TRUMP CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE-he fell to his knees and prayed out loud, sobbing as he smashed his fist into the carpet. “What have I done?”


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The President has survived one impeachment, twenty-six accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits. That run of good luck now ends, perhaps brutally, because Joe Biden won.

"The President was despondent. Sensing that time was running out, he had asked his aides to draw up a list of his political options. He wasn’t especially religious, but, as daylight faded outside the rapidly emptying White House, he fell to his knees and prayed out loud, sobbing as he smashed his fist into the carpet. “What have I done?” he said. “What has happened?” When the President noted that the military could make it easy for him by leaving a pistol in a desk drawer, the chief of staff called the President’s doctors and ordered that all sleeping pills and tranquillizers be taken away from him, to insure that he wouldn’t have the means to kill himself."

LISTEN to Drumpf's Paranoia audio file


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How Trump’s Voter Fraud War Room Became a Fart-Infused ‘Room From Hell’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

The Daily Beast
Asawin Suebsaeng
White House Reporter

Nov. 13, 2020

On Friday, the remnants of Donald Trump’s failed re-election campaign informed staff that they were putting an end to “voter fraud” hotline duty.

It meant the death of a bare, depressing communal office space tucked away on a floor of the Team Trump headquarters in Arlington, Virginia; a workspace that one senior Trump campaign official described to The Daily Beast simply as “the room from hell.”

For the past few days, as the president’s political lieutenants and attorneys have hunted for nonexistent evidence of a massive voter-fraud conspiracy that—they would then argue—tilted the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, campaign brass have assigned mid-level and junior staffers to man the in-house phone and email hotline recently set up to field tips. The “room from hell” had some TVs, on which staffers could pass the time by watching sports or cable news. The office space was lined with phones and swivel desk-chairs, where a dozen or more aides could field calls at the same time.

When the room first opened for business, staffers worked in rotating shifts, from 7 a.m. ET to 1 a.m. the following day, a source with knowledge of the matter said. No complimentary food was regularly provided. And the phones were constantly ringing in the dreary, dull hell-space, like a scene out of the movie Boiler Room.

But unlike Boiler Room, the day there was filled with a far greater number of death threats and infinitely more farting sounds on the telephone lines.
According to three people familiar with the situation, the hotline was inundated for nearly a week by crank callers impersonating public figures such as Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, anti-Trump callers launching into vulgarity-laden tirades, pranksters making sounds of flatulence, and others issuing threats of physical violence at the lower- and mid-level Trump 2020 staffers.

For every three or four hours of threats and pranking endured, staff estimated that they’d get roughly one caller with an earnest, maybe-promising tip. This was done against the backdrop of a re-election campaign that virtually all of them knew was over and defeated. The search for “FRAUD,” they knew, would not actually stop Biden’s presidency from commencing.

After hours stuck on tip-line duty, staff would often leave looking visibly upset, worn out, and feeling undervalued. One staffer told The Daily Beast they had to go to the bathroom at least twice over the last few days just to cry because of the sheer volume of abusive phone calls.

“It’s misery. It’s one of the worst ways to end a campaign that you could think of,” this person said. Some staff had started getting aggressive with the prank callers, giving fake names and arguing or yelling back into the landline.

Though these Trump campaign hands exhaled a heavy sigh of relief the emotional damage had already been done, the insult layered thickly on top of injury.

The fiasco of Team Trump’s hotline was a perfect microcosm of the ongoing flailing of the president and his senior officials’ efforts to play make-believe that Trump had actually won the election. An effort to obstruct and delay the presidential transition process following a decisive Biden victory in both the popular vote and the Electoral College count has been plagued from the start by an utter lack of seriousness.

The hotline, and what came with it, also represented a fitting coda to President Trump’s unsuccessful bid for a second term, during which a candidate famous for refusing to return the loyalty that he demands from his underlings left numerous staffers who’ve devoted years of their lives to his cause to fend for themselves, as he works to construct an alternate reality.

Some Team Trump staff have talked amongst themselves about filing for unemployment next week.



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Trump had a very bad Friday in court with his election cases. They're headed for more action next week

By Katelyn Polantz
Sat November 14, 2020

(CNN). Legal experts have been saying for a week now that President Donald Trump's court cases to throw out ballots and turn around his election loss were bound to fail.

Throughout Friday, the failures piled up.

In one day, nine cases meant to attack President-elect Joe Biden's win in key states were denied or dropped, adding up to a brutal series of losses for the President, who's already lost and refuses to let go. Many of the cases are built upon a foundational idea that absentee voting and slight mismanagement of elections invite widespread fraud, which is not proven and state leaders have overwhelming said did not happen in 2020.
In court on Friday:

  • The Trump campaign lost six cases in Montgomery County and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania over whether almost 9,000 absentee ballots could be thrown out.

