The Trump team was anxious about a ‘delay’ with the Wisconsin election results, but they had the time zones wrong: book

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President Donald Trump speaks on election night the White House in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020.

  • Trump waited earnestly for updated results from Wisconsin on election night, per a forthcoming book.
  • White House attendees thought there was a “delay” in the election results from the Midwestern state.
  • The campaign didn’t account for the time zone difference, with Wisconsin being an hour behind eastern time.
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In the early hours of November 4, after one of the most tumultuous presidential elections in US history, then-President Donald Trump rattled off the states that were called in his favor, which included the key electoral prizes of Florida, Ohio, and Texas.

He was optimistic about his chances in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, highlighting election day vote leads that he felt would endure.

However, in a nationally-televised White House speech that he envisioned as a rousing victory message, Trump alleged voter fraud and vowed to go to the Supreme Court to “stop” the counting of additional ballots.

After the speech was over, the president walked into the Map Room, with family members and a tight circle of advisors that soon followed, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.

It was almost 3:30 a.m., and the campaign began to look hard at Wisconsin, a swing state that Trump narrowly won in 2016 and hoped to put back in his column in 2020.

Trump and then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had been competitive in the Badger State all night, but the president hoped to put the race away with updated numbers from a 3:30 a.m. data release.

The campaign team wanted the new Wisconsin numbers to provide them with some momentum, but the unfolding situation only left them frustrated, which Wolff describes in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency.”

At 3:30 a.m. eastern time, Wisconsin did not report any updated figures.

“Everybody waited, without much to say, anxiety ramping up, the president muttering: Why the delay? What was happening? Had they stopped counting? What was going on?” Wolff wrote.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, insisted that the “delay” confirmed his suspicions of electoral wrongdoing.

“They now knew how many Biden votes they needed to offset Trump votes, and they were producing them! That’s what the delay was about,” Wolff wrote in describing Giuliani’s line of thinking.

Trump stuck around for twenty minutes, but eventually became “agitated” and “angry” by the situation before heading to the White House Residence.

Election lawyer Matt Morgan, who was in the Map Room for much of the night, left the White House at 4 a.m.

As Morgan drove home, he realized that Wisconsin is in the central time zone, meaning it was an hour behind the East Coast.

The so-called “delay” was actually a failure to account for the time zone difference, and the updated data was released that morning.

Biden went on to defeat Trump in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes out of nearly 3.3 million ballots cast.

Milwaukee County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction and a longtime Democratic stronghold, gave Biden a hefty 183,000-vote margin over Trump, ensuring his victory in the Midwestern presidential battleground.

The Trump campaign, which questioned the results, last year spent $3 million on recounts in Milwaukee County and Dane County, another Democratic stronghold, only to see Biden pick up 132 votes in Milwaukee.

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Giuliani assembled the Trump campaign legal team in a room that overflowed with trash and had a ‘rotting smell,’ a new book says

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump speaks as he visits his campaign headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, on November 3, 2020.

  • Giuliani built Trump’s campaign legal team in a room with refuse “that overflowed onto the floor,” a new book says.
  • Between Election Day and the day when Giuliani arrived, the space had reportedly not been cleaned.
  • The Trump campaign endured continuous legal setbacks while seeking to challenge the 2020 election.
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Shortly after the November general election, Rudy Giuliani turned his focus to assembling a national legal team for then-President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Giuliani, who was Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, needed to bring together a national team in a day, with lawsuits set to go out shortly after November 14, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.

But the former New York City mayor was operating out of a conference room in the campaign’s Rosslyn, Virginia, headquarters, that was “filled” with trash.

Wolff detailed the less-than-ideal situation in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

“The room had not been cleaned since Election Day, eleven days before,” the book said. “Refuse filled the trash cans and overflowed onto the floor. There was heavy sour or rotting smell – in the trash was a week-old Buffalo chicken sandwich – mixed with Giuliani’s reliable farting.”

Read more: Joe Biden just fired a top Trump holdover at the Social Security Administration, but these 7 other Trump-era officials are still holding high-level government positions

While the views from the room were stunning – visitors to the room could see the Potomac River, the Capitol, and the Lincoln Memorial – Giuliani had his back to the window as he was busy strategizing election contacts in key swing states from Arizona and Pennsylvania to Georgia and Michigan, the book said.

