NEW YORK (AP) In the first television interviews of his post-presidency, Donald Trump repeated his false claims that the election had been stolen from him 10 times each time without invitation and without challenge.
Trump has appeared this week for interviews with Fox News Channel, Newsmax and One America News Network related to Rush Limbaugh’s death.
Each network actively engages the conservative core audience of Trumps. And the way the interviews were conducted illustrates how difficult it can be to change the minds of supporters who believe the former presidents’ narrative is unfounded.
Almost a month after leaving office, Trump brought back his take on each network:
The election was stolen, he told Jenn Pellegrino, the OANN White House correspondent. We have been robbed. It was a rigged election.
We won the election, as far as I’m concerned. It was shameful what happened, he told Greg Kelly on Newsmax.
You would have had riots everywhere if it had happened to a Democrat, he said when interviewed by Harris Faulkner and Bill Hemmer on Fox News Channel.
At no point did an interviewer interrupt Trump to correct or dispute the claims. He raised election grievances six times with Kelly, twice with Pellegrino, and twice with Team Fox. The subject was not touched on in a subsequent interview with Foxes Sean Hannity.
No interviewer introduced the subject. With the exception of Kelly, every questioner stuck strictly to the subject of Trump’s relationship with Limbaugh.
We probably have 100 questions for you, but a lot of them aren’t appropriate for this venue, so keep it on that topic for now, Hemmer said.
Hemmer arguably teased the topic, however, when he asked Trump if he had spoken to Limbaugh after the election.
Rush thought we won, and so did I. Trump said.
So, in fact, do a lot of his supporters. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted between January 28 and February 1 found that 65% of Republicans say Joe Biden was not legitimately elected president last November.
When Trump supporter Mike Lindell, CEO of My Pillow, began making allegations of electoral fraud in a Newsmax interview on February 2, presenter Bob Sellers interrupted him to read a statement saying the election results in all states were certified and Newsmax accepts the results as legitimate. and final. The courts have also accepted this view.
When Lindell insisted on his claims, the vendors left the set.
But a day later, Sellers apologized, saying there was no doubt I could have handled the end of the interview differently. Kelly did not read any statements about the certified election results after Trump’s claims.
When asked about the exchange, Newsmax spokesman Brian Peterson said that while we believe the former president is entitled to his own opinion on the matter, Newsmax has accepted the election result as final and legal. .
It was only on Fox News that Trump even called out a former president during his appearances. Kelly referred to President Trump and Joe Biden.
A lot of people are in awe of you and I’m one of those people, Kelly told Trump.
Televised hearings in last week’s impeachment trial make it clear to what extent Trump supporters resist news that shakes their worldview. Trump fans weren’t very interested in the trial anyway, but during day two coverage of impeachment officials’ argument to convict Trump, the Fox News Channels audience was only of 815,000, the Nielsen company said.
The next day, when Trumps’ attorneys offered their defense, Fox’s hearing more than doubled to 2.21 million, Nielsen said.
CNN and MSNBC, which appeal to a more liberal audience, also had differences, but not to that extent. MSNBC had 3 million viewers for the second day of lawsuits and 2.67 million for the Trumps defense. CNN’s audience went from 2.87 million to 2.54 million.
Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney, in a statement this week explaining his vote for Trump’s conviction, spoke of the need for Americans to accept the truth.
There is a lie that divides this nation today like no other, he said. It is that the election was stolen, that there was a massive conspiracy, more secret and widespread than anything in human history, so brilliant in the execution that no proof can be found and no observer among the tens of thousands of our intelligence agencies will. talk it over.
Now, after impeachment, it is up to everyone to assert Bidens’ election, he said.
The division in America will only begin to heal in light of this truth, Romney said.
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