  • The Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit in Arizona seeking a review by hand of all ballots because Biden's win wouldn't change.

  • A Republican candidate and voters in Pennsylvania lost a case over absentee ballots that arrived after Election Day, because they didn't have the ability to sue. A case addressing similar issue is still waiting on decisions from the Supreme Court -- which has remained noticeably silent on election disputes since before Election Day.

  • Pollwatchers in Michigan lost their case to stop the certification of votes in Detroit, and a judge rejected their allegations of fraud.
On top of it all, a law firm leading the most broad challenge in Pennsylvania -- perhaps the most significant state for Trump's post-election fight -- dropped out.

"The Trump campaign keeps hoping it will find a judge that treats lawsuits like tweets," said Justin Levitt, a Loyola Law School professor and elections law expert, on Friday. "Repeatedly, every person with a robe they've encountered has said, 'I'm sorry, we do law here.'"

And yet, lawyers representing Trump, Republicans and voters unhappy with the election's result forge ahead, as part of an increasingly desperate long-shot attempt to swing the Electoral College in Trump's favor, no matter the popular vote and electoral count victory for Biden.

Appeals court rules
The writing is already on the wall for many of the election claims -- and in some ways, already on paper.
The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals decided on Friday that the voters and a congressional candidate in Pennsylvania didn't have the ability to sue and had gone to court too close to the election, rejecting their case.

MORE: -->


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Trump had a very bad Friday in court with his election cases. They're headed for more action next week

Trump reportedly hands election lawsuit reins to Giuliani

As President-elect Joe Biden's lead grew in Arizona, the Trump campaign dropped its legal challenges throughout Maricopa County on Friday.

In response, President Trump tapped his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to lead his campaign lawsuits related to the election outcome, The New York Times reports. The move has reportedly drawn criticism inside both the campaign and the White House.

Trump's longshot attempts to disqualify enough ballots to win the presidency suffered elsewhere on Friday, as well. A Michigan judge rejected a conspiracy-laden injunction claiming election irregularities were rampant in Detroit's Wayne County, and a federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected Republicans' attempt to toss out 9,300 mail-in ballots that arrived late.

Biden's leads in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia are even wider than his edge in Arizona.

Source: The New York Times, Bloomberg


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Trump Fumes That Biden Will Get the Praise He Craves for a COVID Vaccine

The president had big plans for a vaccine introduction.
But the rallies, celebrations and told-ya-sos for the media are now shelved

1605701366601.png 1605701376839.png 1605701380233.png 1605701383797.png

The Daily Beast
Nov. 17, 2020

As prospects for an effective vaccination for the coronavirus have improved for the coming year, Donald Trump has grown outwardly resentful that he won’t be in the Oval Office to take the credit for it.

For months, Trump had promised that a COVID vaccine was coming shortly. He put much of his election hopes on the possibility. But the announcement from two major pharmaceutical companies of hugely successful trial results for their respective COVID vaccine candidates came in the days after the votes were cast. And while it may have brought joy to the markets and public health officials, for Trump it was nothing but a heap of frustration.

Prior to the announcement of those breakthroughs, the president had brainstormed with aides and close associates about ways he could promote the vaccine to the American people. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of his private comments, the president had said he envisioned large, public, mask-free events—particularly when the weather grew warmer in, what he anticipated to be, a second term—and rallies to celebrate the successes of Operation Warp Speed, the public-private partnership to develop a vaccine. When distribution began, Trump had wanted to be directly involved in the vaccine’s promotion, gaming out a video campaign about the safety and success of his operation.

Trump also mused about holding a public, televised event or news conference in which he'd proudly brandish and read from a list of headlines, articles, and TV coverage that had either underestimated him or raised doubts about Operation Warp Speed's timeline.

"The president has been looking forward to showing that he was right and the media was wrong," one of the sources described.

But many of those plans are scuttled now. Come late January, President-elect Joe Biden will be leader of the free world, and the West Wing communications apparatus won’t be focused on amplifying Trump’s bragging any longer. According to two people who’ve spoken to the president about it, he’s grown preemptively annoyed that Biden will try to “steal” credit from him for life-saving vaccine developments.

“Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!” the president tweeted on Monday, with future claims of credit clearly at the fore of his thinking.

Trump’s aggrievement comes as the communities across the country grapple with how to deal with surges in new positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and as the president and current administration continue to block cooperation on coronavirus-related matters with an incoming Biden administration. And for critics of the president, it is yet another illustration of the perverse priorities he has brought to the COVID fight.

