Arizona secretary of state tells Trump to ‘accept’ his election loss and ‘move on’ ahead of Phoenix rally

trump rally arizona
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Arizona on October 19, 2020.

  • In a CNN interview Friday, the Arizona secretary of state said Trump needs to “move on” from his election loss.
  • Trump is slated to speak Saturday at a rally in Phoenix titled a “Rally to Protect Our Elections.”
  • Hobbs, a Democrat running for governor, said Trump’s visit to the state was “dangerous.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Friday said former President Donald Trump needed to “accept” his loss in last year’s election and “move on” ahead of his appearance at a rally in Phoenix on Saturday.

“Well, it is dangerous,” said Hobbs, a Democrat, when asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about Trump’s upcoming visit. “I’m glad you pointed that out. But the bottom line is it doesn’t matter what he says or does, nothing is going to change the outcome of the 2020 election. But it also doesn’t change how dangerous this is.”

Hobbs said yesterday Trump should “accept” his loss to President Joe Biden and “move on” from it as the former president travels Saturday to the Arizona Federal Theater for the “Rally to Protect Our Elections” in Phoenix. The event, according to AZ Central, is hosted by the conservative nonprofit Turning Point Action. In addition to Trump’s address, the event will feature a forum with Republican candidates for Arizona governor, according to the report.

“The bottom line is that Arizonians are tired of being led by conspiracy theorists,” Hobbs, who in June announced her candidacy for Arizona governor, said. “They don’t support this fake audit and they’re ready for leaders who are going to put those partisan games aside and deal with real issues.”

Trump lost the race in Arizona in one of the key wins for Biden that afforded him the path to victory. In the months that followed his loss, Trump and his GOP allies refused to concede the race and spread baseless conspiracy theories about election safety. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in last year’s general election.

His baseless claims fueled the deadly riot at US Capitol on January 6.

Read more: Trouble is brewing for a Georgia county’s criminal investigation into Donald Trump

Republicans in the Arizona Senate late last year commissioned a controversial audit by a private firm to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud in the election. The still underway review is focused on Maricopa County, which encompasses the city of Phoenix, which Biden won by more than two percentage points.

Election officials in the state have found just 182 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in last year’s election, the Associated Press reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Judge slams a pair of pro-Trump lawyers for ‘just repeating stuff’ the former president ‘is lying about’ after dismissing election fraud case

GettyImages donald trump
President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the “Stop The Steal” Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • A Colorado judge ticked off two pro-Trump lawyers for a failed case alleging election fraud.
  • The case was dismissed earlier, but the judge called its lawyers to a hearing over frivolous suits.
  • He asked them if it ever occurred to them that they may just be a “propaganda tool” for Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Colorado judge gave a scathing rebuke to a pair of lawyers after he dismissed their case challenging the results of the 2020 election, suggesting they were just parroting former President Donald Trump’s talking points.

Lawyers Gary Fielder and Ernest John Walker filed a class-action suit in December last year, claiming to represent the voting rights of 160 million Americans. They accuse a slew of high-profile politicians and tech CEOs of thwarting a Trump election victory with China and Iran’s help, according to court documents seen by Insider.

The pair have bankrolled their case via a crowdfunding page calling it “the largest civil rights class-action lawsuit in history.”

The case was dismissed in April, one of the numerous failed attempts to implicate voting technology company Dominion Voting Systems in an alleged plot to steal the election for Joe Biden.

But Federal Judge N. Reid Neureiter found the case so frivolous that he called Fielder and Walker in for a hearing Friday to ask them if they had been used “as a propaganda tool” for Trump, The Washington Post reported.

“Did that ever occur to you? That, possibly, [you’re] just repeating stuff the president is lying about?” Neureiter said, referring to Trump, the Post reported.

Fielder and Walker argued that they filed the case in good faith, and plan to re-file the case despite the threat of sanction from Neureiter, the Post reported.

Theirs is one of several cases that appears to be heavily influenced by evidence-free claims by the former president, despite none of them having succeeded in court.

It also named Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as defendants in a loosely-woven series of allegations of Democratic bias and unconstitutional modifications of electoral law.

It asks damages of $1,000 for every registered voter in the US.

Neureiter asked the lawyers if they had thoroughly investigated the case’s claims, such as that Dominion Voting Systems’ machines had allowed Chinese and Iranian tampering, NBC’s 9 News reported.

