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Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department, Phoenix, Arizona, Nov. 6. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

President Trump plans to brandish obituaries of people who supposedly voted but are dead — plus hold campaign-style rallies — in an effort to prolong his fight against apparent insurmountable election results, four Trump advisers told me during a conference call this afternoon.

What we're hearing: Obits for those who cast ballots are part of the "specific pieces of evidence" aimed at bolstering the Trump team's so-far unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud and corruption that they say led to Joe Biden’s victory.

  • Fueling the effort is the expected completion of vote counting this week, allowing Republicans to file for more recounts.

What's next: Team Trump is ready to announce specific recount teams in key states, and it plans to hold a series of Trump rallies focused on the litigation.

  • In Georgia: Doug Collins, the outgoing congressman who lost to Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a special election to fill former Sen. Johnny Isakson's seat, will be leading the campaign's recount efforts. The team has also redeployed 92 staffers from Florida to Georgia, doubling its group on the ground.
  • In Arizona: Kory Langhofer, former counsel for Trump's 2016 transition, will serve as lead attorney.
  • In Pennsylvania: Porter Wright's Ron Hicks is heading up the legal effort.
  • Nationwide: They're assembling additional surrogates and lawyers.

"We want to make sure we have an adequate supply of manpower on the ground for man-to-man combat," one adviser said.

The group is also staffing a campaign-style media operation.

  • The team led by Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh is now a surrogate messaging center. It will pump out "regular press briefings, releases on legal action and obviously things like talking points and booking people strategically on television," one adviser said.
  • They'll also make a big play to raise money for their legal defense fund.

Trump's formal legal team includes 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien, lawyer Justin Clark, and senior advisers Jason Miller and David Bossie.

  • Reps. Jim Jordan and Scott Perry, as well as former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, are also advising.

Trump's team claims there is "no daylight" between them and the White House — chiefly senior adviser Jared Kushner and current Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

  • "We all have the same goal in mind, which is using the legal process over the next many days and weeks ahead to make sure that the president is re-elected," one adviser said.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Trump refuses to say whether he has confidence in Barr

President Trump declined to say on Thursday whether he still has confidence in Attorney General Bill Barr, after insisting that Barr "hasn't done anything" to investigate his unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

Why it matters: Trump has weighed firing Barr in recent days, seething about the attorney general's statement this week that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

Dec 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Thursday night frights for Biden White House

Reproduced from Homebase; Chart: Axios Visuals 

President-elect Joe Biden is building an economic team to deal with a post-COVID economic free fall, and a jobs report coming out Friday — expected to show reduced hiring last month — is anticipated to give that group a preview of coming attractions.

Why it matters: Biden's economic advisers are worried any failure to inject money into the economy now will only multiply their challenges once they take office, but President Trump remains fixated on litigating his election loss.