Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera was harshly criticized after he claimed that former President Donald Trump was under the "malignant influence of a trio of fringe advisors" who tried to overturn the results of the 2020 general election.
Writing on Twitter, Rivera said that Trump told him in November 2020 that he was a "realist" who would "do the right thing" and not try to claim that he won an election that he actually lost decisively to Democrat Joe Biden.
Rivera said that he "assumed he [Trump] meant he would concede if there was clear proof he lost" but that "Instead he led us to [a] Constitutional crisis."
Recent revelations from the hearings spearheaded by the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection, particularly the testimony of a White House aide who said Trump explicitly wanted his supporters to march on the Capitol despite knowing many of them were armed with weapons, indicate that Trump never intended to stand down.
Members of Trump's own inner circle have also acknowleded that Trump's commitment to his "Big Lie" actually killed people.
His former campaign manager Brad Parscale admitted in a text message to a Trump spokesperson that Trump's "rhetoric killed someone," a reference to Ashli Babbitt, the insurrectionist who was killed by a law enforcement officer as she attempted to climb through the broken windows of the House Speaker's Lobby to gain access to members of Congress sheltering in the House chamber.
But the weeks and months prior to the attack on the Capitol – and even before the actual election – offered plenty of evidence that Trump would not accept the election results, as when he spent much of the summer and fall of 2020 railing against mail-in voting, which gave Democrats an edge during a deadly pandemic that had otherwise made many people hesitant to head to the polls.
Many criticized Rivera and accused him of coddling Trump and absolving him of any and all responsibility.
Data shows that Trump would not have been able to make a worthwhile case for his own victory even if he had tried (and he did).
President Biden received 81,284,666 votes during the 2020 general election and 306 electoral votes, above the 270 needed to become the 46th President of the United States. Biden's win made Trump the first President to lose a reelection bid since George H.W. Bush, also a Republican, in 1992.
Trump—who also lost the popular vote in 2016—has long described his first electoral college win as a “landslide,” but has failed to note Biden defeated him by a larger electoral vote margin than Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by in 2016.
Nate Silver, the statistician best known as the face of FiveThirtyEight, “found that the percentage of electoral vote won by Trump [in 2016]—56.9 percent—was well below the historical average, 70.9 percent,” according to a Factcheck.org investigation conducted at the time.
Factcheck.org added “Silver found that Trump’s share of electoral votes ranked 44th out of 54 elections going back to 1804. Before that, Silver noted that “presidential electors cast two votes each, making it hard to compare them to present-day elections.”