“When [the scientists] say they have a safe, effective vaccine ready for mass distribution, we should believe them. But I do know President Trump has made efforts to politicize this, as well. I was in a meeting with him months ago when we were discussing vaccine development and he specifically said we needed it before ‘November,’” recounted Olivia Troye, a former senior adviser to the coronavirus task force who endorsed Biden shortly after leaving the Trump administration.

“President Trump has made efforts to politicize this, as well.
I was in a meeting with him months ago when we were
discussing vaccine development and
he specifically said we needed it before ‘November,' ”
— Olivia Troye, a former senior adviser to the coronavirus task force

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Trump’s now aborted plans for a big vaccine celebration tour in a second term aren’t the only events that he has been forced to back away from following the election.

In the week before voters went to the polls, there had also been some talk among Trump and certain political lieutenants about the possibility of staging mass rallies in the immediate aftermath of Election Day. Those plans have also been put on hold, at least for the time being, as Trump officials have soured on the idea of putting the president back on the trail to buoy the MAGA diehards who still think he won, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

“There haven’t been any plans for POTUS rallies,” a senior Trump campaign official added.

Instead, Trump and what’s left of his reelection campaign have been largely focused on the legal challenges that make up a frantic and all-but certainly feckless attempt to overturn the results of the election. It’s a last-ditch legal and messaging blitz for which the president has made his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani the lead fighter. On Monday afternoon, the shell of Trump 2020 was still fundraising for this and other expensive endeavors, and using the vaccine breakthroughs to do it. “CORONAVIRUS VACCINE UPDATE,” read a text message that the Trump campaign blasted out to supporters on Monday. “Another option for the vaccine was just announced - 95% EFFECTIVE! Incredible! Pres Trump needs your support. Donate.”

While the president, in his fundraising appeals and social media missives, has presented the news around a COVID vaccine development as a triumph of his leadership, various senior officials working on the administration’s COVID-19 response have cautioned that there is a long way to go before it will reach the general public.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the COVID task force, said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast that he expects the first doses of a vaccine to be handed out to healthcare workers by the end of December. Both Pfizer and Moderna have said their respective candidates had efficacy rates well over 90 percent.

However, Fauci said he does not expect the general public to have access to the vaccine until sometime this spring.

“This is good news all around. Both vaccines are going to be extraordinarily important in containing the outbreak in this country,” Fauci told The Daily Beast, adding that he expects that the administration should be able to view other companies’ vaccine data sometime early next year. He described the Johnson&Johnson version as a “promising candidate.”



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Donald Trump lashes out in new bid to tarnish an election he lost
1605708596948.png President Donald Trump flexed the power of his office Tuesday to tarnish America's free and fair election, sacking the official who declared the vote the most secure in US history, even as more of his false claims of massive fraud were exposed as baseless in court.

The revenge firing, the President's latest assault against the infrastructure of US democracy, comes as he refuses to accept his defeat and to begin the process of transitioning power to President-elect Joe Biden -- an impasse that is especially dangerous amid a worsening pandemic.

Trump wrote that he terminated Chris Krebs, a senior Department of Homeland Security official, for contradicting his own baseless allegations of irregularities. The President, his campaign and political allies have made multiple efforts, which started well before the election, to falsely argue that he was cheated out of a second term. His effort appears motivated by a desire to explain away his clear defeat by the former vice president but is also part of a pattern of behavior designed to discredit Biden's presidency and to enshrine national divides that he consciously widened as a tool of power.

In other apparent attempts to cast doubt on the integrity of the election -- unprecedented in modern history -- Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham was embroiled in a controversy after calling election officials in Nevada, Arizona and Georgia -- three key states won by Biden -- to question them on procedures for mail-in ballots, which generally favored Biden. And two Republicans broke with tradition in Michigan, another state where the Democratic nominee triumphed, in temporarily blocking the certification of the election in Wayne County, where Biden beat the President. Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, later told CNN's Chris Cuomo that the officials relented and agreed to certify the vote.

The latest maneuvers by Trump and his allies came as more of the President's long-shot legal challenges and threadbare cases alleging election fraud were exposed in the courts.

The President's latest Hail Mary attempt to overturn the election result in one of the multiple states won by Biden came unstuck, this time in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Keystone State's top bench ruled that there was nothing in state law requiring ballot observers to stand within six feet of vote counts as the Trump campaign had argued. The decision undercuts the President's claim his supporters were unfairly discriminated against and that therefore the results in Pennsylvania, where Biden won by tens of thousands of votes, should be ruled invalid.

In a separate Pennsylvania case, Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani stepped in to lead a chaotic legal effort trying to prove that Democrats committed election fraud over absentee ballots. Other judges have previously rejected such claims.

