As Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani embarks on a pipe-dreaming and potentially destructive effort to reverse the 2020 election results, much of the president’s official campaign apparatus wants to disown him.
Several officials in senior positions on Trump’s re-election team, including campaign manager Bill Stepien, recently told their associates that they have no confidence in Giuliani and are currently waiting for what they see as a legal fight doomed to chance and chance to exhaust itself and end according to four sources familiar with the situation.
An advantage The adviser called the current strategy a “dead end” and said Giuliani’s high-profile attempts to remove legal obstacles to Biden’s certification election “hostile takeover of the countryside. “
“The obvious thing is this is a shitty show,” the advisor said. “When the Rudy show started, it was a sideline from everyone. At that point, it became a problem to go through the motions and recognize, “ Okay, it’s definitely over because we don’t stand a chance with … these conspiracy theories. ”
The sense of resignation felt privately by part of the Trump campaign operation is at odds with the president’s personal assessment of how his long-running efforts to retake a second term are playing out.
On Friday evening, two sources close to the president said he remained intensely invested in and personally supported Giuliani’s legal challenges. It was assumed among campaign staff that he was thrilled with his team’s now infamous press conference on Thursday, in which Giuliani and two other allied lawyers – Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis – presented a set of savage conspiracy theories. on electoral fraud, including a lengthy explanation of how Venezuelan anti-Trump villains allegedly worked to deprive Trump of legal votes. And, for that reason, no one wanted to say anything that questioned the current approach – at least with their name attached to it.
“It seems none of us are allowed to say [publicly] that it was one of the weirdest fucking things we have ever seen, ”said a visibly exasperated senior Trump administration official.
And yet, this press conference was, for many, more remarkable for who wasn’t there than for who was. Trump’s own campaign manager Stepien was not present at the event in front of the camera at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee. And sources close to Stepien and the campaign say it’s because he doesn’t actually support what Giuliani, Powell and Ellis are doing.
“Bill Stepien calls a call every morning to review the legal landscape for the day and the next steps. It includes the best campaign staff and lawyers. It is no longer a full campaign. It’s a legal effort, ”said a Trump campaign aide.
As of Friday evening, Stepien had not tweeted in favor of legal salvos since November 5. He hadn’t posted on Twitter at all since he tweeted on “#stopthesteal” and “#fightthefraud” that day.
Stépien is not the only one looking for the distance. Jay Sekulow, who has represented Trump in various legal matters, including impeachment, was notably not involved in the current legal drama, which has involved a number of often humiliating losses and error-filled filings in various courts of State. John Dowd, who represented the president in the Mueller inquiry and remains an informal legal adviser to Trump, is often ready to publicly defend the president on the given issue of the day. However, when asked on Friday about ongoing efforts to reverse the Michigan result and the operation led by Giuliani, Dowd simply replied, “I have no comment,” before hanging up.
Well-informed senior Trump team officials some sources see the current legal effort to steal the 2020 election as a “fucking heap of garbage”, as one official succinctly described – who has no chance of working, even if the president continues to provide support.
The aforementioned Trump adviser noted that inside the physical campaign headquarters, Giuliani, Powell, Ellis and Joe DiGenova – another lawyer pushing the current legal machinations – were working alone in a one-on-one conference room separate from the rest of the operation. There is, according to the source, virtually no cross-pollination between the two teams; although there is some shared concern about the spread of COVID-19 after Giuliani’s son Andrew showed up this week and then tested positive for the virus.
Asked about the factions that have developed within the Trump team, Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump 2020, responded with a statement that portrayed everyone on the same page philosophically with one person – Giuliani – in operational load.
“We are all here to fight for President Trump and to help ensure that our elections are free and fair,” Murtaugh said. “The president appointed Mayor Giuliani to lead the legal effort and we are here to support him.”
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