President Trump lost his bid for re-election by 6 million votes and counting, and 74 electoral votes, and his legal team is consistently losing its court battles to disqualify President-elect Joe Biden's voters. And yet he persists, even as a growing number of Republicans are urging him to concede — or at least allow the Biden team to start its transition. So why does Trump keep slogging on? One theory being pushed by some of his supporters and allies is revenge.
"Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation," CNN reports, citing a source familiar with Trump's thinking. Pointing to "those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts," Trump "has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect."
"Will anyone be honest enough to acknowledge that most of what is happening right now has more to do with payback for how the Democrats behaved after 2016 then [sic] about legitimate claims of fraud in the election?" asked Erick Erickson, a sometime Trump critic on the right. Washington Post columnist Daniel Drezner responded by efficiently dismantling this "false equivalence between 2016 and 2020."
The simpler explanation is that Trump always alleges fraud when he loses — and even when he wins — and that's just who he is: a sore loser.
Not just the 2016 Iowa caucuses, but popular vote in 2016, Arizona Senate race in 2018, and the results in 2012, when Trump was tweeting from the sidelines. It's not "revenge for the Russia investigation," Trump just says everything he loses was stolen. https://t.co/ZpViWOCpKh
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 21, 2020
The Washington Post complied a highlight reel of Trump's fraud claims.
One piece of evidence bolstering this theory comes from Trump himself, who told CNN's Chris Cuomo in August 2015 that National Review's Rich Lowry is "probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I'm not happy if I'm not winning. And I am a whiner. And I'm a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win."