Another of Trump's all but non-existent openings to change the election result championed by conservative media also appeared to be closing.

An election audit in Georgia was expected to finish by Wednesday ahead of the official certification of the ballot on Friday. Officials said the results were largely tracking original tallies that handed victory to Biden, further tarnishing Trump's claims of widespread fraud.

Trump cancels Thanksgiving trip
As more and more states begin to certify their election results in the coming days, the already minuscule rationale for Trump and the White House to perpetuate the fiction that he won a second term will further recede.

There are so far no signs that Republican state legislators in some key states are ready to fulfill the hopes of some conservative pundits that they will disregard the will of voters and select pro-Trump delegations to the Electoral College.

Trump's setbacks in his struggles to overturn the results comes as he has all but retreated from public view.

CNN's White House team reported on Tuesday that the increasingly reclusive commander in chief -- who once couldn't bear to cede the limelight -- is locked in a "bunker mentality."

Video: GOP lawmaker: Trump refusal to concede could create long-term damage (CNN)

In no mood to party, Trump has decided to forgo his normal Thanksgiving trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort, administration officials told CNN, and he has had no public engagements for days.

But even an invisible, lame-duck President retains the power to change the world that his successor will confront. So, Trump's acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced Tuesday that thousands of troops would be pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq, as first reported by CNN's Barbara Starr the day before. The move prompted a mixed reaction from Capitol Hill, but notably drew criticism from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Another senior Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, issued a scathing statement about the move, saying that it came without any real consultation with US allies, NATO or Congress and would draw down troops to "a potentially unstable and dangerous level."

The decision fulfilled one of the President's political goals but will spark fears of a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan. It also went against the advice of US commanders who worry about the strength of the democratic government in Kabul.

The redeployment announcement was just one of what are expected to be a series of aggressive plays by the President -- possibly including moves on Iran and China policy -- and attempts to tie Biden's hands when he is President. Trump's use of his power to make such significant moves while refusing to explain them to the American people as he stays out of sight, and the impression that he is exacting vengeance for a defeat he will not accept, are likely to further undermine his position.

New fears about vaccine delays
The potential cost at home of the President's obstinacy and failure to sign off on millions of dollars of transition funding, access to government agencies and briefings for Biden's team is becoming ever more clear.

Hugely encouraging news about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines expected to be available to all Americans next year cannot disguise growing anxiety among medical experts at the failure to read the next administration into the program.

The vaccine effort will be one of the most complicated logistical and public health undertakings ever. Any delays in manufacturing and distributing the vaccine could result in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Growing desperation about the worsening human toll of Covid-19 prompted several big US medical groups to call for cooperation between the outgoing and incoming administrations on Tuesday.

"All information about the capacity of the Strategic National Stockpile, the assets from Operation Warp Speed, and plans for dissemination of therapeutics and vaccines needs to be shared as quickly as possible to ensure that there is continuity in strategic planning so that there is no lapse in our ability to care for patients," said the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association in a joint letter to Trump.

In a sign of the complexity of the task ahead, a Government Accountability Office review of the Trump administration's vaccine effort found several choke points that could slow the approval and distribution of vaccines.

And the government's top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been marginalized by the President, stressed that presidential transitions are vital.

"If you don't have a smooth transition, you would not optimize whatever efforts you're doing right now," Fauci told CNN's Jim Sciutto.

Trump's neglect is having a devastating impact as hospitalizations from Covid-19 reach record levels and the virus blasts through Midwest and Mountain West states where Republican governors and voters bought into Trump's minimization of the pandemic and contempt for masks and social distancing.

Biden presses on
Biden, who has called Trump's failure to concede and to open a formal transition of power an "embarrassment," is pressing on with his efforts to prepare his administration. In Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday the former Vice President consulted US national security experts and former military brass. The group included retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned during the Obama administration after Rolling Stone magazine reported remarks in which he criticized the former vice president.

Biden said that it would be preferable to have access to the normal intelligence briefings that Presidents-elect enjoy. But he is promoting an image of a commander in chief who is ready to get to work.

Capitol Hill Republicans are still unwilling to confront the President on his refusal to permit a graceful transition. But increasingly there are signs that the natural transfer of power -- if it is not happening formally -- is under way.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio referred to Biden as President-elect this week. McConnell has made a career of not getting his caucus out ahead of political conditions, but he also gently recognized inevitability of what is to come.

"We're going to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the next one," McConnell said. "What we all say about it is, frankly, irrelevant."

Even noting such minor rhetorical shifts highlights the President's outlandish behavior and his own party's willingness to confront it. But it is a sign that reality is also coming into focus.