Two days before Walker and Fielder filed their case, then-Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the FBI had seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud. In November, Chris Krebs, then-director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, publicly stated that the election was the “most secure in American history.”

Neureiter compiled a list of factors that a “non-frivolous” lawsuit should be ready to consider, including Barr and Krebs’ statements. He told the lawyers that they should have been a “red light for you, at least a flashing yellow light,” the Post reported.

Fielder and Walker did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top US general said Trump spread ‘gospel of the Führer’ and threatened US democracy with 2020 election lies: new book

General Mark Milley
General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, speaks at the National Press Club, July 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results put him in the same camp as Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

Milley said Trump spread “the gospel of the Führer” via his lies about the 2020 election, and compared the former president’s supporters to “Brownshirts in the streets,” according quotes attributed to the general in an excerpt of the book, “I Alone Can Fix It,” which was first reported on by New York Magazine on Wednesday. The Brownshirts were a violent paramilitary organization that played a central role in Hitler’s rise to power and gained their name from the color of the uniforms they wore.

The general was concerned that Trump was deliberately provoking unrest in order to potentially find an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy the military domestically, Leonnig and Rucker wrote.

Milley, who was appointed by Trump as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2018, was told by an old friend not long after Election Day that the president and his allies were planning to “overturn the government.” The top US general reportedly told aides that he thought this was unlikely to succeed.

“They may try, but they’re not going to f—ing succeed,” Milley said, per the book. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”

Not long before the fatal insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, Milley said Trump was pushing the US toward the verge of having its own “Reichstag moment,” the book said. The general was seemingly referring to an infamous incident in 1933 in which the German Parliament was deliberately set ablaze – an event that Hitler exploited to consolidate power and destroy Germany’s flimsy democracy at the time.

A week after the January 6 riot, Milley excoriated the pro-Trump insurrectionists, according to the book. “These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II,” he reportedly said. The book said that Milley during President Joe Biden’s inauguration told former First Lady Michelle Obama that no one had a “bigger smile” that day than him.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Milley was widely criticized last summer after walking alongside Trump while in uniform as the president headed to a church for a photo-op after protestors nearby were dispersed with tear gas. The Pentagon’s top general apologized not long after, stating that it was inappropriate for him to be there. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” Milley said.

More recently, Milley has been the target of right-wing criticism after he defended the military’s teaching of critical race theory – a subject that has been habitually misrepresented by conservatives in recent months as part of a broader backlash to efforts to combat racism in the US. Milley in late June slammed GOP lawmakers who characterized the military as “woke” for attempting to teach personnel about the history of racism in the country they serve.

Though Trump once said he only hires the “best people” and in 2019 called Milley an “incredible officer,” the former president recently called for the general to be fired. This came after reports emerged that Milley challenged Trump on his approach to anti-racism protests last summer, prompting a profanity-laced dispute in the Situation Room. Trump denied that this heated argument occurred, even as he called for Milley to be pushed out.

The former president in late June said Milley should be “replaced with someone who is actually willing to defend our military from the leftist radicals who hate our country and flag.”

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who served as Pentagon chief under Trump from July 2019 to November 2020, defended Milley against the former president’s attacks.

“Personal attacks on GEN Mark Milley and calls for him to resign are completely unwarranted,” Esper said in a tweet. “He is an officer and person of impeccable integrity and professionalism.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Giuliani pushed Trump’s team to tell him he won several states on election night, even though it was too early to call, new book says

Giuliani Trump
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • Rudy Giuliani advised outright lying to Trump on election night 2020, according to a new book.
  • An excerpt from “I Alone Can Fix It” about Trump’s last year in office was published Tuesday.
  • Giuliani wanted to tell Trump he had won several states before it was possible to tell, it said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rudy Giuliani urged those around President Donald Trump on election night 2020 to tell the president he had won states he had not, according to a new book.

The claim came in an excerpt of “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker of The Washington Post.

The excerpt was published Tuesday by The Post. It follows numerous Trumpworld figures on the night of the 2020 election, including Giuliani.

It says the former New York mayor urged Trump aides to tell him he’d won states long before they were possible to call. He gave the advice for Pennsylvania and Michigan, it says, which ultimately were called for Joe Biden.

Lennig and Rucker wrote that Giuliani had his own “war room” set up in the White House’s Red Room, separate to the two others Trump had arranged.

As results came in, he began to “cause a commotion,” trying to get into the private quarters where Trump was, they said.

It recounts campaign manager Bill Stepien, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and senior campaign manager Jason Miller taking Giuliani aside as others speculated that he had been drinking too much.

