Wednesday, January 27




Why President Trump Refuses To Concede


Joe Biden won the presidential election. President Trump lost the election. Counties and states are starting to certify results of Biden’s victory. The Trump campaign continues to mount legal challenges, and they continue to fail. But even though his defeat is clear, the president refuses to concede. Well, we want to talk more about why and what it might mean for the country. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson is here for that.

Howdy, Mara.


KELLY: The president insists he is challenging the results because he really believes he won. Really? With all the facts pointing otherwise, is there more to this?

LIASSON: I think there is more to it. Donald Trump’s brand is about being a winner, about never, ever losing. Remember, he’s always come out of every loss, like his bankruptcies or failed businesses, somehow making himself look like a winner. This election is the biggest, most public loss he’s ever suffered. So the stakes for his political future and his ability to continue to monetize his brand are very high.

There is a kind of method to his madness. He needs to create this false narrative to be able to walk off the stage without admitting he lost so he can maintain political viability, maintain a firm grip on the base of the Republican Party, especially in case he wants to run again. But there are also real consequences to that. He’s – his refusal to concede defeat or to accept a peaceful transfer of power, to spread these false conspiracy theories, are hurting Americans’ confidence in the most basic element of our democracy, which is free and fair elections. We know from polling that growing numbers of Republicans feel that – believe that Trump won the election and it was stolen from him.

KELLY: Another theory making the rounds that I want you to speak to, Mara – some of the president’s defenders – in fairness, even some conservatives who don’t seem to particularly like President Trump – they have argued, look; Democrats never accepted Trump as the legitimate president. Democrats in their hearts didn’t really accept the 2016 outcome, this argument goes. So what is the difference? Mara Liasson, what is the difference?

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