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Trump digs deeper into debunked conspiracy theories instead of embracing reality

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump walks up to speak about Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden at the White House on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. The is the first time President Trump has spoken since election night last week, as COVID-19 infections surge in the United States. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

At first, President Donald Trump's refusal to concede an election he clearly lost appeared to many of his allies a temporary stage of grief. Give it a few days, some shrugged. A week, tops. Now, thirteen days have passed since Joe Biden was declared the President-elect.

Now, thirteen days have passed since Joe Biden was declared the President-elect, securing the same number of electoral votes — 306 — that Trump once described as a "landslide. "

Instead of searching for new votes, Trump now appears focused on convincing Republican legislators in closely-contested states to intervene during the Electoral College — an extraordinary gambit demonstrating Trump's willingness to set fire to Democratic norms in the hopes of grasping to power.

Trump has also considered getting in touch with Republican legislators in other states as their certification deadlines near, hoping to delay or prevent Biden's win, people familiar with the matter said.

He has been following developments in individual states so closely that on Tuesday, as the vote canvassing board met in Wayne County, Michigan, Trump dialed up the two Republican members to express support for their initial refusal to certify results.

Aides who previously predicted Trump would reckon with his defeat within two weeks now say the timetable is more uncertain as he moves from lawsuits to more outlandish schemes, such as pressuring Republicans in battleground states not to certify the results of the election.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who has spoken with Trump since Election Day, said the President is still confident he will win.

"It sorta sucks," Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said of Trump's legal strategy.

A wide swath of House Republicans say that they believe Trump should take the battle as far as he can, with some embracing a long-shot strategy for states to delay certifying their results to help Trump win the Electoral College -- and essentially ignore the will of voters in key battleground states and subvert the democratic process.

Arizona, which Biden is projected to win and where he's maintained a lead of more than 10,000 votes, is one of several states where the Trump campaign is contesting the election results with unsubstantiated charges of mass fraud.

Under the long-shot theory, Republican-led legislatures could appoint pro-Trump slates of presidential electors, even if Biden carried the popular vote in their state, assuming a state has not certified the vote in time.

But other Republicans argued that states should wait to certify the results until all of Trump's claims are resolved.

Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from New York, said that it is fine if Trump wants to have his day in court, but "at some point that review process does have to come to an end. "

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