Trump campaign staff discussed plan to 'fan the flame' about election fraud despite privately admitting 2020 defeat to Biden, according to audio leak

Residents wait in line to vote at a shuttered Sears store in the Janesville Mall on November 03, 2020 in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Residents wait in line to vote at a shuttered Sears store in the Janesville Mall on November 03, 2020 in Janesville, Wisconsin.Scott Olson/Getty Images
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  • The Associated Press obtained audio of Donald Trump's aides discussing the aftermath of the 2020 election.

  • The Wisconsin aides planned to "fan the flame" about baseless election fraud claims, despite admitting Trump lost.

  • "Just be on standby in case there's any stunts we need to pull," one aide says in the recording.

In a newly released audio recording, former Donald Trump campaign staff can be heard planning to "fan the flame" by promoting election fraud claims in Wisconsin following the 2020 presidential election, despite acknowledging defeat.

In the audio from November 5, 2020, obtained by the Associated Press, Andrew Iverson, the head of Trump's campaign in the state, can be heard speaking to other GOP operatives in a meeting.

"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 our help with. Just be on standby in case there's any stunts we need to pull," Iverson says in the recording.

Iverson talks about promoting baseless election fraud conspiracy theories despite admitting in another part of the recording that Trump had lost the key battleground state.

"At the end of the day, this operation received more votes than any other Republican in Wisconsin history. And it wasn't even close," Iverson says.

"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."

Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, but Joe Biden beat him in 2020 by nearly 21,000 votes. Nonpartisan audits and reviews have since confirmed the results.

The audio provides insight into the inner workings of the Trump campaign and the disconnect between their private conversations about the election and public allegations about election fraud.

The audio was given to AP by a former campaign official and GOP operative who attended the meeting and recorded it. They have remained anonymous out of fear of retaliation but said they had chosen to share it because of Trump's third presidential run.

When asked by AP about the recording, Iverson, now the Midwest regional director for the Republican National Committee, referred the outlet to RNC spokesperson Keith Schipper. Schipper declined to comment, claiming he had not listened to the clip.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung responded to AP: "The 2024 campaign is focused on competing in every state and winning in a dominating fashion. That is why President Trump is leading by wide margins in poll after poll."

At another point in the recorded meeting, the group discusses and laughs about GOP outreach efforts to Black voters in the state and needing "more Black voices for Trump."

"We ever talk to Black people before? I don't think so," Iverson says, sparking laughter from others, according to AP.

Meanwhile, GOP operative Clayton Henson praises the Democratic campaign for high voter turnout in Dane County,  a liberal stronghold in the state.

"Hats off to them for what they did in Dane County. You gotta respect that," Henson says, per AP. "There's going to be another election in a couple years. So remember the lessons you learned and be ready to punch back."

Henson also declined to comment on the meeting to AP.

Read the original article on Business Insider