Donald Trump made a very bold claim when speaking with the authors of the new book I Alone Can Fix It, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
He told the authors, who both write for the Washington Post, that he thinks he would win an election if his opponents were George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
He also blamed his 2020 loss on the pandemic, which would seem to contradict his near constant claims that the election was rigged against him by his opponents.
He told Leonnig and Rucker:
"I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice-president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me."
Trump seems to have forgotten exactly how low his approval ratings were while in office. At the end of his presidency, FiveThirtyEight reported that 39.4% of likely or registered voters approved of him.
Trump has talked about his chances in a race against Washington before, during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in 2020. He told Hewitt:
"I don't know if you've seen, the polls have been going up like a rocket ship. Hey, I was, George Washington would have had a hard time beating me before the plague came in, before the 'China plague.'"
"And then, you know, like every other nation, like other countries, when you get hit, it affects you, and we went down a little bit."
The general reaction on Twitter was amused derision.
Trump's insistence that the pandemic is what ruined his chances at a second term also contradicts his own words during the same interview.
Leonnig and Rucker quoted him saying the rioters who invaded the Capitol on January 6th were there to support him because the election was rigged.
"They showed up just to show support because I happen to believe the election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before."