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

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read