Photos taken by ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl of former President Donald Trump's campaign team on election night 2020 and published exclusively in his book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, indicate everyone around Trump knew he was losing.
The photos offer evidence to support the testimony of Trump White House advisers who told the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot they did not believe Trump should declare victory.
Several photos show the pained reactions of Trump family members such as Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Lara Trump as it dawned on them Democrat Joe Biden would win the election.
Campaign manager Bill Stepien, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and senior strategist Stephen Miller can also be seen reacting negatively to the news from the Map Room of the White House.
You can see the photos below.
\u201cThese photos \u2014 which were published exclusively in \u201cBetrayal\u201d \u2014 show the scene at the White House on election night. Look at the faces \u2014 these people did not think they were winning.\u201d— Jonathan Karl (@Jonathan Karl) 1655205451
A source who spoke to Karl told him the photos "were taken as the campaign's analysts, who had been more confident early in the evening, became concerned Trump could lose."
Testimony from Stepien, who told the House Select Committee Trump "thought I was wrong" even though "my recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race" support the source's claim.
Trump has continued to claim the 2020 general election was stolen.
For many, the photos served as a reminder his "Big Lie" is a "Big Con" at its heart.
\u201cThey all knew it then and still know, #TrumpLost\u201d— KathiPackersFan \u262e\ufe0f\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@KathiPackersFan \u262e\ufe0f\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1655238646
\u201cThe negative vibe must have been palpable.\u201d— SusieA\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6 (@SusieA\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6) 1655225745
\u201cThe second one looks like they're watching Trump being taken out by Seal Team 6.\u201d— Schooley (@Schooley) 1655219155
\u201c\u201cDo you think he will pardon us?\u201d Everyone in this photo\u201d— Prof Dr DuckDuckGo (@Prof Dr DuckDuckGo) 1655218625
\u201cMost definitely not the faces of people who have confidence in their candidate\u201d— Lainey \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc94\ud83c\udf3b (@Lainey \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc94\ud83c\udf3b) 1655219682
Earlier this week, Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney—committee vice chair—criticized Trump by suggesting he listened to "an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani" instead of the guidance of his campaign advisors following the 2020 general election.
In outlining upcoming testimony during the ongoing hearings, Cheney said Trump likely followed Giuliani's advice "to just claim he won and insist that the vote counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent."
Cheney's statements were a nod to testimony by the aforementioned Stephen Miller, who said Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, was "definitely intoxicated" on Election Night. Giuliani, for his part, disputed Miller's testimony.
Trump himself released a 12-page statement with footnotes questioning the integrity of the committee's investigation, using it as an opportunity to accuse Democrats of ignoring domestic issues while continuing what he believes amounts to little more than a political smear campaign against him.
The rest of his statement, which includes a long series of footnotes and sections that go so far as to cite 2000 Mules—the patently false "documentary" by right-wing political commentator and Trump pardon recipient Dinesh D'Souza that asserts geotagged cellphone data proved voter fraud had taken place—are a retread of just about every lie the former President uttered over the last year and a half.