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Recording Shows WI Trump Campaign Official Knew He Didn’t Lose by Fraud

The former head of Trump’s 2020 campaign in Wisconsin acknowledged that Democrats did a better job turning out the vote.

Former President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally on August 5, 2022, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Newly released audio — recorded just days after former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden — reveals that Trump campaign officials in Wisconsin were well aware of his loss but were prepared to push forward with lies about election fraud anyway.

The recordings, obtained by The Associated Press, feature Andrew Iverson — who at the time served as the head of the Trump campaign in Wisconsin and who is now the Midwest regional director of the Republican National Committee — speaking to his staff members about Trump’s loss.

According to the AP’s reporting, Iverson indicated that Biden had won the election and recognized that Democrats had a better ground game than Republicans had. But Ivrerson also told his staff that they should wait to see how the larger campaign wanted them to respond to Trump’s Wisconsin loss, perhaps taking into account the former president’s allegations of election fraud on social media in the days after the election took place.

“Here’s the deal: Comms is going to continue to fan the flame and get the word out about Democrats trying to steal this election. We’ll do whatever they need,” Iverson said. “Just be on standby if there’s any stunts we need to pull.”

Although he referred to “shenanigans” in Milwaukee County, Iverson didn’t say that fraud had affected the outcome of the race in Wisconsin— but he did note that “Democrats have got 20,000 more [votes] than us.” Iverson also joked that they could have done a better job reaching out to Black voters.

“We ever talk to Black people before? I don’t think so,” he said.

A different Republican operative on the tapes similarly praised Democrats in the state for having a higher turnout than Republicans, noting that Dane County, home to the state capital of Madison (a liberal enclave in the state), had 80 percent voter turnout, with Biden winning three out of every four votes in the county.

“You gotta respect that,” the GOP staffer said.

The recorded conversation between Iverson and his staff indicates that he and other state-level Republicans working on Trump’s behalf were completely aware that the former president’s claims of voter fraud were false.

According to transcripts from testimonies given to the January 6 committee, Trump also knew that the claims were bogus.

Richard Donoghue, former acting U.S. deputy attorney general under Trump, testified about Trump’s insistence on lying about election fraud despite evidence debunking his claims.

“The president said something to the effect of: ‘What do I have to lose? If I do this, what do I have to lose?’” Donoghue recalled. “And I said: ‘Mr. President, you have a great deal to lose. Is this really how you want your administration to end? You’re going hurt the country.’”

Members of Trump’s campaign team similarly told the January 6 committee that Trump was made aware of the strong likelihood he’d lose the race, with Jason Miller, one of his lead campaign advisers at the time, telling investigators that Trump’s lead data analyst “delivered to the president in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.”

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