New reporting from The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman details how former President Donald Trump refused to leave the White House in his final days, citing election fraud.
“I’m just not going to leave,” Trump told one aide, per a CNN exclusive excerpt from Haberman’s upcoming book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.” Another aide claimed that Trump told a separate staffer after the 2020 election was called in President Joe Biden’s favor that “we’re never leaving. How can you leave when you won an election?”
Through various sources and aides, the book recounts Trump’s initial embarrassment at his loss and how that embarrassment grew to denial.
“We did our best,” he’s recalled as telling junior press aides. “I thought we had it.” The denial of his loss and desire to overturn the election grew from there: “Why should I leave if they stole it from me?” others remembered him asking the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel.
CNN cites that Trump’s explicit refusal to leave office has not been previously reported and contextualizes the argument that his actions were in part responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
“Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” is due to be released on Oct. 4. More of Haberman’s reporting on CNN can be viewed in the video above.