Former President Donald Trump abruptly ended an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep after the reporter pressed him repeatedly about his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Before hanging up nine minutes into what was scheduled to be a 15-minute interview, the former president insisted the only way to have fair elections in the future is to "solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020." Trump also lashed out at GOP Senator Mike Rounds, who on Sunday called the 2020 election "fair, as fair as we have seen" and said Republicans didn't win the presidency.
Speaking to NPR, Trump said Rounds was "totally wrong," and that Republican senators aren't standing by him "because Mitch McConnell is a loser."
Inskeep cited federal judges who had ruled against Trump's legal efforts to overturn the results after the 2020 election, as well as remarks by his attorneys who told courts that they were not claiming fraud had occurred. He then asked Trump about his potential endorsements in the 2022 midterm elections, at which point Trump cut the interview short:
NPR: If I can just move on to ask, are you telling Republicans in 2022 that they must press your case on the past election in order to get your endorsement? Is that an absolute?
TRUMP: They're gonna do whatever they want to do. Whatever they have to do they're gonna do. ... People have no idea how big this issue is and they don't want it to happen again. It shouldn't be allowed to happen and they don't want it to happen again. The only way it's not gonna happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020.
NPR: Mr. President, if I —
TRUMP: So Steve, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
NPR: Whoa, whoa, whoa, I have one more question. I want to ask about a court hearing yesterday on Jan. 6. Judge Amit Mehta — He's gone. OK.
NPR said it had sought an interview with Trump for six years. Since leaving office, the former president has mostly accepted interviews with friendly right-leaning outlets like Newsmax.
The ex-president's remarks come after President Biden gave a forceful speech on January 6 reiterating that he is the rightful president and denouncing Trump's "web of lies." According to a December CBS News poll, 82% of Trump voters do not think Biden is the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.