Giuliani, the book says, went through the projections state by state, asking the three what was happening. “What’s happening in Michigan?” he is reported to have asked.

When Stepien, Meadows and Miller told him each time that it was too early to say, Giuliani is quoted as saying: “Just say we won.”

He gave the same advice for Pennsylvania, the book said, and kept going “state after state,” though the excerpt did not specify which.

Early results gave Trump a lead in Pennsylvania, which evaporated over time as later returns favored Biden. Many networks, including Insider, called the entire election for Biden once they were confident that Trump had no way of regaining his lead in that Pennsylvania.

Giuliani’s predictions of victory were “based on nothing,” the book said.

According to the excerpt, Meadows said: “We can’t do that.”

In the end, Trump did not need convincing of the falsehood anyway. He had long trailed the false idea that his victory was inevitable unless election fraud was involved – a notion that he had spent months sowing.

He brought it up again on election night, after Fox News called Arizona for Biden. An apoplectic Trump announced that the election was being stolen from him, famously saying: “Frankly, we did win this election.”

Giuliani did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump was desperate to beat Joe Biden and said on Election Day that ‘I can’t lose to this f—— guy,” new book says

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio on June 26, 2021.

  • Trump told aides on Election Day, “I can’t lose to this f—— guy,” a new book said.
  • He later added that “winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”
  • Biden ended up defeating Trump in a landslide, securing 306 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 232.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump was desperate to beat then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election, telling aides, “I can’t lose to this f—— guy,” according to a new book excerpt published in The Washington Post.

In “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” The Post’s Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker wrote that by the morning of Election Day last year, Trump was “upbeat” and that some of his advisors were already saying he would beat Biden in a landslide.

“Several women who worked in the White House arrived wearing red sweaters in a show of optimism, while some Secret Service agents on the president’s detail sported red ties for the occasion,” the excerpt said.

And while Trump was exhausted from a final spurt of rallies before the big day, he was confident he had secured his victory against Biden, even as his campaign manager urged patience given the huge number of mail-in ballots that would take longer to be counted.

Later, Trump told aides he hadn’t thought about writing an acceptance speech or a concession speech.

“Hopefully, we’ll be only doing one of those two,” he said, according to the excerpt. “And, you know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”

In the end, Biden defeated Trump in a landslide, securing 306 Electoral College votes compared to Trump’s 232. A candidate needs 270 to win the White House.

Biden beat Trump in every battleground states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada. He also flipped Georgia, which hadn’t voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1992, when Bill Clinton carried the state.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A federal judge skewered ‘Kraken’ lawyers for making ‘fantastical’ allegations of election fraud and failing to do the most basic due diligence

Sidney Powell in front of two US flags.
The GOP lawyer Sidney Powell.

  • A federal judge criticized “Kraken” lawyers including Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood on Monday.
  • The remarks were at a hearing about whether they should face sanctions over their election lawsuits.
  • The judge suggested the lawyers had submitted affidavits in “bad faith,” calling them “fantastical.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal judge on Monday excoriated a group of Republican-aligned lawyers including Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood over their legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

US District Judge Linda Parker made the comments at a contentious hearing on Zoom whose purpose was to determine whether the lawyers should face sanctions.

Parker repeatedly criticized the attorneys as failing to do “minimal” research on the “evidence” they presented as part of their multipronged effort – which Powell called the “Kraken” – to nullify the election results in states including Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

“The court is concerned that these affidavits were submitted in bad faith,” Parker said.

After the so-called Kraken failed, Michigan and the city of Detroit filed complaints with the bar seeking punishment for Powell, Wood, and the lawyers who had signed on to their lawsuits, including Julia Haller, Howard Kleinhendler, Gregory Rohl, Brandon Johnson, Scott Hagerstrom, and Stefanie Lambert Junttila.

Wood sought to distance himself from the Kraken at the beginning of the hearing, saying he “played absolutely no role in the drafting of the complaint” in Michigan.

“I did not review any of the documents with respect to the complaint,” Wood said, later adding, “I just had no involvement in it whatsoever.”

But David Fink, an attorney representing Detroit, contested that claim, saying that Wood had endorsed the effort on social media and that Wood’s own lawyer had said he was associated with the case.

“He’s ready to tell people when it helps him that he’s involved in this case,” Fink said. He later accused the Kraken team of “claiming things that couldn’t have happened, either by law or fact,” and of “not vetting anything that they find.”

