Nearly a month after his election defeat, Donald Trump gave what “may be the most important speech I’ve ever made,” not to a rally crowd or a live television audience, but to cameras recording him in the White House for a canned release days later. What did Trump have to say in this most important speech? Lies about a rigged election.
He ranted about “corrupt forces” and fraud “on a scale never seen before.” He appealed to the Supreme Court to throw out enough votes that “I very easily win in all states.” Unfortunately for Trump, his attorney general, William Barr, announced that the Justice Department hadn’t been able to find significant fraud, undercutting all these claims before the White House could even release the video of Trump’s speech. Related, Trump is thinking about firing Barr.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany didn’t deny that possibility Wednesday when reporters asked her about Trump’s faith in Barr, saying instead “The president, if he has any personnel announcements, you will be the first to know it.”
If Trump does fire Barr, it won’t be just because even Barr wasn’t willing to make up fraud to try to throw the election to Trump. It will also be because Barr didn’t produce a pre-election report claiming to exonerate Trump of dealings with Russia in 2016 and dragging down everyone who investigated his Russia connection. Barr has ensured the investigation of the investigation will continue, with Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham now serving in a special counsel role. But, again, that’s not enough for Trump: he wanted an October surprise that would have—he imagines—bailed him out on Election Day.
Donald Trump is not coming to terms with his loss. He is lying and ranting and lashing out at anyone who doesn’t support his delusions. And he’s in power for 48 more days.