Book: Trump planned to refuse to leave White House after election loss

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:40 AM MDT
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(CNN) - After losing the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump reportedly told aides he wouldn’t physically leave the White House in efforts to keep incoming President Joe Biden from taking over.

A new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman details new revelations on the final days of Trump’s presidency.

In reporting provided to CNN from the book by Haberman, Trump repeatedly told aides following his election loss that he would refuse to leave the White House.

In Haberman’s book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” she reports that Trump told one aide, “I’m just not going to leave.”

“We’re never leaving. How can you leave when you won an election?” the book claims Trump told another aide.

Trump’s insistence that he would not leave the White House has never been previously reported and shines a new light on the final days of his administration.

Haberman writes of the shift in Trump’s private comments on his election loss.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Trump seemed to recognize his loss.

He comforted one advisor, saying, “We did our best,” and reportedly told junior press aides that he thought “we had it.”

At some point, Trump’s mood shifted, and he was heard saying he wouldn’t leave.

He was even overheard asking Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, “Why would I leave if they stole it from me?”

Haberman, who is also a CNN contributor, reported Trump quizzed nearly everyone around him on how to stay in power. Among those he reportedly asked was the valet who brought him a Diet Coke when Trump pressed a red button on his Oval Office desk.

Haberman said Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, was reluctant to confront him over the election loss.

Kushner encouraged a group of aides to go to the White House and brief Trump. When asked why he was not attending the briefing, Kushner likened it to a deathbed scene, saying, “The priest comes later.”

Haberman’s book comes out Oct. 4.