After an unquestionable loss to Biden in the 2020 election, Donald Trump bought into a wild and baseless conspiracy theory pushed by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell that he could be reinstated as president before the next election. This revelation comes in ABC News’ Jonathan Karl’s upcoming book on the former president, Tired of Winning: Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party.
Lindell was spreading a baseless theory that Trump would be back in power by Aug. 13, 2021, vowing that he had alleged terrabytes of “evidence” proving a grand conspiracy that Chinese hackers perpetuated widespread vote tampering. Needless to say, the evidence never surfaced, and Biden still occupies the White House.
Trump’s belief that he could magically become president again went beyond his other conspiracy theories, like his claims the election was “stolen” from him. Months after leaving office, Trump became so obsessed with the theory that even some of his advisors were worried that he truly believed he could return to the White House before the 2024 election. Karl questioned Trump about the conspiracy theory during a phone call in July 2021, a month after Trump posted “2024 or before!” in one of his statements on social media.
“You don’t really think there’s a way you would get reinstated before the next election?” Karl asked.
“I’m not going to explain it to you, Jonathan, because you wouldn’t — you wouldn’t either understand it or write it,” Trump said in response, according to audio of the conversation.
But months before Trump’s July 2021 post, Trump attorney Jenna Ellis refuted the claims, writing in a tweet, “The Constitution has only one process for removal of a sitting president: impeachment and conviction. No, President Trump is not going to be ‘reinstated.'”
“Trump became fixated on a far-right and blatantly unconstitutional theory that he could actually be reinstated as president months after Biden's inauguration.” @JonKarl shares exclusive new reporting from his new book. https://t.co/R54Ax5g430 pic.twitter.com/RlorAoqQGF
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 12, 2023
It’s rich that Trump believed others were interfering with the election results considering his own attempts to subvert democracy in Georgia and on Jan. 6. As special counsel Jack Smith put it last week, the former president “stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes.”
Also reported in Karl’s book, Trump appeared to misunderstand an insult from Angela Merkel when the then-German chancellor not-so-subtly compared him to Hitler. “She told me that there was only one other political leader who ever got crowds as big as mine,” Trump reportedly bragged to a congressman.
Trump’s campaign is not a fan of the book, telling Politico in a statement that Karl’s “filth either belongs in the discount bargain bin in the fiction section of the bookstore or should be repurposed as toilet paper.”
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