“We are going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning,” presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters in April 2016. For any other politician, it would have been an unusual boast. But not for Donald Trump.
Because winning, at any cost, is all that matters for him. It’s his white whale. Even before launching his campaign, he told biographer Michael D’Antonio: “If you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.” But, he quickly added, “if you lose a lot, nobody’s going to follow you, because you’re looked at as a loser.”
As ABC’s Jonathan Karl outlines in his powerful new book, “Tired of Winning” — Karl’s third book on the Trump presidency, and his best yet — more than anything else, those 10 words — “if you lose, nobody’s going to follow you, because you’re looked at as a loser” — explain Trump’s behavior after the 2020 election and during the last two years. It was all driven by one obsession: his determination not to go down in history as a loser.
And yet — and here’s the truth he cannot bear — he is a loser. And not just a loser on Nov. 3, 2020. Donald Trump is, Karl concludes, “the biggest loser in the history of American politics.” For himself and his entire universe. “His losses are so big and so thorough,” notes Karl, “they have infected just about everything and everyone he’s touched.”
After looking back with Karl on Trump’s last days in the White House and his mad antics since, we’re lucky we even survived them. His desperate attempts to remain in office were even more dangerous than previously reported. Two prime examples.
First, when Trump and his loyalists were having a hard time persuading state election officials to “produce new votes,” Trump tried a bolder tack. With his blessing, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, suggested that the military could declare martial law — and force a “rerun” of the 2020 election in several key states.
Appalled, Army Chief of Staff James McConville and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy issued a flat denial: “There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election.”The action so outraged the commander in chief that he directed his new personnel director John McEntee to tell the secretary of Defense that any other Pentagon leader who showed such “disloyalty” would be fired.
Second, as late as March 2022, 14 months into Joe Biden’s presidency, Trump told Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) he would have to do four things to retain Trump’s endorsement for his Senate campaign: call for rescission of the 2020 election; call for immediate removal of Biden from the White House; demand that Donald Trump be reinstated as president; and call for a special rerun of the presidential election. All of which are both unconstitutional and impossible. Brooks refused. Trump unendorsed him.
What’s truly remarkable about Karl’s book is that the most damning comments about Trump come from those closest to him, including this from one identified only as having served “at a high level in the Trump White House”: “He lacks any shred of human decency, humility or caring. He is morally bankrupt, breathtakingly dishonest, lethally incompetent, and stunningly ignorant of virtually anything related to governing, history, geography, human events or world affairs. He is a traitor and a malignancy in our nation and represents a clear and present danger to our democracy and the rule of law.”
“Tired of Winning” should be required reading before voting in 2024.
Press hosts “The Bill Press Pod.” He is the author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”
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