Parker also criticized the lawyers for filing affidavits without adequately investigating their claims.

“I don’t think I’ve ever really seen an affidavit” like this, Parker said after reading through one whose author speculated at length about whether the US Postal Service had tampered with mail ballots in the 2020 election.

“This is really fantastical,” Parker said. “How can any of you, as officers of the court, present this type of an affidavit?”

Haller responded that the affiant had submitted information he believed to be true.

“You think that by the language in the affidavit, Ms. Haller, that he is stating that he actually believes his conclusions to be true?” Parker pressed.

Shortly after, Powell spoke for the first time in the hearing, saying that they had filed a “massive” federal lawsuit alleging nationwide election fraud and that the only way to test those allegations was through the “crucible” of a trial.

The judge dismissed Powell’s statement, saying that “volume” “certainly doesn’t equate with legitimacy.”

Fink piled on. The Kraken team “made these allegations based on the paranoid delusions of some witness who never even gets to the punchline,” he said. If they don’t have evidence, they can’t make “miscellaneous, defamatory, and, frankly, phony” allegations, he added.

In his closing remarks, Fink accused the plaintiffs of having “played a very strange game of passing the buck” as it related to their role in the Kraken lawsuits.

He noted that Monday’s hearing came a little over six months after the deadly Capitol insurrection on January 6, adding that it “horrified most of us, maybe not all of us, on the screen,” at which point Wood interrupted and accused Fink of defamation.

The argument grew so heated that the court reporter interjected, noted that the hearing had been going on since 8:30 a.m. ET, and asked the lawyers to stop talking over each other so that she could accurately document the proceeding.

Parker reimposed order, and Fink accused the Kraken lawyers of using their licenses to “abuse the processes” of the court in a “devastating way.”

Fink also drew a direct line between the Kraken team’s efforts and the Capitol siege.

“Because of the lies spread in this courtroom, not only did people die on January 6, but many people throughout the world … came to doubt the strength of our democratic institutions in this country,” he said, adding that the court had a responsibility to sanction the Kraken lawyers.

“Because of the way that these lawyers have dishonored our profession, because of the way that these lawyers have taken advantage of this court and this courtroom,” the Kraken team should be referred to the bar for disciplinary proceedings, he said, adding that they should also be referred to the chief judge of the Eastern District of Michigan and prohibited from ever practicing law in the district.

Powell later said that she objected to “nearly everything” Fink said and that she’d never witnessed anything like his remarks in her years of being an attorney.

Parker then thanked Powell and the other lawyers for their remarks and wrapped the hearing, saying that though it was a long proceeding, “it has been a necessary day.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Fox News aired a legal disclaimer when Trump started airing 2020 election conspiracy theories in his CPAC speech

Trump disclaimer
  • Fox News aired a disclaimer over former President Donald Trump’s CPAC speech on Sunday.
  • The disclaimer came after Trump continued to push the theory that the election was stolen from him.
  • The chyron said voting-system firms had “denied the various allegations” made by Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News aired a legal disclaimer over former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Sunday night.

The message appeared on the chyron after Trump continued to push the lie that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him.

Trump said the election had been “rigged” against him and there’s “so much evidence” pointing to this.

“It’s a disgrace to our nation, and we are truly being scorned and disrespected all over the world,” Trump said.

The disclaimer, which ran for nearly 40 seconds, read: “The voting system companies have denied the various allegations made by President Trump and his counsel regarding the 2020 election.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The disclaimer appeared as Fox News is being sued by two voting-technology companies, Dominion Voting and Smartmatic, who alleged that the network amplified Trump’s false election claims.

Trump has continued to insist that he is the real winner of the 2020 presidential election, without giving any evidence supporting that theory.

Even his own attorney general, Bill Barr, confirmed that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.

Fox News has denied the accusations in both of the voting companies’ lawsuits.

“Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and we will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” a statement from the company said, in response to the Dominion lawsuit in March.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump advisor said ‘I want to f—ing kill myself’ when the president tapped him to lead election challenges, according to new book

AP david bossie donald trump
Trump and his advisor, David Bossie in May 2015.

  • Trump aide David Bossie was “confused” and “appalled” when Trump tapped him to lead election challenges, a new book said.
  • “I don’t know if congratulations or condolences are in order,” a campaign aide said to Bossie.
  • “I want to f—ing kill myself,” Bossie, who is not a lawyer, reportedly replied.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A longtime advisor to former President Donald Trump was less than enthused when Trump tapped him last year to lead a spate of lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results, according to a new book by author Michael Wolff.

