Kirstie Alley, Scott Baio and other celebrity supporters of Donald Trump may want the president to refuse to concede the election and push his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, but people in his inner circle, including his wife Melania Trump, want him to accept his loss to Joe Biden, ABC News reports.
“Virtually everyone in his inner circle, his closest advisers, including his family members, are fully aware that this is over,” Jonathan Karl, ABC News chief White House correspondent said Sunday morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
Karl said there are conversations taking place that “include the first lady, about how to convince him to make something of a graceful exit.”
.@jonkarl: “Virtually everybody in the president’s inner circle … are fully aware that this is over. There have been conversations, conversations that I am told include the first lady about how to convince him to make a graceful exit.” https://t.co/sPlwnHbr7y pic.twitter.com/ErQQvmH8m4
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2020
But in an apparent repudiation of such reports, Melania Trump later Sunday used her official @FLOTUS Twitter account to echo her husband’s rejection of Biden’s victory. She also used a term — “legal votes” — that he, her stepdaughter Ivanka Trump and his other supporters have used in their messaging efforts to deny the election results.
Melania Trump tweeted: “The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”
But CNN also reported that the first lady, as well as Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior White House adviser and son-in-law, had approached Trump about conceding. Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller subsequently denied CNN’s report about Jared Kushner, tweeting, “The story is not true, Jared has advised @realDonaldTrump to pursue all available legal remedies to ensure accuracy.”
However, CNN said it was standing by its story, while also reporting that Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, have urged their father to continue with his legal challenges.
As these conversations reportedly were taking place, Trump played golf for the second time in two days. He was seen arriving Sunday morning at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, where he was greeted by a handful of people, including two holding Trump 2020 signs but another person with a sign that said, “Orange Crushed,” the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, President-elect BIden attended a Catholic church in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware and visited the grave of his late son, Beau Biden.
The Bidens finished mass and walked in the direction of the cemetery where Beau, Neilia and Naomi Biden, as well as Joe Biden’s parents, are buried. pic.twitter.com/Bp9DtbyzoT
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 8, 2020
According to ABC’s Karl, Melania Trump others are trying to appeal to Trump’s famous ego by thinking of ways to put a positive spin on the opportunities he has if he is no longer president, Karl reported. They have proposed telling him “about the movement he has built, his role in the Republican party, about the way he can be a kingmaker in 2022, 2024 … maybe even run again,” Karl said.
They also have proposed saying that if “he doesn’t leave in the right way, he could jeopardize all of that,” Karl added.
According to biographers, Melania Trump is known to be one of the people the president trusts the most for advice. Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told author Mary Jordan that Trump relied on Melania Trump, his Slovenian-born third wife, to “give him such good, solid, concrete advice. I would say 95 percent of the time, he took that advice… She has amazing political instincts.”
It may take a lot of convincing for Trump to accept he can no longer be president after Jan. 20, 2021, Karl explained. The Daily Mail, citing its White House sources, reported that Trump might even refuse to attend Biden’s inauguration.
Right now, Trump is “angry and defiant,” posting all-caps tweets about how he is the real winner of the election and pushing his “false claims of massive voter fraud,” Karl said.
But if Melania Trump and others convince Trump to concede, he probably won’t offer the usual gracious speech of losing candidates — congratulating his opponent and accepting the results of the election, Karl explained.
“He will concede the election was stolen from him, and he will have a long list of grievances about how he was deprived of his presidency,” Karl said.
Fortunately, Trump reportedly will commit to a peaceful transition of power — a tradition he repeatedly refused to endorse before the vote — even as he presses his claims the election was stolen from him, Karl said.
In that messaging effort, he can rely on Kirstie Alley, among others, for help. Like Trump, Alley also was on Twitter Sunday morning. She decried “media propaganda,” “government corruption” and resorted to all-caps, writing: “HOLD THE DAMN LINE!”
Source: Orange County Register