The Colorado Springs Gazette

Trump takes ownership of 2020 election fraud claims: ‘It was my decision’

BY KAELAN DEESE The Washington Examiner

Former President Donald Trump said, “It was my decision” to believe that fraud in the 2020 election caused his defeat, contending he also “listened to some people,” casting doubt on the results.

“We have many people, and it’s my choice,” Trump told NBC’S Meet the Press moderator Kristen Welker in an interview aired on Sunday, saying, “It was my decision. But I listened to some people.”

Ranking administration and campaign lawyers informed Trump that he lost the election and there was zero evidence of fraud. However, Trump had attorneys outside of the executive branch, including several who are now facing criminal indictments themselves, told Trump there could be complications with the election results and helped him devise a slate of alternate electors to upend the electoral vote count in Congress.

Trump said he didn’t listen to White House and campaign attorneys “because I didn’t respect them as lawyers,” referring to them as “RINOS,” or Republicans in name only.

“But I did respect others. I respected many others that said the election was rigged,” Trump said.

When asked if he was listening to outside attorneys because “they were telling you what you wanted to hear,” Trump said, “I listen to myself.”

“I saw what happened. I watched that election, and I thought the election was over at 10 o’clock in the evening,” Trump said, adding, “My instincts are a big part of it.”

The Justice Department revealed its second indictment of Trump on Aug. 1, charging him with four criminal counts related to his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which culminated with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

Trump is also facing charges of violating Georgia’s racketeering law and is one of 19 defendants charged in the Peach State. Several of his outside attorneys, including Rudy Giuliani, Ken Chesebro, and Sidney Powell, are facing similar charges related to their alleged involvement in a plot to subvert the election in that state.

The former president could also be in legal jeopardy over his alleged actions on Jan. 6. During the interview, he disputed the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, who told the House Jan. 6 committee that he had been so determined to go to the Capitol following a speech near the White House that day that he lunged at a Secret Service officer to change the direction of his limousine.

Trump scoffed at one of Hutchinson’s assertions that he tried to choke a Secret Service officer, saying “how ridiculous” of a claim it was because it involved a “guy who was like a black belt in karate.”

“So I spoke. And then I went back,” Trump said, referring to his return to the White House. “I wanted to go down peacefully and patriotically to the Capitol. Secret Service, who I have great respect for, said, ‘Sir, it’s better if you don’t do that. It could be unsafe.’”





The Gazette, Colorado Springs