Donald Trump's interview with NPR this week on The Big Lie went hilariously badly for both Trump and NPR.
Some Republican leaders are trying to move on from former President Donald Trump's failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election that he lost.
"While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state," Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Sunday on ABC's This Week. "The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And if we simply look back and tell our people don't vote because there's cheating going on, then we're going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage."
But Trump — who has endorsed dozens of candidates for the 2022 midterm elections and still holds by far the widest influence within the GOP — is trying hard not to let them move on.
"No, I think it's an advantage, because otherwise they're going to do it again in '22 and '24, and Rounds is wrong on that. Totally wrong," Trump told NPR in an interview Tuesday, referring to his false and debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
The interview was six years in the making. Trump and his team have repeatedly declined interviews with NPR until Tuesday, when he called in from his home in Florida. It was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted just over nine.
After being pressed about his repeated lies about the 2020 presidential election, Trump abruptly ended the interview.
Trump was always going to leave the interview and then attack NPR, certainly we'll see his cultists call again to defund and destroy the public radio news network. But the real problem is that NPR happily gave Trump yet another platform to spread his lies upon, even if the hosts rightfully attacked those lies. It won't matter one whit to the people who believe them, and now NPR has been drafted as yet another strawman enemy which Trump can attack at will.
Expect Trump to unload on NPR at his Saturday hate rally in Arizona this weekend, which was the entire point of the exercise.
Steve M. makes it clear that Steve Inskeep was in over his head, and that Trump basically won.
What did all this accomplish? Inskeep pushed back on a few points, but Trump threw out a Gish gallop's worth of allegations, all baseless but more than Inskeep was able to rebut. Wisconsin was corrupt! Arizona was corrupt! Detroit was corrupt! Philadelphia was corrupt! No Republican would regard Inskeep as the one who came away with a win, even if Trump did storm off. (Republicans like Trump's petulance.)
I wish Trump had been interviewed by someone ready to get in the weeds with him, someone with a deep knowledge of every conspiracy theory and of the facts that show they're all nonsense. No, there weren't more votes than people in Detroit -- here's the AP fact check. No, nothing fishy happened in Philadelphia -- even the Republican co-chair of the city's elections board acknowledged that. And so on. In the interview, Trump is essentially saying, "I won. Don't believe me? Do your own research." Imagine if Inskeep had geeked out and done his own research, in much greater depth, and brought the receipts.
Trump is used to rattling off the names of these allegedly suspicious locales and getting no pushback. Imagine if an anti-conspiracy election nerd had engaged him on his own terms. Then you really would have seen a walk-off -- and some serious public education.
But that won't happen. Trump is too crafty to go up against someone like that. Rolling Inskeep and the rest of our totally unprepared Village betters is exactly what Trump excels at.
All Inskeep accomplished was making NPR a target again.