NPR Morning Edition host Steven Inskeep nabbed an interview with former President Trump on Tuesday—after six years of trying. "It was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted just over nine," NPR reports, noting Trump—who hurled insults at Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell—ended the conversation abruptly after Inskeep pressed him about his false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Trump was asked about comments from Republican Sen. Mike Rounds, who told ABC News on Sunday that the election was "as fair as we have seen." "We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency," said Rounds of South Dakota.
"While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state," Rounds continued. "And if we simply look back and tell our people don't vote because there's cheating going on, then we're going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage." Trump—who in an earlier statement referred to Rounds as "weak," "ineffective," a "jerk," a Republican in name only, and questioned whether he was "crazy or just stupid"—told NPR that his false claims were "an advantage, because otherwise they're going to do it again in '22 and '24, and Rounds is wrong on that. Totally wrong."
He added Republican senators felt they could speak out against Trump's claims "because Mitch McConnell is a loser." Pressed on his lack of evidence of fraud, Trump claimed "findings in Arizona" and other states did show fraud, only to be told that a GOP-led review in Arizona's Maricopa County reaffirmed President Biden's victory. That's "because they're RINOs, and frankly, a lot of people are questioning that," Trump said. But not at that point or any other did he present evidence. "It was excuse after excuse—it was 'too early' to claim fraud, his attorney was no good, things just seem suspicious," per NPR. Trump then thanked Inskeep and hung up as the interviewer was trying to ask a question. AFP shares more from the interview here. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)