Corey Lewandowski said Trump knew the election was over but wanted to sow doubt about the results.
“He just wants to create enough doubt” to be able to say “he didn’t lose,” Lewandowski said.
The comments are in ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl’s forthcoming book.
Corey Lewandowski, who served as former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, said that Trump knew the 2020 election was over when the major news networks projected his loss, but wanted to sow doubt about the results so he could say “he didn’t lose,” according to a new book by ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl.
Lewandowski, who was also an aide to Trump in 2020, made the comments during a phone call with Karl just days after President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election last November. Trump had not conceded and continued to baselessly claim that the election was stolen from him. Karl asked Lewandowski for his thoughts on how the situation would play out.
“He knows it is over,” Lewandowski told Karl about Trump. “He just wants to create enough doubt about Biden’s victory so that when he leaves he can say he didn’t lose and that it was stolen from him.”
The conversation is reported in Karl’s forthcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” which comes out on Tuesday. Insider obtained an early copy of the book.
In the months leading up to Election Day, Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that voting by mail would lead to fraud. Election officials and experts rejected the statements as misinformation, and millions of Americans securely cast their ballots by mail in the 2020 election.
After Trump lost, he elevated conspiracy theories that the election was “stolen” from him and “rigged” against him because of widespread voter fraud. Election officials again said the claims were false and there was no evidence of fraud. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security said the election “was the most secure in American history.”
Still, Trump continued to spread falsehoods about the election. In December 2020, a Gallup poll found that only 17% of Republicans said reports about Biden’s victory were accurate.
Trump acknowledged that a new administration would be inaugurated during a farewell speech he gave a day before he left the White House, but he did not formally concede or admit he lost the election.
Now, more than a year after the election, Trump continues to cling to this narrative and several recent polls have shown that a majority of Republicans are still convinced the election was stolen from him.
Most Republicans overall said they don’t trust elections in the country, according to an NPR poll in November.
Lewandowski did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
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