason continued to press him on whether or not he would concede, Trump shot back, “Don’t talk to me that way. You’re just a lightweight. Don’t talk to me that way. I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.”

Trump said he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden (which it will), then called the U.S. a “third-world country”

Trump was asked, “If the Electoral College does elect President-elect Joe Biden, are you not going to leave this building?” At this point, he seemed to acknowledge, for the first time, that he would voluntarily leave the White House when his presidency ends. “Certainly I will,” he responded. “Certainly I will, and you know that.” But then he claimed the U.S. was “like a third-world country” and that “the whole world is laughing at our electoral process.” He also ranted about “glitches” in election computer systems and the country’s “stupid machinery,” before complaining about how Biden was making Cabinet selections.

Trump then attacked media coverage of him saying he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden

The president tweeted afterward that “the real message of such a [press] conference never gets out” — and that the “primary point made was that the 2020 Election was RIGGED, and that I WON!”

Trump wanted credit for the emerging COVID-19 vaccines — or at least wanted to make sure Biden didn’t get credit

Thanksgiving, of course, is when we give thanks for Trump’s nonexistent role in developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The president explained during his Thursday Q&A with reporters: “Don’t let [Biden] take credit for the vaccines because the vaccines were me and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before. And we got that approved and through, and nobody’s ever seen anything like it … But the vaccines, there are those that says one of the greatest things. It’s a medical miracle. Don’t let anyone try and take credit for it.”

During a Fox News interview on Sunday, Trump added that “I came up with vaccines that people didn’t think we’d have for five years.”

The Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program has played a role in funding some of the efforts to develop a vaccine, but pharmaceutical companies got started on that process while Trump was still denying COVID-19 would ever become a problem, and some didn’t even participate in Warp Speed at all.

Trump said he didn’t want to talk about a possible 2024 run — which he is reportedly considering launching on Inauguration Day

The president dismissed a reporter’s question about whether or not he was planning to run for president again. The next day, the Daily Beast reported:

According to three people familiar with the conversations, the president, who refuses to acknowledge he lost the 2020 election as he clearly did, has not just talked to close advisers and confidants about a potential 2024 run to reclaim the White House but about the specifics of a campaign launch. The conversations have explored, among other things, how Trump could best time his announcement so as to keep the Republican Party behind him for the next four years. Two of these knowledgeable sources said the president has, in the past two weeks, even floated the idea of doing a 2024-related event during Biden’s inauguration week, possibly on Inauguration Day, if his legal effort to steal the 2020 election ultimately fails.

The president and some of his closest associates have already started surveying prominent donors to get a sense of who would be with him, or perhaps against him, if he chose to run in the 2024 election. Some top Trump allies have told The Daily Beast that they are doing what they can to stay in the president’s good graces, calculating that doing so will help ensure a seat at the table and a future in the party—in the event he runs again.

Trump called Georgia’s Republican secretary of State “an enemy of the people”

While complaining to reporters about Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia — where no evidence of voter fraud has been uncovered, let alone evidence of a vast voter-fraud conspiracy involving long-deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, as Trump and his legal advisers have claimed — the president once again attacked Georgia’s secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. His unwillingness to effectively help Trump steal the election has drawn the ire of the president and his allies for weeks. On Thursday, Trump swatted away the fact that Raffensperger supported him and donated to his campaign, calling the secretary of State — who has become a pariah within the Georgia GOP and received death threats as a result of the attacks — “an enemy of the people.”

This is what Raffensperger and his wife told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the death threats in an interview this weekend:

“The very first one that we got was really a warning,” Tricia Raffensperger said. “Now it’s every sexual connotation. It’s horrific. Who am I for you to do that to? I’m just a regular person just like they are, and their wives and their daughters and their mothers. Would you say that to your mother?”

The latest round were sent from a dummy account meant to look like Raffensperger directly threatening his wife.

“It’s vulgar,” he said. “It’s disgusting.”

Even as he has had to have around-the-clock security and news of the attacks against him have been publicized, the response from the Republicans who aren’t attacking him has been silence. Multiple requests for comment to Republican lawmakers who have supported him in the past were declined or not returned. “I’ll take a pass,” said one.

Trump falsely accused Twitter of inventing a #DiaperDon trend

In response to the president’s endless sore-loser routine on Thanksgiving, #DiaperDon eventually became a No. 1 trend on Twitter — and the president definitely noticed. “Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world,” Trump responded in a tweet on Friday. “They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff’.”

Trump alleged that Biden only received 1,000 views for his Thanksgiving address, citing it as proof he couldn’t have gotten 80 million votes

As CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out, the false stat cited by the OAN report came from some random tweet. His address actually received hundreds of thousands of views.

Many of Trump’s tweets over the weekend promoted content on OAN and Newsmax — part of his transparent ongoing effort to punish Fox News over its failure to breathlessly support his efforts to overturn the election.

Trump vowed to “use 125 percent” of his energy to prove he didn’t lose the election, and called for the Supreme Court to overturn the results

During his first one-on-one interview since the election on Sunday morning, Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that he planned to use “use 125 percent of my energy” to continue contesting the election well into next year. “It’s not like you’re going to change my mind,” the president added, “my mind will not change in six months.”

Referring to the mythical massive pile of evidence that the election was stolen — which no one has or will ever see — Trump insisted, “You need a judge that’s willing to hear a case. You need a Supreme Court that’s willing to make a real big decision based on everything.” He seemed to realize that wouldn’t happen, however, later acknowledging, “It’s hard to get into the Supreme Court.”

He also repeated some variation of the word “fraud” another 23 times during the interview.

Trump implied that the Justice Department and FBI was “involved” in the nonexistent plot against his reelection

During what was essentially a 45-minute rambling monologue on Bartiromo’s show, Trump complained about the lack of assistance his effort to steal the election has gotten from the Department of Justice and the FBI, then suggested that maybe they, too, were working against him:

This is a total fraud. And how the FBI and Department of Justice — I don’t know, maybe they’re involved. But how people are allowed to get away with this stuff is unbelievable. … Missing in action. Can’t tell you where they are. I ask, “Are they looking at it?” Everyone says, “Yes, they’re looking at it.”

From the resigned tone of Trump’s voice, it seemed clear he knew they weren’t taking him seriously.

Trump attacked Georgia’s GOP governor, Brian Kemp, and said he was “ashamed” he ever endorsed him

The president complained to Bartiromo that Kemp, whom Trump endorsed in his race against Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, has “done absolutely nothing” to help him steal the election.

Trump complained about “massive dumps”

On both Thursday and Sunday, the president spoke out against “massive dumps” of votes for Biden following Election Day (which were, in fact, totally legal late-reported votes from heavily Democratic areas in various states).

Then again, if anyone knows anything about massive dumps, it’s definitely the president, who continues to preside over the most massive dumpster fire in the history of American politics.

Trump Spent His Holiday Weekend Bolstering His Loser Routine