Former President Donald Trump recently discussed his decision to challenge the 2020 election results. This decision, which has been a topic of significant debate and controversy, was made after Trump received a great deal of advice from various quarters following the election. After carefully considering these viewpoints and reflecting on his convictions, Trump decided to formally contest the election results.
In a detailed conversation with Kristen Welker, the anchor of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump delved into what led him to this pivotal decision. He stated that after listening to different people and weighing their opinions, he believed the election was rigged. Trump said it wasn’t a decision made lightly or in haste; it was his own decision, made after much thought.
The conversation between Trump and Welker included discussions on the four criminal charges against him. One of these charges suggests that Trump’s actions in challenging the election results were not just a simple contestation but went beyond what was legally acceptable. The January 6, 2021, events have been linked to this charge.
Welker probed deeper, questioning Trump’s rationale behind challenging the election results. She pointed out that many of the senior legal advisors from his own administration and campaign had categorically informed him that he had lost the election. Responding to this, Trump expressed skepticism and disregard for some of these advisors. He specifically mentioned former Attorney General Bill Barr, suggesting that an alleged fear of impeachment influenced Barr’s actions. Trump emphasized his point by saying, “It’s my choice. ” Trump also added, “I happen to know that the election was rigged.” According to Trump, he initially planned to present the evidence after the Georgia indictment. However, based on the advice of his current legal team, Trump said that this evidence will now form a crucial part of his defense in the upcoming trials.
The conversation took another interesting turn when Welker asked Trump about his personal views on the outcome of the 2020 election. Without hesitation, Trump asserted, “I firmly believe I won the election.” He acknowledged that while some individuals, including those in positions of authority, informed him of his loss, many others held the opposite view. He further clarified that when it came to such a monumental decision, he trusted his own judgment above all. “You know who I listen to? Myself,” Trump stated. Recounting his experiences on the election night, he said, “I saw what happened. I watched that election, and I thought the election was over at 10 o’clock in the evening,” he said.
The events of January 6, 2021, also featured prominently in their discussion. Trump took the opportunity to clarify his role and involvement in the Capitol breach. He stated that his association with the events of that day was minimal at best. He fondly described the gathering of his supporters as a “beautiful sight” and was keen to emphasize that his speech was delivered in a peaceful and patriotic manner. He also shared an anecdote about how he had considered visiting the Capitol that day but was advised against it by the Secret Service due to potential safety concerns.
In a significant revelation, Trump claimed that the Capitol breach could have been averted if then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi had accepted his additional National Guard support offer. He squarely placed the blame for the events of January 6 on Pelosi. He also expressed his deep dissatisfaction with the treatment meted out to individuals present that day, especially compared to rioters’ more lenient treatment in other cities. This differential treatment, he said, was a primary motivation behind his decision to run for reelection.
As the interview concluded, Trump addressed his statement during his campaign launch, “I think retribution is talking in terms of I have to protect people,” he explained his unwavering commitment to protecting people from what he perceives as unfair treatment. He passionately spoke about his desire for fairness in the system and suggested considering pardons for those he believes have been unjustly imprisoned. Dismissing any rumors of harboring intentions to target political adversaries, Trump emphasized his primary aim: to appoint an attorney general who would be both tough on crime and fair in execution.