Our weekly White House Report Card finds President Trump brushing aside urgings to accept defeat to Joe Biden, instead insisting with confidence that his legal efforts will show that he won the 2020 presidential election.
Several insiders said that while the fight may look difficult, the president has no plans to give up.
“The president is extremely confident and not very bothered,” said one source. “He said that he has been in way tougher spots than this, and he’ll come through again. He’s not worried.”
Another West Wing official conceded that the eventual outcome “doesn’t look good” but that the team has been assured that there is a path to winning.
A Rigged Election! https://t.co/dAviFrkEP4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2020
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, in a series of House floor speeches, has spelled out an alternative victory path. He has called on Republicans to reject the electoral vote counts from states where there are questions about ballot fraud. That would lead to no candidate getting the necessary count, throwing the vote to the House, where the rules favor the GOP. But the process fight would likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our graders, however, weren’t so confident. Democratic pollster John Zogby essentially threw up his hands and graded an “F.” Conservative analyst Jed Babbin wasn’t far away, grading a D-.
It was an awful week for Trump with his failing lawsuits against the election results, the completion of the Georgia recount, his firing of another dissenting voice in his administration, and the new troop reductions in Afghanistan and Iraq — which are a good idea but were handled in precisely the wrong way.
One of Trump’s lawyers insisted at a news conference that he’d won the election by a landslide and that they were going to prove it. That sounded a lot like Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff insisting he had proof of Trump’s collusion with Russia. But the Georgia recount reconfirmed Biden’s narrow win in that state, the Trump campaign withdrew its lawsuit in Michigan, and it looks impossible, on the basis of the Pennsylvania lawsuit, that anything close to the number of votes needed to overturn the results can be affected. Without both Pennsylvania and Georgia, Trump cannot possibly overturn Biden’s apparent win.
The Electoral College meets on Dec. 14. Whether Trump concedes or not by that date, it’ll be over for him then.
Trump is already hinting at another run in 2024, which would make him the dominant Republican voice until then. That would be very bad news for the nation.
The firing of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency chief Christopher Krebs resulted from Krebs’s disagreement with Trump on whether the election had been conducted properly. Just like last week’s firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Krebs’s firing was a petty act.
Trump and the new Pentagon boss, Christopher Miller, announced the withdrawal of more (but not all) of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the number in each country to about 2,500. It’s long past time to withdraw from both nations, but the move surprised NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who protested that he knew nothing about it. Trump’s contempt for NATO is mostly well founded, but troop movements and withdrawals have to be coordinated with them. NATO troops in Afghanistan number about 12,000, and only about one-third of them are from the United States.
I am somewhere between a loss for words and a total rant about a sitting president who is subverting our democracy. I am going to skip the rant and just offer a failing grade.
Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin
John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Poll and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with son and partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @TheJohnZogby
Author: Paul Bedard
Source: Washington Examiner: Insiders: Trump ‘very confident’ of winning, ‘been in way tougher spots’