Kellyanne Conway: Yes. Trump lost

Source: Politico | May 24, 2022 | Meridith McGraw

In “Here’s the Deal,” she acknowledges the reality of 2020 and offers some fresh criticism about the Covid response.

One of Donald Trump’s most steadfast aides acknowledges in a new book that the president lost the 2020 election and says he was ill-advised by campaign staff and the election deniers who surrounded him.

“Despite the mountains of money Trump had raised, his team simply failed to get the job done. A job that was doable and had a clear path, if followed,” Kellyanne Conway writes in her memoir, “Here’s the Deal.” “Rather than accepting responsibility for the loss, they played along and lent full-throated encouragement (privately, not on TV) when Trump kept insisting he won.”

“The team had failed on November 3, and they failed again afterward. By not confronting the candidate with the grim reality of his situation, that the proof had not surfaced to support the claims, they denied him the evidence he sought and the respect he was due. Instead supplicant after sycophant after showman genuflected in front of the Resolute Desk and promised the president goods they could not deliver.”

A Trump loyalist since taking over the reins of his 2016 presidential election and serving as his counselor in the White House, Conway’s admission of the ex-president’s electoral defeat is particularly notable, even if it amounts to stating out loud a well-established fact.

Other top Trump aides have acknowledged the same in their books, including former Attorney General Bill Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. But those were written by disaffected Trumpers who have since warned about the perils of Trump running for office again. Conway is still in Trump’s inner orbit and would be on the shortlist of individuals poised to advise a future presidential campaign, should Trump choose to run again. She also continues to speak regularly with Trump and is commonly spotted at Mar-a-Lago.

Her acknowledgment of a Trump “loss” appears to be one of, if not the, most upfront admission about the 2020 election that she’s made in public to date. In a December 2020 interview with The 19th, Conway said that even though the Trump campaign had every right to explore different legal avenues to challenge the results, the Electoral College vote tally suggested Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would win.

In her book, she writes she told Trump the same.

“Stuck in a parallel universe, many Trump supporters deluded themselves into thinking that somehow the president would remain in office or be reinstated once gone. Trump was more shocked to lose in 2020, I think, than he was to win in 2016,” Conway writes, although she adds that questioning the election results or “partisan activists” doesn’t make you the “QAnon Shaman.”

“I may have been the first person Donald Trump trusted in his inner circle who told him that he had come up short this time,” Conway writes.


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