President Donald Trump’s small circle of dedicated lawyers are determined to continue their fight to overthrow the 2020 election despite a resounding series of court defeats, including a seemingly terminal reprimand from the Supreme Court on Friday.
For Trump’s actual campaign, however, the fight is basically over. The president’s political machine still raises money, buys ads, and publicly insists it fight. But the futility of the effort is evident in the campaign headquarters in northern Virginia – the office that is supposedly dedicated to supporting and housing the Legal Crusade – which, according to informed sources at the Daily Beast , has practically emptied.
“It’s a ghost town now, with people waiting for the end,” a person familiar with campaign operations told The Daily Beast over the weekend.
“It’s a ghost town now, with people waiting for the end.“
– Someone familiar with campaign operations
According to this source and another person familiar with the situation, a large quantity of the Trump-Pence signs have been removed from the headquarters walls in Arlington, Virginia. Desks and memorabilia have largely been wrapped up, thrown away or removed from office space. TVs, mounted on the walls around the rented 14th floor of the building, are sold for additional cash. Staff members’ affairs are even more thoroughly cleaned up now than when the campaign was in the aftermath of downsizing last month.
The election fraud hotline room in Arlington created in the wake of election night was also dismantled last month, after it became a tortuous room for mid-level staff, and a useless magnet for appeals. crank, violent threats and fart noises the phones. And for an hour and a half that Sunday afternoon, there was no sign of any campaign official entering or exiting the building – although, to be fair, it was the weekend.
While a physical downsizing is underway, the official position of the outgoing President, his White House, and his re-election team (or what remains of them) is that Trump has won the election he visibly has. lost to Joe Biden. “We will never give up!” Trump claimed on Twitter on Sunday evening.
To that end, his lawyers plan to run their own campaign to the door of Biden’s inauguration at the end of next month, even as several Trump advisers and allies have come out publicly to say it is time. to move on.
“We’re not done, trust me,” Trump’s senior attorney Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax last week after the Supreme Court refused to hear a case from numerous attorneys general, led by Ken Paxton, of Texas, seeking to invalidate election results in four states. The president and his legal team, Giuliani said, plan to “consider other options.” The former New York mayor did not respond to questions from the Daily Beast about what those other “options” would look like.
With its string of legal defeats, the campaign has been reduced to devoting its resources, primarily, to messaging. He plans to air two new commercials in unspecified television markets to promote his dubious position that the election was marred by widespread electoral fraud. Shortly after the campaign was announced, these two ads were removed from YouTube for violating its policies of election misinformation.
While the campaign still has tons of money it can spend on such ads – Trump’s re-election, the Republican National Committee and their two joint fundraising committees have raised over $ 200 million in all three. weeks after polling day – all signs point to the Trump campaign as a political apparatus on its last legs.
Following the COVID diagnosis of Andrew Giuliani – the son of Trump’s lawyer who hung out on the legal team – Trump’s team of lawyers working on the post-election effort moved operations out of their way conference room at campaign headquarters and at a nearby hotel. The hotel is not Trump International Hotel, the favorite site of Giuliani and other residents of the sprawling MAGA social club for four years, located just steps from the White House, the sources say.
Asked for comment, Jason Miller, a senior Trump adviser on the campaign, said the source descriptions constituted a “stupid observation.”
“Election day was November 3,” Miller added. “We are now in mid-December. The campaigns are coming to an end. For example, Joe Biden’s seat is no longer filled with ballot collectors. (The last sentence refers to a widely discredited meme on the Right.)
When asked why campaign operations weren’t livelier – whether, as Trump and his lieutenants claim, it was a historic fight on par with the 2000 post-election battle between George W Bush and Al Gore – Miller said it was “hard to compare” and that much of what is left of the campaign is now “virtual because of COVID, and much of it decentralized to states.”
But even as large swathes of the GOP continue to back Trump’s conspiracy-theory laden blitz to overturn the election, some well-connected Republicans are increasingly recognizing, in frank terms, just how the president’s continued struggle continues. is futile.
“Everything I know about politics and the election shows me that Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20,” said Ed Rollins, a longtime Republican agent who chairs the pro-Trump group Great America PAC. “There is no proof to prove to me that he did not win … It only takes 270 [electoral votes] and I don’t see anything that would disqualify that, or convince … the Supreme Court to overturn that, which is [the Trump legal team’s] goal.”
As long as any Trump political operation remains, it will likely be housed in a new executive PAC that the president created last month, and to which he directed substantial sums of the money the campaign raised with appeals. frantic to fund his “election defense fund.”
This political apparatus could come in handy if Trump opts for another White House race in 2024. But according to veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove, Trump is only hurting his own future political prospects with his incessant moans about the contest of the month. latest. “America loves comebacks,” Rove told Fox News Sunday, “but they don’t like sore losers, and he’s about to look like a sore loser.”
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