Frankly, We Did Win This Election

Trump feared Democrats would replace Biden with Michelle Obama, book claims

Fear of replacement by Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama caused ex-president to rein in attacks on Biden in the 2020 election

The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender writes that Trump interrupted a White House meeting to ask: ‘How am I losing in the polls to a mental retard?’


Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.

Trump refused to accept defeat, pushing the lie that it was the result of electoral fraud. The lie resulted in the deadly Capitol attack of 6 January, by a mob Trump told to “fight like hell”, and a second impeachment. Trump was acquitted of inciting the insurrection and remains eligible to run for office.

He tops polls of Republican nominees for 2024 and has returned to public speaking. On Monday, Forbes reported a planned tour with the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who left the network amid claims of sexual misconduct.

Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, by Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal, will be published in August. Trump was among interviewees for the book. Vanity Fair published an excerpt on Monday.

Previous revelations include that the Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was rebuked for campaigning with Trump, wrote an ad for the Trump campaign – a report Hannity denied.

Bender writes that Trump interrupted a White House meeting to ask: “How am I losing in the polls to a mental retard?”

The idea Democrats would replace Biden reportedly came from Dick Morris, a former adviser to Bill Clinton who has migrated rightwards and who was informally advising Trump.

“Dick Morris told Trump that Biden was too old and too prone to gaffes to be the nominee,” Bender writes.

Biden was 78 when he became the oldest president ever sworn in. Trump turns 75 next week.

Bender adds that Trump believed his attacks on the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren early in the Democratic primary were too successful. Trump gave Warren a racist nickname, Pocahontas, based on her claim to Native American ancestry.

Thinking Warren would have been an easier opponent, Bender writes, Trump fretted to aides that Democrats would “realise [Biden is] old, and they’re going to give it to somebody else. They’re going to give it to Hillary, or they’re going to give it to Michelle Obama.”

Trump reportedly feared Democrats would move to replace Biden at their convention.

According to widespread reporting, Trump’s fears about Clinton were not entirely without justification. Clinton did consider jumping into a race in which Biden struggled before surging to victory.

According to Battle for the Soul by Edward-Isaac Dovere, released last month, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state “would muse aloud sometimes” about taking the nomination at a contested convention.

Michelle Obama, however, never expressed interest. The former first lady remains hugely popular with the Democratic base but has repeatedly ruled out a career in frontline politics.

Read more

Jeff Sessions claims he’s clueless about his DOJ’s snooping on Congress

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.

Watchdog investigates seizure of Democrats’ phone data

The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.

Intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters

The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.

Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows

The building has stunning Manhattan skyline views, its spa offers deep-tissue massages, and the fancy restaurant off the lobby serves up prime steaks. Best of all, many apartments at the Trump World Tower are selling at a deep discount — assuming the buyer doesn’t mind the name over the door.