'Trump endangered America’s democracy': President's delusion broken down in brutal WaPo analysis
President Donald Trump speaking to reporters on the White House lawn (screengrab)

President Donald Trump's refusal to accept the fact that he lost the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a Washington Post deep-dive published online Saturday night.


The story, by Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner, was titled, "20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election."

"The facts were indisputable: President Trump had lost. But Trump refused to see it that way," the newspaper reported. "Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the telling of one close adviser, like 'Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won. I won. I won.'’"

"Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin, for instance, discussed with Trump a poll he had conducted after the election that showed Trump with a positive approval rating, a plurality of the country who thought the media had been 'unfair and biased against him' and a majority of voters who believed their lives were better than four years earlier, according to two people familiar with the conversation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. As expected, Trump lapped it up," The Post reported.

The report was based on "interviews with 32 senior administration officials, campaign aides and other advisers to the president, as well as other key figures in his legal fight."

"The result was an election aftermath without precedent in U.S. history. With his denial of the outcome, despite a string of courtroom defeats, Trump endangered America’s democracy, threatened to undermine national security and public health, and duped millions of his supporters into believing, perhaps permanently, that Biden was elected illegitimately," the newspaper reported. "All the while, Trump largely abdicated the responsibilities of the job he was fighting so hard to keep, chief among them managing the coronavirus pandemic as the numbers of infections and deaths soared across the country. In an ironic twist, the Trump adviser tapped to coordinate the post-election legal and communications campaign, David Bossie, tested positive for the virus a few days into his assignment and was sidelined."

"The 20 days between the election on Nov. 3 and the greenlighting of Biden’s transition exemplified some of the hallmarks of life in Trump’s White House: a government paralyzed by the president’s fragile emotional state; advisers nourishing his foibles; expletive-laden feuds between factions of aides and advisers; and a pernicious blurring of truth and fantasy," the newspaper reported. "Though Trump ultimately failed in his quest to steal the election, his weeks-long jeremiad succeeded in undermining faith in elections and the legitimacy of Biden’s victory."