The other day, there was a fascinating news story that got little attention, though I think it deserved a lot more.
A group of historians have been doing a series of books on recent presidents. They were preparing the one on Trump, when he found out about it and offered to talk to them all (by Zoom). And the story that The Atlantic wrote about (with a summary on Raw Story) included the nugget that Trump acknowledged losing the election!
No disclaimer, no instance that he really won, just – “…but when I didn’t win the election…”. Later in the hour-long interview he does mention the election being rigged and losing, but earlier, about 10 minutes in, there is nothing about it being rigged. Just flat out, “but when I didn’t win the election,” seemingly forgetting to throw in his lie and letting the truth slip out by mistake.
And it’s on video.
As some legal experts have noted, this admission could come back to hurt Trump badly in court, acknowledging that he knows he lost. What’s important, too, is the timing of it all. As a news story, the implication is that this is breaking news that just happened – so the past year of saying otherwise, that he really supposedly won might offset his admission in court, and not have any impact on those around him repeating the story. And the Raw Story article supports this by not saying anything about the date of the interview.
But when reading the original, detailed article in The Atlantic, they say that the interview was done…last summer! So, perhaps nine months ago Trump was admitting that “I didn’t win the election.” Committing fraud, lying to his followers. But it’s actually worse than even that.
The article in The Atlantic refers to an article that the New York Times wrote about the interview when it took place. And I clicked on the link to check out when that story was published. And…it was in March, 2021 -- a year ago! Which means for the past full year Trump has known and said – on tape – that he lost. And has been lying about what he knows ever since, trying rile up his crowds and minions and lawyers and Republican state houses with what he knew was a lie.
(It also means that this interview with the historians was not a secret, hidden away until now. It didn’t cover all that was said in the interview, including this quote, but the interview was very public.)
You can read The Atlantic article by clicking here -- but better still…they’ve posted the entire video of the interview. Which includes, of course, Trump admitting on camera that “I didn’t win the election.”
I didn’t watch much of the hour, it’s very painful, but clicked to various parts – and almost every time, Trump is just continually trying to “correct” the record and rewrite history about how everything he did was great and everyone was working against him. It’s a psychiatrist’s dream. The article itself largely addresses this – it’s written by the editor of the book, John Zelizer, a history and public affairs professor at Princeton, who points out (among many other things) that Trump clearly had no idea of historians work.
I can’t embed the interview video, but will provide a link below and highly recommend checking it out. Not just for Trump’s admission or for seeing how much a victim he paints himself, but for how great the technology is embedding it, making it so easy to access almost whatever you want.
(You won’t see these benefits if you just click on the video embedded within the article. You have to open it full-screen, which is why I’m providing the link to that.)
The full-screen version has a wonderful sidebar with links to topics being discussed – but “topics” doesn’t do it justice. It’s incredibly detailed, with markers listed literally for every few seconds, so you can either scroll through the list or do a search for whatever subjects you’re interested in, rather than listening to the whole thing. That’s how I found Trump talking about losing the election – I just did a search for “election” and it found every reference. (The passage in question comes at the 41:40 mark.)
Just be sure to click on “Captions” and then “Show” (as opposed to “Hide”) in the sidebar. The captions are really great – not only are they every few seconds, as I said, (in fact, sometimes only one second apart!), but as you watch the video, the captions automatically scroll through and keep up with where you are. It’s very impressive.
Here’s the video.
Y'know, the one where Trump admits, “I lost the election.”
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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