President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Trump claims election fraud in interview, is unchallenged

“The election was stolen,” he told OANN’s White House correspondent Jenn Pellegrino

In the first television interviews of his post-presidency, Donald Trump repeated his false claims that the election was stolen from him 10 times — each instance unprompted and unchallenged.

Trump emerged this week for interviews with Fox News Channel, Newsmax and One America News Network tied to the death of Rush Limbaugh.

Each network actively appeals to Trump’s base conservative audience. And the way the interviews were conducted illustrates how difficult it may be to change the minds of supporters who believe the former president’s unfounded narrative.

Nearly a month after he left office, Trump drove his point home on each network:

— “The election was stolen,” he told OANN’s White House correspondent Jenn Pellegrino. “We were robbed. It was a rigged election.”

— “We did win the election, as far as I’m concerned. It was disgraceful what happened,” he said to Greg Kelly on Newsmax.

— “You would have had riots going all over the place if that 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 challenge the claims. He brought up the election grievances six times with Kelly, twice with Pellegrino and twice with the Fox team. The subject didn’t come up in a later interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity.

No interviewer introduced the topic. Except for Kelly, each questioner stuck strictly to the subject of Trump’s relationship with Limbaugh.

“We probably have 100 questions for you, but so many of these are not appropriate for this venue, so we’ll keep it on this topic for now,” Hemmer said.

Hemmer arguably teased the subject, though, when he asked Trump if he had spoken to Limbaugh post-election.

“Rush thought we won, and so do I,” Trump said.

So, in fact, do many of his supporters. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll taken between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1 found that 65% of Republicans say that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected president last November.

When Trump supporter Mike Lindell, CEO of My Pillow, started making election fraud claims in a Newsmax interview on Feb. 2, anchor Bob Sellers interrupted him to read a statement saying that “election results in every state were certified and Newsmax accepts the results as legitimate and final. The courts have also accepted that view.”

When Lindell pressed his claims, Sellers walked off the set.

But a day later, Sellers apologized, saying “there is no question I could have handled the end of the interview differently.” Kelly read no statement about certified election results after Trump’s claims.

Asked about the exchange, Newsmax spokesman Brian Peterson said, “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.”

Only on Fox News was Trump even called a “former president” on air during his appearances. Kelly referred to “President Trump” and “Joe Biden.”

“A lot of people are in awe of you, and I am one of those people,” Kelly told Trump.

Television ratings from last week’s impeachment trial starkly indicate the extent to which Trump supporters resist news that shakes their world view. Trump fans weren’t much interested in the trial, anyway, but during coverage of the second day of the impeachment managers’ argument to convict Trump, Fox News Channel’s audience was only 815,000, the Nielsen company said.

The next day, when Trump’s lawyers offered their defence, Fox’s audience more than doubled to 2.21 million, Nielsen said.

CNN and MSNBC, which appeal to more liberal audiences, had differences, too, but not to that extent. MSNBC had 3 million viewers for the second day of prosecution, and 2.67 million for Trump’s defence. CNN’s audience went from 2.87 million to 2.54 million.

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, in a statement this week explaining his vote in favour of Trump’s conviction, spoke about the need for Americans to accept the truth.

“There is one untruth that divides that nation today like none other,” he said. “It is that the election was stolen, that there was a massive conspiracy, more secret and widespread than any in human history, so brilliant in execution that no evidence can be found of it and no observer among the tens of thousands in our intelligence agencies will speak of it.”

Now, post-impeachment, it falls on everyone to affirm Biden’s election, he said.

“The division in America will only begin to heal in the light of this truth,” Romney said.

READ MORE: Former U.S. President Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd impeachment trial

READ MORE: Trump bids farewell to Washington, hints of comeback

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Donald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Debra Sheets, a University of Victoria nursing professor, is starting Victoria’s first Memory Cafe program for adults with dementia and their caregivers. (Photo: Debra Sheets)
Memory Cafe Victoria hopes to connect local dementia community

Adults with dementia and their caregivers will participate in weekly Zoom socializing and activities

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
UPDATED: All B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled due to wind, weather

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Metchosin council introduced a bylaw at a special council meeting Wednesday, which, if approved, would limit further subdivision of a 40-acre portion of the Boys and Girls Club property. The proposed bylaw amendment will come to public hearing on March 15. (Black Press Media file photo)
Metchosin council introduces bylaw to limit subdivision of Boys and Girls Club property

Proposed bylaw amendment will come to public hearing on March 15

The Habitat Acquisition Trust has secured a biodiverse 23-hectare parcel of land in Highlands through a donation from Anne and Jim Ganns, who owned the property for 50 years. (Photo by Jeremy Da Silva/Courtesy Habitat Acquisition Trust)
23-hectare land donation in Highlands extends permanent habitat protection

Anne and Jim Ganns pass on property purchased 50 years ago to the Habitat Acquisition Trust

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s new Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Vancouver Island teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Kim McGregor died in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run accident in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)
Victim identified in Valentine’s Day Chemainus hit-and-run

Kim McGregor grew up in Chemainus and had recently returned to be close to his parents

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

Most Read