More than seven months after the 2020 election, Donald Trump admitted his 2020 presidential election defeat during an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, telling the Fox News host: “We didn’t win.” The former president conducted a wide-ranging interview with Hannity and conceded to having lost to President Joe Biden—despite having long contested the result.
“We got them by surprise in ‘16, and in ‘20 we did much better than we did in ‘16,” Trump told Hannity. “Shockingly, we were supposed to win easily at 64 million votes and we got 75 million votes. We didn’t win, but let’s see what happens on that. The whole thing was shocking.”
Biden carried key battleground states that include Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. He had more than 81 million total votes, while Trump had just over 74 million. Both totals were more than any presidential candidate in history.
Trump said in the interview he wants Biden to do well as president.
“I think the election was unbelievably unfair, but I want this guy to go out and do well for our country,” he said.
Trump conceded the election in January before Biden took office, but the former president and his supporters continue to challenge results in several states. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election.
Among the audits is a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots in Arizona’s most populous county. The counting, which took place after Trump alleged voter fraud in the state, has taken nearly two months. Results of the recount have not been shared.
Biden met with Russia President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday for their first face-to-face talks. It was that moment, according to Maggie Haberman with The New York Times, when Trump and those around him felt, “Oh, someone else is president and not Donald Trump.”
“This is the event that underscored for people around Trump and the former president himself the fact that he’s not president anymore,” Haberman said in a CNN interview Thursday. “This was the kind of event on the world stage, getting enormous attention, that he really enjoyed, that he saw as one of the trappings of the office that he thought spoke to a sense of power and strength.”
Then on January 6, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers convened to certify Biden’s victory. The riot happened just after Trump repeated his election falsehoods to a crowd at a nearby rally, told them, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” and then directed them to march to the Capitol.
Trump was impeached for the second time by the House, for inciting an insurrection, although the Senate acquitted him.
Trump’s repeated lies have landed with a majority of Republicans. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last month found that 56% of GOP voters believe the presidential election was tainted by illegal voting and that 53% of Republicans believe Trump is the “true president.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Association of State Election Directors described the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.”
And before resigning, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election.