For President Trump and his supporters, it's another example of fake news. But a slew of reports about the White House paints a picture of a president pondering radical action over the next month in an attempt to stay in office. Days ago, reports circulated about Trump floating the idea of declaring martial law and having the military seize voting machines, a story Trump himself disavowed. But the reports keep coming. Coverage:
- "We cannot stress enough how unnerved Trump officials are by the conversations unfolding inside the White House," writes Jonathan Swan at Axios. He reports that Trump has lashed out against nearly everyone in his orbit, including Mike Pence, because he perceives them as weak for not fighting hard enough for him. "Top officials are trying to stay away from the West Wing right now," writes Swan.
- The Washington Post reports that the president is increasingly surrounding himself with a "ragtag group of conspiracy theorists, media-hungry lawyers and other political misfits" for the homestretch. The story quotes an unnamed senior administration official: "He is grasping at straws. If you come in and tell him he lost, and that it's over, he doesn't want to hear from you. He is looking for people to tell him what he wants to hear.”
- At the conservative National Review, Jim Geraghty says it's vital to keep Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell away from Trump because they're feeding him fringe views. Flynn, for example, has publicly encouraged the use of martial law, suggesting it's not such a big deal. But Geraghty notes that while state and local governments have declared martial law after riots or disasters dozens of times, the last time the federal government did so was after the Pearl Harbor attack.
- CNN has a scathing analysis by Stephen Collinson, who warns that "dead-end loyalists" are steering Trump wrong. "No one is sure where this is heading," one unnamed official tells the outlet. "He's still president for another month." ABC News has a story by Ben Gittleson, who writes that Trump "is spending his dwindling days in office entertaining increasingly desperate, last-ditch schemes to overturn the results of the presidential election."
- Meanwhile, Politico reports that Trump met at the White House Monday to strategize with House conservatives on a long-shot challenge Jan. 6 when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College results. Rep. Mo Brooks says "dozens" of House Republicans and "multiple" senators are on board, though John Thune, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, predicted the effort is going down "like a shot dog," per the Hill.
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