Donald Trump abruptly hung up during an NPR phone interview, after the former president was pressed with questions about his unfounded claims of election fraud.
Speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Trump put an end to the interview just nine minutes in. Trump, who called Mitch McConnell a “loser” and referred to COVID-19 as “the China virus” in the interview, hung up on Inskeep after he asked the former president if Republicans must back his repeatedly debunked claims of election fraud if they want his endorsement.
When the topic first came up, Trump appeared to brush off the idea that the audit on the election in Arizona did not find anything that would have changed the result. “The findings are devastating for Arizona,” said Trump, who was then asked why Republicans accepted the Arizona results. “Because they’re RINOs,” he said. “Go into Detroit and just ask yourself, is it true that there are more votes than there are voters? Look at Pennsylvania. Look at Philadelphia. Is it true that there were far more votes than there were voters?”
Inskeep told Trump that what he’s saying “is not true,” and proceeded to ask the former president further questions about the election. “Are you telling Republicans in 2022 that they must press your case on the past election in order to get your endorsement? Is that an absolute?" asked Inskeep, to which Trump responded, "They are going to do whatever they want to do—whatever they have to do, they're going to do." He proceeded to say that he thinks future elections are at risk if people don't “solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020.”
Increasingly, Inskeep struggled to get his question in, with Trump interrupting him before hanging up. “So Steve, thank you very much,” Trump said. “I appreciate it.” Per the NPR transcript, Inskeep expressed his surprise as Trump bailed on the interview.
“Woah, woah, woah, I have one more question," said Inskeep. "I want to ask about a court hearing yesterday on Jan. 6. Judge Amit Mehta. He's gone. OK."
In a speech given on the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, President Biden condemned Trump’s “web of lies” regarding the outcome of the election. He referred to Trump as “not just a former president,” but “a defeated former president.” He also suggested that Trump “can’t accept he lost, even though that’s what 93 United State senators, his own attorney general, his own Vice President, governors, and state officials in every battleground state have said: he lost.”