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Trump with Schwarzman in 2017. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It's over. That's what Blackstone chairman, CEO and co-founder Steve Schwarzman — one of President Trump's most loyal allies — and other top Republicans are signaling to the defeated president, 16 days after Joe Biden clinched the win.

Why it matters: It’s all theatrics now. Even if Trump doesn't move on fast, you can. It is safe to ignore the fearful Republicans who insist the process is legit and plausible, because they tell us privately it is not. 

Driving the news: Schwarzman said in a statement to Axios that Biden won and it's time to move on.

  • "I'm a fan of good process," Schwarzman said. "In my comments three days after the election, I was trying to be a voice of reason and express why it's in the national interest to have all Americans believe the election is being resolved correctly. But the outcome is very certain today, and the country should move on."
  • "I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built. Like many in the business community, I am ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy."

Schwarzman's signal is more meaningful in Trumpworld than any of the messages so far from corporate America.

  • Trump's top aides have undisguised contempt for some establishment business groups. But not Schwarzman. He has been a close confidant of Trump's throughout his presidency.

The legal insanity: For more than 24 hours — until it became too much even for Rudy Giuliani to tolerate — the publicly-stated position of President Trump's legal team was that the reason Trump lost Georgia is because Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been bribed by a Venezuelan front company in cahoots with the CIA to throw elections to Communists.

  • More than that, in the telling by now-former Trump legal adviser Sidney Powell (ditched in a statement by the campaign last night), these dastardly Communists have manipulated American voting machines to switch millions of votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

Yes, that's correct. You didn't read that wrong. We are not pranking you.

  • This is literally what the Trump legal team is arguing. Watch this Newsmax clip and this press conference appearance from Powell.
  • The dangerous reality is that there is a large audience for this conspiracy theory. Far-right commentators attacked Fox' News' Tucker Carlson for daring to suggest that Powell should provide evidence to support her allegation of what would be the biggest crime in American history.

Longtime Trump ally Chris Christie said on ABC's "This Week": "[T]he conduct of the president's legal team has been a national embarrassment."

  • Senior people in Trumpworld agree. A source familiar with the situation said the Trump legal team had been arguing vociferously with each other on phone calls with the president.
  • And Powell hadn’t shown anybody senior in Trumpworld the evidence to support her grand claims of an international communist conspiracy.

Notice that few key campaign and White House officials have been publicly endorsing this legal strategy.

  • Ask yourself: When is the last time you heard from Jared? Or Ivanka? In private, they have long known it was over.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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