Trump campaign vowed to 'fan the flame' of 2020 election lie: Audio
After Trump failed in Wisconsin, his team vowed to 'fan the flames' of false accusations of election fraud, new audio reveals.
A newly released audio recording provides a behind-the-scenes look at how former US President Donald Trump's campaign team realized that they had been beaten by Democrats in the 2020 presidential race in a key battleground state.
Even after they admitted defeat, they still decided to "fan the flames" of allegations of extensive fraud that supposedly cost Trump the election in that state, which were eventually discredited - again - by election authorities and the courts.
The recording from November 5, 2020, two days after the election, is flaring up as Trump eyes the presidency once more while continuing to lie about the legitimacy of the outcome and Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 victory.
According to the audio acquired by the Associated Press on Thursday, Wisconsin political operatives in the planning session even praised Democratic turnout efforts in the state's major counties and appeared to laugh about their efforts to reach Black voters. It is worth noting that the recording focuses on Andrew Iverson, the state director of Trump's campaign.
“Here’s the deal: comms is going to continue to fan the flame and get the word out about Democrats trying to steal this election. We’ll do whatever they need. Just be on standby if there’s any stunts we need to pull,” Iverson said.
Iverson occupies the position of midwest regional director for the Republican National Committee.
The former campaign official and Republican operative who provided the AP with a copy of the video was present and recorded the meeting. The operative was not permitted to speak publicly about what was discussed, but he did so because Trump is running for the presidency again.
Commenting on the audio, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “The 2024 campaign is focused on competing in every state and winning in a dominating fashion. That is why President Trump is leading by wide margins in poll after poll.”
Wisconsin was a key part of Trump's 2016 triumph, and his campaign worked hard to preserve the swing state in 2020, but Biden defeated Trump by roughly 21,000 votes.
The outcome has stood up to independent and partisan audits and reviews, as well as lawsuits and recounts in the state's two most populous and Democratic-leaning counties.
Instead, portions of the conference are devoted to discussions about closing campaign offices.
Iverson can be heard applauding the GOP's efforts while recognizing Trump's loss in the state.
The discussion demonstrates yet another contrast between what Republican leaders understood about the election results and what Trump and his closest friends were publicly stating as they promoted the "Big Lie" myth of a stolen election.
Trump's own attorney general informed him there was no evidence of widespread fraud, and many in his own staff advised him that there was little substance to numerous charges of fraud or manipulation - advice Trump frequently rejected.
In the weeks following the election, Trump and his supporters would file hundreds of lawsuits, summon phony electors, and put pressure on election authorities in an attempt to retain Trump in office.
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