“We ever talk to Black people before? I don’t think so,” he said, eliciting laughter from others in the room.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A newly released audio recording offers a behind-the-scenes look at how former President Donald Trump’s campaign team in a pivotal battleground state knew they had been outflanked by Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. But even as they acknowledged defeat, they pivoted to allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked — repeatedly — by elections officials and the courts.
The audio from Nov. 5, 2020, two days after the election, is surfacing as Trump again seeks the White House while continuing to lie about the legitimacy of the outcome and Democrat Joe Biden’s win.
The Wisconsin political operatives in the strategy session even praised Democratic turnout efforts in the state’s largest counties and appeared to joke about their efforts to engage Black voters, according to the recording obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The audio centers on Andrew Iverson, who was the head of Trump’s campaign in the state.
That these two things happened is not surprising. After all, there exists plenty of other evidence that the Trump campaign would cry election fraud if Trump lost. Roger Stone admitted as early as the summer of 2020 that the Trump Campaign planned to contest the results in bad faith. And former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon was caught on tape telling a group that if Trump was losing on election night, he was going to claim the election was stolen.
What is different here is that this tape lays out what was going on at the critical battleground state level. Lower level Trump operatives there have far fewer means and connections to protect themselves against prosecution, and they’re unlikely to be willing to fall on the sword for Trump today. Indeed, the recording was apparently made by another campaign staffer, who chose to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisals. The staffer was concerned that Trump has decided to run again in 2024 and that the nation could see another repeat of the 2020 election chaos.
“Here’s the drill: Comms is going to continue to fan the flame and get the word out about Democrats trying to steal this election. We’ll do whatever they need (inaudible) help with. Just be on standby in case there’s any stunts we need to pull,” Iverson said.
“At the end of the day, this operation received more votes than any other Republican in Wisconsin history,” Iverson said. “Say what you want, our operation turned out Republican or DJT supporters. Democrats just got 20,000 more than us, out of Dane County and other shenanigans in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Dane. There’s a lot that people can learn from this campaign.”
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