After mulling over who he wanted to spearhead the legal challenges, Trump finally settled on David Bossie, a 2016 campaign aide turned informal advisor. But when the president told Bossie – who had jockeyed for a position in the White House after the 2016 campaign and been turned down – Bossie was unpleasantly surprised, Wolff wrote.

For one, he didn’t have a law degree and was not a practicing lawyer.

“A willing Trump soldier and always ready to please the boss, even Bossie was confused, or appalled, by his sudden elevation,” the book said.

“I don’t know if congratulations or condolences are in order,” one campaign aide wrote to Bossie after Trump told him to lead the election lawsuits, according to Wolff.

“I want to f—ing kill myself,” Bossie replied.

Trump settled on Bossie after considering a slew of other people.

The president didn’t want to rely on his “weary” and “skeptical” campaign leaders and legal team, the book said, adding that Trump “was not yet desperate enough or crazy enough to put Rudy in charge.”

Nevertheless, the former New York mayor did end up being the public face of Trump’s failed election crusade, in part because Bossie tested positive for COVID-19 on November 8, shortly after being promoted to head up Trump’s lawsuits.

Some campaign staffers joked and speculated that Bossie’s diagnosis was a “convenient one,” Wolff wrote.

“How did you get so lucky?” one aide asked him.

“F— you,” Bossie replied, according to the book.

Giuliani, meanwhile, approached his new role as Trump’s lead election lawyer with gusto.

He filed dozens of lawsuits in battleground states across the country seeking to nullify Joe Biden’s victory in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia. All of the cases were tossed out. He testified at “hearings” organized by Republican-controlled state legislatures, where he made broad and unspecified claims about dead people voting and rigged election machines.

At one news conference that took place at a landscaping business located in between a sex shop and a crematorium, he invited a convicted sex offender to speak about purported vote-counting mishaps in Philadelphia. In another, he quoted “My Cousin Vinny” to support his claims about election fraud while black liquid trickled down his face.

His public crusade on Trump’s behalf deeply frustrated the former president’s advisors, according to Wolff’s book, who thought Giuliani was “always buzzed” and on the brink of senility. Trump himself often criticized Giuliani, the book said, telling one caller that the former New York mayor was frequently drunk, a loose cannon, and often said things that weren’t true.

Wolff’s previous reporting about the Trump White House drew scrutiny after journalists and fact-checkers found that some of the details in his first book about the administration didn’t add up.

He defended the book, however, and said he stood by his reporting. He also said “Landslide” featured only episodes that Trump’s staff had confirmed or that were backed up by multiple sources.

Giuliani’s longtime assistant did not respond to Insider’s request for comment about Wolff’s claims, and texts to multiple numbers associated with him went unanswered.

Read the original article on Business Insider

New book reveals Trump’s ‘grim’ reaction when Fox News called Arizona for Biden: ‘What the f—?’

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump flew into a rage after Fox News called Arizona for Biden on Election Night 2020, a new book says.
  • “What the f—? How can they call this?” Trump said, according to the book.
  • He directed his fury at the Murdochs and seethed that they were “always” out to get him.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Then President Donald Trump flew into a rage when Fox News called the state of Arizona for Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Election Night 2020, according to “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” by Michael Wolff.

It was a shocking call that marked the beginning of the end of Trump’s reelection campaign, and the president’s aides quickly shifted to damage control mode in order to contain his fury.

“What the f—? How can they call this?” Trump said, according to the book, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider. “We’re winning. And everybody can see we are going to win. Everybody’s calling to say that we’re winning. And then they pull this?”

Matt Oczkowski, the Trump campaign’s data guru and the former head of product at the controversial firm Cambridge Analytica, tried consoling Trump and assuring him that according to his model, the president would end up carrying Arizona.

“When the votes come in, we’ll win,” Oczkowski said. “Absolutely, we’re going to win.”

Meanwhile Trump’s son, Eric, was searching for his own answers, asking campaign staffers, “Where are these votes in Arizona coming from? How is this happening? You said we were good,” the book said.

But the brunt of Trump’s rage was directed toward Fox News itself. The head of the company, Rupert Murdoch, had greenlit the network’s election desk to call Arizona for Biden just minutes earlier.