For the next few weeks, Giuliani would travel across the country, seeking to overturn the election results and stop the Electoral College certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

The Trump campaign went on to file over 40 campaign lawsuits, and none of them were remotely successful at changing the outcome of the presidential election.

Appeals to the US Supreme Court, which Trump thought would favor his cause to due to its 6-3 conservative bend, instead resulted in three major losses.

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Trump claimed that he ‘made Juneteenth very famous,’ new book says

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Trump’s campaign planned to hold a rally on Juneteenth in 2020, but cancelled it after criticism.

  • Trump said he “made Juneteenth very famous” and “nobody had heard of it” before him, writes reporter Michael Bender.
  • The Trump campaign sparked backlash by initially planning to hold a rally that day in Tulsa.
  • Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in 1865.
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Trump boasted that he “made Juneteenth very famous” by the backlash his campaign sparked by inadvertently scheduling a rally on the day in Tulsa, according to a forthcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

The episode and internal drama surrounding was recounted in an excerpt of the book, “Frankly We Did Win This Election’: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Lost” published in Politico Magazine on Friday.

The Trump campaign didn’t know Juneteenth existed

Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who selected the date and location for Trump’s first rally in months, was apparently unaware of the date’s significance in America.

Trump’s announcing the rally’s date to reporters caused massive publish backlash, adding to the mounting criticism Trump had received for his response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Trump didn’t know about Juneteenth history until the blowback to his rally either and, according to Bender, was unaware that the White House had released public statements commemorating the day in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Bender reported that when Trump queried a Black Secret Service agent about whether he’d heard of the day, the agent told Trump it was “very offensive” to him that he’d decided to hold a rally that day. Ultimately, the rally was moved to the next day, June 20.

But in a 2020 interview with Bender, Trump claimed “nobody had heard of it” before his rally and that “I made Juneteenth very famous.”

Read more: Meet the young entrepreneurs rebuilding Tulsa’s booming ‘Black Wall Street’ 100 years after a white mob burned it down

Juneteenth has been celebrated for generations

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers went to Galveston, Texas to tell the last remaining enslaved Black Americans that they were free. While former President Lincoln Abraham signed the Emancipation proclamation in 1863, it went ignored in many southern states for the next two years.

The holiday has been celebrated for over a century, particularly in Texas, but Juneteenth and the history it represents gained new national prominence in 2020.

Many major corporations made Juneteenth a company holiday in 2020, and on Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by both chambers of Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday starting in 2021.

Additionally, the location that Parscale selected for the rally, Tulsa, is also the site of one of the deadliest outbreaks of racial violence in United States history.

In the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, a mob made up of white residents, with support from city officials, killed and injured hundreds of Black Tulsans and looted and destroyed countless businesses, eviscerating a vibrant business community – including a neighborhood called Black Wall Street.

In all, the mob is estimated to have killed as many as 300 Black residents of Tulsa and burned down huge swaths of the Greenwood business district. The riot also displaced thousands of Black Tulsans, with the Red Cross estimating that over 1,200 homes in the area were burned down and hundreds more looted.

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Trump plans to restore his ‘beautiful’ Boeing 757 with Rolls-Royce engines and new paint job for future rallies

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Donald Trump’s personal Boeing 757 private jet.

Former President Donald Trump announced in a press release Friday that he’s fixing his private plane ahead of future rallies.

“Many people have asked about the beautiful Boeing 757 that became so iconic during the Trump rallies,” Trump said. “It is now being fully restored and updated and will be put back into service sometime prior to the end of the year.”

Trump’s Boeing 757, informally nicknamed “Trump Force One,” has been parked at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York, unused since President Joe Biden’s Inauguration.

CNN previously reported that one of the plane’s pricey Rolls Royce RB211 Turbofan engines was broken and had been removed from the plane awaiting repairs, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Trump said the plane will soon be brought to a service facility in Louisiana for inspection and repairs, including updated Rolls-Royce engines, as well as a new paint job.

“When completed, it will be better than ever, and again used at upcoming rallies!” Trump said in the statement.

Trump frequently used the plane a prop for rallies during his 2016 presidential campaign.

During his presidency, Trump traveled on Air Force One.

Read more: ‘He will not go to sleep’: White House staffers reportedly dread foreign trips with Trump aboard Air Force One, where he holds meetings at odd hours and constantly watches Fox News

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Trump’s campaign still hasn’t paid the $211,000 it owes the city of Albuquerque. Now debt collectors are calling Mar-a-Lago, mayor says.

