Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser & presidential son-in-law, approached Donald Trump on Nov. 7 about conceding after Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 election, according to a CNN report by Kaitlin Collins.
But Trump appears to be having none of it. Prior to Jared’s initiative, the Tweeter in Chief said, "I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands." The statement explains that the campaign's legal battle begins today.
Meanwhile, following his re-election, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is squarely back in Trump’s lap: "This is a contested election," he said in interview comments to Fox host Maria Bartiromo. After subsequently recommending against Trump's concession, Graham added: "Do not concede, Mr. President. Fight hard."
As usual, communications surrounding the outcome of the election and Trump’s plans are a dog’s breakfast of contradictory messages. Kayleigh McEnany has pulled in her pom poms and retired from the whole hot mess, perhaps sensing that the time for senseless flackery has passed. The lawyers and operatives have taken over, and Trump will run communications from his Twitter account, which, by the way, loses its special protections for public figures in January.
Here’s a clear message, Jared: We don’t care if Trump concedes. As long as all of his stuff is out of the White House by January 20, we don’t care if he attends the inauguration or if he is never again seen in Washington.
CNN also reported that Trump hadn’t invited president-elect Biden to the White House, as is customary. But that, too, is okay. Unlike Trump in 2016, Biden knows his way around the White House and what to do when he takes office.
Trump doesn’t know or care what is customary; doesn’t know how a president should conduct business; and never has known what the job entails.
This piece is written on Nov. 8 and by Nov. 10 it could all be different. Nevertheless, after an excruciating wait, we have valid election results, and it matters not whether Trump accepts them. He can take his grievances and rave to his adoring fans about them until it’s time to report to prison, which seems at least a 50/50 chance.
CNN’s Brian Stelter, who turned off Trump’s Twitter notifications during his show, pointed out that Trump's tweets and comments are getting a lot less media attention now that he is the projected loser of the election. "I have a confession to make about the Trump tweets," ABC's Jonathan Karl told Stelter. "I have turned off the notification on my phone for Trump tweets... They're less effective when there are so many and when they are filled with so much disinformation."
"The salience of this administration goes down by the day," Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg added.
You’re a loser, Donald, and you lost to a guy who has been running for president since before you first declared bankruptcy in 1991. No one cares any longer what you think or do. We have a new president, and with hard work and good fortune we might return to a more rational and effective government in Washington.
Bill Huey is founder and president of Strategic Communications, a corporate and marketing communication consultancy. He is the author of two novels and a new one-act play dealing with the #Me Too Movement, “The Tiger of the Flesh.”