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

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Beautiful flowers spring up on Thetis Island during February. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
Weather conditions cover the full spectrum in February

The only thing missing from the region was a more summerlike feel

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

Most Read