Donald Trump knew he was losing the 2020 presidential election while asserting a baseless narrative that the results were rigged against him, according to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Mr Christie, who is running against Mr Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, told ABC News host George Stephanopouls on 16 July that Mr Trump told him “directly” that he had lost in 2020.
His comments follow reports that federal prosecutors investigating the former president’s attempts to upend the results of a democratic election have questioned several witnesses in recent weeks to determine whether he privately acknowledged losing the election he continues to publicly insist otherwise.
“He doesn’t believe he’s won. He was concerned before the election he was losing. And I know that because he said it to me directly,” Mr Christie said on ABC’s This Week.
“He knows he didn’t win, but his ego, George, won’t permit him to believe that he’s the only person in America outside the state of Delaware to ever have lost to Joe Biden. So his ego is running that,” he added.
Federal prosecutors have reportedly questioned Mr Trump’s son-in-law and former adviser Jared Kushner as well as former White House communications directors Alyssa Farah Griffin and Hope Hicks.
Their questioning has sought to pierce whether Mr Trump was knowingly pressing to reject election results despite knowing the truth that he had lost, evidence that could significantly bolster a case against him.
An investigation from US Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith is separate from a criminal probe in Fulton County, Georgia, where district attorney Fani Willis is presenting a recently impaneled grand jury to weigh evidence surrounding Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn election results in that state.
The now-dissolved House select committee investigating the events surrounding and during the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 – a violent event fuelled by a baseless narrative of election fraud and manipulation – also uncovered substantial evidence and witness testimony about Mr Trump’s alleged admissions that he lost.
The panel’s vast reporting depicted an in-depth portrait of Mr Trump, with assistance from GOP allies, to refuse to cede power at the White House regardless of the election’s outcome while privately acknowledging that he lost.
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