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 Lynn photo
Mysterious smoke cloud seen in Seavac Centre

Fire crews did a thorough sweep of the centre.

North Island Gazette file photo of Port McNeill council.
Heated conversation occurs at Port McNeill council over policy request

Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see a change in the… Continue reading

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
The Port Alice pulp mill site is being ‘recycled’

Bankruptcy company is overseeing de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring.

Port Hardy Senior Citizens’ Society president Rosaline Glynn holds up the certificate from B.C. Premier John Horgan next to Loaves & Fishes director Peter Sinclair, vice president Kris Huddlestan, and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy council to nominate Glynn for the Order of British Columbia

Glynn’s nomination was endorsed unanimously by council.

Emergency personnel crews on scene assisting BCEHS with patient care. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Speed and alcohol believed to be the cause of Saturday night car crash

More information on the crash could potentially be released at a later date.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read