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President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, on September 8, 2020

  • The city of Albuquerque is still trying to get the Trump campaign to pay a $211,000 bill from 2019.
  • Officials sent the bill to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and referred it to a debt collections agency.
  • At least 15 cities have struggled to get the Trump campaign to pay its bills.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

City officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are still chasing down a $211,175.94 bill incurred by former president Donald Trump’s campaign nearly two years ago.

After a campaign event in the city in 2019, the Trump campaign was billed for increased police services and the use of a municipal building.

“The President’s campaign stop in the Albuquerque area cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, including over 1500 hours of police overtime that was required by the campaign,” Tim Keller, Albuquerque’s mayor, said in a statement to The Hill at the time.

But the debt has yet to paid, prompting city officials to try new tactics. The bill, which was initially sent to Donald J. Trump for President Inc. in New York, has since been resent to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort, a city spokesperson told the Albuquerque Journal.

Read more: Donald Trump is ditching the spray tan, M&M’s, and even some extra pounds at home in Florida. Insiders say losing 20 pounds might convince him to run for president again.

The city has also hired a collections agency to pursue payment of the debt, Keller said during a recent interview with “The Daily Show.”

The Democratic mayor said Trump “should be getting these annoying voicemails that, like, we get usually from scam companies where it’s like ‘You owe debts.'”

“I think Mar-a-Lago is now getting those calls,” he said.

Keller said when Trump’s rally occurred, the campaign made the city shut down the downtown area and close city hall, resulting in “tremendous” costs to the city.

A representative for Trump did not respond to Insider’s request for comment but the campaign has said in the past that it is not responsible for cities’ police bills.

At least 15 cities have struggled to get the Trump campaign to pay bills for policing and public safety during rallies, Insider’s Dave Levinthal reported in December. At the time, the Trump campaign had nearly $2 million in unpaid bills from cities for Trump’s rallies.

In November, the city of El Paso, Texas, lawyered up to pursue an unpaid bill for $570,000 from the Trump campaign.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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The Trump campaign reportedly cheated donors who thought they were making a one-time contribution, collecting recurring donations

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Former President Donald Trump.

  • The Trump 2020 campaign reportedly duped supporters into making recurring donations without their consent.
  • Donors, including cancer patients, who intended to make a one-time contribution ended up making more.
  • According to the New York Times, donations were automatically set to repeat when supporters got to the final stages of contributing.
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In what seemed to be an effort to bolster political contributions in the heat of the 2020 election against now President Joe Biden, the Trump 2020 campaign reportedly duped supporters into making recurring donations without their explicit or known consent.

An investigation of Federal Election Commission records done by the New York Times found that the Trump campaign, in the last two months of 2020, was forced to give hundreds of thousands of refunds in the amount of about $64 million. In total the campaign refunded $122 million, the newspaper said.

Many of these accidental repeat donors believed they were signing up to give a one-time contribution, the New York Times reported. Some of the victims of this scheme, like 63-year-old Stacy Blatt, were cancer patients who found themselves unable to pay bills and rent because of the repeated donations to the Trump campaign, the newspaper reported.

It started with an unusual and “aggressive” move: the addition of a small, bright yellow box on Trump’s campaign donation portal in March 2020.

“Make this a monthly recurring donation,” the text in the box read. The box had automatically been checked off as soon as donors landed on the page, the Times reported.

In order to avoid this recurring donation, donors had to manually opt out, the Times said.

Months later, the donation portal added a second pre-checked box. This time, the box automatically directed an additional contribution from the donor in honor of Trump’s birthday in June, according to the Times.

Between June and September, contributions were pouring into the Biden campaign. So the Trump campaign ramped up its approach.

By September, the text in the initial pre-checked box silently changed from “monthly” to “weekly” donation, according to the newspaper.

At this point, the Biden campaign had outraised Trump’s by about $150 million, the Times reported. At the same time, Trump’s own campaign finances were depleting.

Unrealizing Trump supporters began to make several repeated donations to the campaign over the course of a month.

Critics who spoke to the Times blasted the move.

“It’s unfair, it’s unethical and it’s inappropriate,” Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, said.

“It should be in textbooks of what you shouldn’t do,” London-based Harry Brignull, a user-experience designer familiar with manipulative digital marketing practices, told the paper.

Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Trump, told the Times: “The fact we had a dispute rate of less than 1 percent of total donations despite raising more grass-roots money than any campaign in history is remarkable.”

The repeat donations became particularly rampant in the months between September and October, after the campaign employed the series of aggressive moves, the Times reported.

In total, the Trump campaign returned a staggering 10.7% of money secured through WinRed, the Republican Party’s contribution portal. In contrast, the Biden campaign returned just 2.2% of the money raised through ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s counterpart.

Trump supporters who had unwittingly donated their money to the campaign filed fraud complaints upon noticing unauthorized withdrawals, the Times reported.

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Trump campaign launches yet another lawsuit over Pennsylvania election

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People participate in a protest in support of counting all votes on November 5, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • The Trump campaign is asking the US Supreme Court to overrule Pennsylvania judges and throw out tens of thousands of mail-in ballots.
  • President-elect Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.
  • The outgoing president’s legal team has repeatedly lost in court, having failed to prove Trump’s decisive loss was the product of fraud.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, but in a last-ditch effort to steal victory from the jaws of defeat, the outgoing president’s legal team is asking the US Supreme Court to throw out over 110,000 mail-in ballots.

Prior to the November election, Pennsylvania’s highest court issued a unanimous decision that mail-in votes should not be rejected solely because a signature on the ballot looked different than the one on file. That and other rulings are at the heart of the Trump legal team’s most recent litigation, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Under the US Constitution, states administer federal elections. But the Trump campaign, in a petition filed Sunday, asks the US Supreme Court to overrule their counterparts in Pennsylvania and declare tens of thousands of votes “invalid,” despite the fact that voters cast them according to the established rules at the time.

“The petition seeks all appropriate remedies, including vacating the appointment of electors committed to Joseph Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to select their replacements,” Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.

The Trump campaign and its allies have not fared well in the courts, however. Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court rejected an effort by Texas and other states to throw out votes in Pennsylvania and other battlegrounds that went for President-elect Joe Biden.

As the Inquirer noted, this latest round of litigation is being led by John C. Eastman, a law professor who previously leveled racially tinged “birther” claims against Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, baselessly suggesting that the daughter of immigrants was not eligible for US citizenship.

Democrats do not appear concerned, courts have previously refused to throw out citizens’ votes. On Twitter, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman responded to the lawsuit with a series of mocking images, including one depicting the “Trump Campaign” versus “Math.”

Pennsylvania’s 20 electors cast their votes for President-elect Biden last Monday, formally recognizing his victory in the Electoral College.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Chris Christie criticizes the Trump campaign’s legal approach as ‘an absurdity’

Chris Christie
Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s legal team, calling their approach to overturn the election results “an absurdity.”
  • “It’s an absurd idea to think that any state, or any number of states, no matter how good they are, can challenge another state’s right to run the election as they see fit,” he said. 
  • In an unsigned order issued on December 11, the Supreme Court declined to hear the GOP-backed lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton due to lack of standing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s legal team, calling their approach to overturn the election results “an absurdity.”

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the Republican questioned the efforts of Republicans who are contesting the election results and President-elect Joe Biden’s win without providing concrete evidence of widespread fraud in court.

“Listen, the legal theory put forward by his legal team and by the president is an absurdity,” Christie said. “The reason why the Supreme Court didn’t take it is because it’s an absurd idea to think that any state, or any number of states, no matter how good they are, can challenge another state’s right to run the election as they see fit. And also there’s no evidence.”

In an unsigned order issued on December 11, the Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton due to lack of standing. In addition to Paxton, 17 state attorneys general and 126 Congressional Republicans had signed an amicus brief backing the lawsuit.

Host Martha Raddatz asked Christie how the Republican Party would move forward.

“People are going to have to stand up and start to say these things,” he said, “I mean, you know, the fact is in Georgia, and people should know this, that signature verification, which the president continues to tweet about, has been done twice in this election,” Christie said.

The former governor is referring to Trump’s debunked claims that ballot signatures were not verified by election officials in Georgia, a state where he lost to Biden by a little over 12,000 votes. The president has maintained that he won the state, despite the recertified results officiating Biden’s win.

Christie added: “The reason the Supreme Court is not taking this is not because of a lack of courage. It’s for the same reason that every court has thrown this out. It’s a lack of evidence and a lack of any type of legal theory that makes any sense.”

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