Although the Electoral College has already voted to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election, there is still reportedly an ongoing effort to convince President Donald Trump to accept the election. Sources told CNN Thursday that Trump told some advisers he would refuse to leave the White House on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Trump has been "walked down from that ledge" and few within the administration believe he actually will.
"He's throwing a f—ing temper tantrum," an adviser told CNN. "He's going to leave. He's just lashing out." The White House declined to comment on the report. Some of Trump's close allies have asked him to move on from the 2020 election to focus on lame-duck session issues, like pardons, and thinking about his political future.
On Monday, the Electoral College votes came in from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., confirming Biden's 306-232 victory. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally acknowledged Biden as President-elect on Tuesday and is reportedly trying to stop other Republicans in Washington from trying any effort to overturn the election results. Trump responded by lashing out at McConnell on Twitter. "Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight," Trump wrote. "People are angry!"
While Trump is ignoring other presidential concerns, one he has reportedly focused on is pardons. One person in communication with him even told CNN he sees to "enjoy" discussing the issue, even if the very act of doing so requires some understanding that he lost in November. Trump is reportedly not interested in using the Justice Department's Pardon Attorney system for seeking candidates for pardons or executive clemency, so some petitioners are going straight to the White House. Some are contacting Jared Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows, or White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
"Everyone assumed there's no formal process and they should reach out to the administration directly," an insider familiar with the pardon efforts told CNN. "Everyone hopes they have a friend of a friend of a friend of a cousin who they hope will get them to read their email." Trump is reportedly considering pardons for over two dozen people linked to him who he believes could be targeted for political ends in the future.
As for Trump's ongoing refusal to accept the election loss, CNN reports this is being "egged on" by Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, who are misleading Trump about voting irregularities. Trump privately started accepting the election loss late last month, but advisers said Trump reversed course. "He's been fed so much misinformation that I think he actually thinks this thing was stolen from him," one Trump adviser told CNN. Trump has also reportedly "shut down" any discussion of life after Jan. 20, sources told CNN.