Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Inside the West Wing: Trump didn't want to go back to Georgia

Trump in Georgia

Trump at a rally in Georgia on Dec. 5. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

With his anger rising at Georgia officials, President Trump resisted going back to the Peach State after his first runoff rally on Dec. 5.

Behind the scenes: He told advisers he didn't think he needed to go back. Both candidates, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, put in a huge behind-the-scenes effort to get him to go back. He plugged them during his Monday rally, but also ranted about the state's Republican officials and election machinery.

Between the lines: Trump was fixated on his own grievances and on increasingly untethered scenarios for how he might overturn the election.

  • It took great effort to get him to focus on any other subject or to convince him that anything beyond his own election factored into his self-interest.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham warned him that his "legacy" was on the line and that Democrats would undo all of his accomplishments, including tax cuts.

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