Shortly after 11 p.m. ET, Murdoch’s son Lachlan got a call from Fox News’ data operation saying they were ready to make the Arizona call. Lachlan relayed the information to his father and asked if the network should go ahead and announce it.

“His father, with signature grunt, assented, adding, ‘F— him,'” Wolff wrote.

Trump, reacting to Biden’s victory a little while later, fumed that the Murdochs were “always trying to f— him,” according to the book. “He was the golden goose at Fox, and what did that get him? They owed him, but they had screwed him.”

In the weeks and months after Biden’s victory, Trump and his loyalists mounted a ferocious – and entirely unfounded – public messaging campaign aimed at convincing his supporters that the election had been “rigged” and stolen from him.

His legal team, spearheaded by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, filed lawsuits in battleground states across the country seeking to nullify Biden’s victory in those states and throw the White House back to Trump.

All the lawsuits were tossed out, and nonpartisan election experts and cybersecurity officials determined that contrary to Trump and Giuliani’s claims, the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history.

Giuliani, for his part, recently had his law license suspended in New York and Washington, DC, after an appellate division of New York’s Supreme Court found “uncontroverted evidence” that he “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large” about the election.

Wolff’s previous reporting about the Trump White House drew scrutiny after journalists and fact-checkers found that some of the details in his first book about the administration didn’t add up.

He defended the book, however, and said he stood by his reporting. He also said “Landslide” featured only episodes that Trump’s staff had confirmed or that were backed up by multiple sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud hotline was inundated with ‘thousands of dick pics’ and animal porn, new book says

GettyImages Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

  • Giuliani’s election fraud hotline was inundated with dick pics and animal porn, a new book said.
  • The photos, videos, and other “virulent screeds” forced people manning the hotline to beg for other duties.
  • The Trump campaign had to change the hotline’s number multiple times because of prank calls.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A hotline that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani set up to document instances of purported election fraud in the 2020 race drew in “thousands of dick pics” and animal pornography, according to “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” by Michael Wolff.

Giuliani created the hotline shortly after Election Day with Bernie Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump. Kerik pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of false statements and tax fraud in 2009 but was pardoned by an outgoing Trump in February.

The hotline was meant to receive “reports of what someone had seen, or might have seen, or knew that someone else had seen,” including allegations of “dead voters, double names, machine malfunctions, and far deeper conspiracies,” said the book, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

It went on: “Lots more came tumbling in: thousands of dick pics, animal porn, and virulent screeds, with nearly everybody who was manning the phones begging for other duties.”

Indeed, TIME reported last year that prank callers started flooding the hotline shortly after it was created and encouraged others to follow suit.

The election fraud hotline was so overrun, in fact, that the Trump campaign had to set up multiple new numbers.

“To those who have spammed our other numbers: it’s shameful that you don’t think it’s important to have integrity in our elections,” Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara tweeted on November 7. “It’s fundamental to our republic. Keep spamming. We will keep changing the number.”

Giuliani’s election fraud hotline was one of several ways he sought, fruitlessly, to nullify Joe Biden’s victory and throw the White House back to Trump.

One Oval Office gathering between Trump, then Vice President Mike Pence, several advisors, and Giuliani “turned into both a recapitulation of Giuliani’s growing case for nationwide election fraud and an excited discussion of his plan to import delegations from the legislatures in contested states to Washington, where the evidence could be presented to them (and where they could all get a visit with the president),” the book said.

In fact, Giuliani’s lies about the 2020 election grew so unfathomable and far-fetched that an appellate division of the New York Supreme Court ruled to suspend his law license late last month. A Washington, DC, appeals court followed suit on Wednesday pending further review in the New York case.

The anecdote about Giuliani’s hotline and the Oval Office meeting in “Landslide” was one of several unflattering portraits of the former New York mayor in Wolff’s book.

Among other things, he also reported that Trump’s aides had “deep resentment” toward Giuliani and believed he was “always buzzed” and on the verge of senility. Wolff also wrote that Trump himself, whom Giuliani remains deeply loyal to, acknowledged to a caller shortly after the election that Giuliani drank too much and often said things that were untrue.

Giuliani’s longtime assistant did not respond to Insider’s request for comment and texts to several numbers associated with the former mayor went unanswered.

Wolff’s previous reporting about the Trump White House drew scrutiny after journalists and fact-checkers found that some of the details in his first book about the administration didn’t add up. He defended his first book, however, and said he stood by his reporting. He also said that “Landslide” featured only episodes that Trump’s staff had confirmed or that were backed up by multiple sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider