Karl Rove assured Jared Kushner Trump couldn’t lose the 2020 election, Kushner writes.
Kushner recalls Rove calling him on election night 2020 after Trump prematurely declared victory.
“He’s going to win. Statistically, there’s no way the Democrats can catch up with you now,” Rove said.
Former Trump White House advisor Jared Kushner says veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove incorrectly assured him there was “statistically” no way President Donald Trump could lose the 2020 election.
Kushner recounts the late-night call with Rove in his forthcoming memoir, according to a page of the book tweeted out by The New York Times’ Ken Vogel on Wednesday.
Shortly after 2 a.m. on election night, as results will still coming in, Trump gave a speech in the East Room of the White House where he baselessly declared the election “a fraud on the American public” and said, “Frankly, we did win this election.”
“My phone rang a few minutes later,” Kushner wrote. “It was Karl Rove, the man who in 2000 had helped George W. Bush win the closest presidential election in US history.”
“The president’s all wrong,” Rove said, according to Kushner. “He’s going to win. Statistically, there’s no way the Democrats can catch up with you now.”
“Call the president and tell him that,” Kushner said he responded.
Rove’s confidence didn’t hold up once more mail-in ballots, which largely favored Biden in 2020, were counted and reported in swing states. Numerous top Trump campaign advisers testified to the House January 6 committee about their discomfort with Trump declaring victory that night.
“I was saying that we should not go declare victory until we had a better sense of the numbers,” senior advisor Jason Miller recalled in a closed-door deposition, a clip of which was featured in the committee’s June 13 hearing.
“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” former Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien testified to the committee. “Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days. And it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.”
Stepien, a seasoned campaign professional, described his view of the numbers as “bleak” and said he “checked out” as Trump doubled down on his false election fraud claims in the days and weeks after election day.
In his memoir, Kushner also recounts calling Rupert Murdoch to ask why the Fox News decision desk had projected President Joe Biden would win Arizona relatively early-on on election night.
“Sorry, Jared, there is nothing I can do,” Murdoch responded, per Kushner. “The Fox News data authority says the numbers are ironclad—he says it won’t be close.”
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