WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s closest campaign advisers, top government officials and even his family were dismantling his false claims of 2020 election fraud ahead of Jan. 6, but the defeated president was becoming “detached from reality” and clinging to outlandish theories to stay in power, the committee investigating the Capitol attack was told Monday.
On election night itself, Trump was “growing increasingly unhappy” and rejecting the results as they came in, former campaign manager Bill Stepien said in testimony played before the House panel investigating the Capitol riot.
Son-in-law Jared Kushner tried to steer Trump away from attorney Rudy Giuliani and his far-flung theories of voter fraud that advisers believed were not true. Trump would have none of it.
The back-and-forth kept up in the months that followed. Former Justice Department official Richard Donoghue recalled breaking down one claim after another — from a truckload of ballots in Pennsylvania to a missing suitcase of ballots in Georgia —- and telling Trump “much of the info you’re getting is false.”
“He was becoming detached from reality,” said former Attorney General William Barr, who called the voting fraud claims “bull——,” “bogus” and “idiotic,” and resigned in the aftermath. “I didn’t want to be a part of it.”