Former President Donald Trump told staffers “I’m just not going to leave” the White House after losing the 2020 election — and even asked his Diet Coke valet for his opinion on whether he should stay put, a new book claims.
According to the book, Trump initially appeared to accept Joe Biden’s victory, telling one adviser “we did our best” and saying to other aides that “I thought we had it.”
At some point, however, the 45th president changed his tone.
“We’re never leaving,” Trump told one aide, according to Haberman. “How can you leave when you won an election?”
“I’m just not going to leave,” Trump reportedly told another staff member.
“Why should I leave if they stole it from me?” the now-former president also asked Republican National committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
When a reporter asked Trump on Nov. 27, 2020 whether he would vacate the White House if Biden’s win was confirmed by the Electoral College, the president answered: “Certainly, I will, and you know that. But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of things.”
Close aides and RNC officials weren’t the only people from whom Trump sought counsel as he weighed whether to leave the White House peacefully, Haberman writes.
The 45th president also reportedly consulted the valet who brought him a Diet Coke whenever he pressed a red button inside the Oval Office.
According to the book, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was reluctant to confront him about his loss and likened it to a deathbed scene as the president grew increasingly irate about the vote outcome.
“The priest comes later,” Kushner reportedly said.
The revelations come amid probes by the Justice Department and a House select committee into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Trump’s possible role in inciting it, as well as his efforts to overturn the election result.
The Capitol riots unfolded when a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed Congress as lawmakers were counting the Electoral College votes to formalize Biden’s win.
On Monday, some liberals accused Haberman of sitting on the Trump quotes to juice her book, which is due out Oct. 4.
“Oh good, another fact, vital to the safety and continuation of the nation, that @maggieNYT withheld from the public for many months if not a year-and-a-half so she could put it in her f—–g book,” former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tweeted.
“You know what? @January6thCmte needs to subpoena @maggieNYT about this quote, when she learned of it, and what other knowledge of Trump’s conspiracy she’s keeping away from the public,” he added.
“Maggie Haberman is another in a long line of people who were willing to let democracy die on the altar of a book deal,” activist John Pavlovitz tweeted.
Author Tony Posnanski also chimed in, tweeting: “Donald Trump – IM GOING TO DESTROY AMERICA! Maggie Haberman – Ohhhh, this is going to be great for my book!”