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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Woodward/Costa book details GOP infighting over how to handle Trump after election loss

While Trump continued to insist the election was stolen, the authors reveal that behind the scenes, many prime Republicans, together with members of his personal Cabinet, tried to cause with him to concede. For instance, on November 23 then-Attorney General William Barr bluntly instructed Trump there was no widespread fraud. “The problem is this stuff about the voting machines is just bullshit,” Barr mentioned, in accordance to the book.

Woodward and Costa additionally write that Barr referred to as Trump’s authorized workforce “a bunch of clowns.”

Other Republicans went together with Trump’s fantasies in regards to the election, at the very least for some time. Senate GOP chief Mitch McConnell, who nonetheless needed Trump’s assist in the runoff elections for the 2 US Senate seats from Georgia, defined to Barr, “I have to be gentle,” in accordance to the book.

“And this is the thanks I got?” Trump requested. “You never really got me. You don’t understand me.”

McConnell ended the decision, in accordance to the authors, by telling Trump, “You lost the election. The Electoral College has spoken.”

Briefly within the aftermath of the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, some prime Republicans acknowledged Trump’s complicity within the assault. Both McConnell and GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced Trump from the flooring of the Senate and the House.

The book details a non-public name McCarthy had with Trump the evening earlier than Biden’s inauguration. According to Woodward and Costa, McCarthy instructed Trump, “I don’t know what’s happened to you in the last two months. … You’re not the same as you were for the last four years.”

McCarthy then repeatedly pleaded with Trump to name Biden.

“You’ve done good things and you want that to be your legacy. Call Joe Biden,” McCarthy mentioned, in accordance to the authors.

“Do it for me,” the GOP chief continued. “You’ve got to call him. Call Joe Biden.”

Former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met in February at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump refused McCarthy’s request and by no means referred to as Biden.

Nine days later, McCarthy traveled to Mar-a-Lago to attempt to get again into Trump’s good graces. While Trump publicly launched an image smiling shoulder to shoulder with McCarthy, privately he was attacking McCarthy behind his again, in accordance to Woodward and Costa.

“This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me. He’s not a good guy,” Trump instructed buddies at a February dinner, making clear he was nonetheless offended with McCarthy. “Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back.”

Even after January 6, senior Republicans continued to debate how to reap the benefits of Trump’s reputation with the Republican base. Woodward and Costa write that McConnell noticed Trump as a fading model, describing him with a horse-racing analogy as a retired “OTTB,” or off-the-track thoroughbred.

“Sucking up to Donald Trump is not a strategy that works,” McConnell mentioned, in accordance to “Peril.”

But Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican whom McConnell thought-about the “Trump Whisperer,” believed the occasion wanted Trump and that he was fixable, the authors write.

Woodward and Costa write that Graham was “like an addiction counselor struggling to keep his patient from taking one more drink.”

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“We can’t do it without you, Mr. President,” Graham instructed Trump after a spherical of golf in May, in accordance to the authors. “You have to help us. But you’re going to have to focus on the future, not the past, to maximize our chance at success.”

Then Graham gave Trump a dose of powerful love in a cellphone name, telling Trump, “You fucked your presidency up,” in accordance to the book. Trump abruptly hung up.

They spoke once more the subsequent day, in accordance to the book, and Graham mentioned he did not blame Trump for hanging up. Trump lamented he would “lose my base” if he modified. But Graham urged Trump to give attention to 2024, saying it could be the “biggest comeback in American history.”

“I think he’s redeemable,” Graham concluded of Trump, in accordance to the authors. “I think he’s got magic and I think he’s got darkness.”

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