Donald Trump said this week that he was within his rights to continue attempting to thwart Joe Biden from becoming president after his own advisers told him that his claims of election fraud were false, explaining that he did not respect his own attorneys’ legal opinions.
The ex-president was speaking with Kristin Welker, new host of NBC’s flagship Sunday programme Meet the Press, when he was questioned about why he went through with efforts to interfere in the certification of the 2020 election after his court challenges failed and his White House attorneys advised him against doing so.
“I didn’t respect them as lawyers,” Mr Trump explained.
“You’d hired them,” Welker pointed out.
“ Sure. But that doesn't mean - you hire them, you never met these people. You get a recommendation. They turn out to be RINOs, or they turn out to be not so good. In many cases, I didn't respect them. But I did respect others. I respected many others that said the election was rigged,” he responded.
Those attorneys he did seek advice from would go on to face serious repercussions for charting that course. A number are charged alongside him with multiple felony counts in Georgia; some have also faced professional consequences, such as the suspensions of law licenses.
Many of Mr Trump’s former legal advisers and administration officials are now in the awkward spot of begging for money from Trump supporters as their legal fees mount and they have become drawn in to a wide range of civil and criminal cases.
Mr Trump himself is now under indictment in relation to four criminal investigations, and faces a total of 91 felony counts.
The ex-president has denied guilt in the matters, calling them an attempt to prevent him from becoming president once more. But two of the cases stem from his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, which is not in dispute; Mr Trump instead argues that he was within the law when he spent weeks pressuring state officials to change vote totals, launch investigations to delay the process and support slates of false electors after his bids to overturn the election in the courts failed.
He continues to insist that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election, even though every state, local and federal authority with the purview of examining election fraud have said that the election results are valid and his team has been wholly unsuccessful in producing evidence to convince them otherwise. Many expect him to contest the results of the 2024 election should he win the GOP nomination and be defeated in November.
Numerous experts appointed personally by Mr Trump to his various administrative positions under his presidency have come out against his claims of election fraud, including former Attorney General Bill Barr.