Former President Donald Trump spoke with NPR on Tuesday in a brief interview cut down from 15 minutes to just over nine, after the ex-president hurried off the phone when pressed on his continued allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, NPR reports.
Speaking with Steve Inskeep, Trump also discussed the COVID-19 vaccine (he recommends the shot, but doesn't believe in mandates) and briefly touched on the 2022 midterms. But when the conversation turned to the 2020 vote, Trump "repeatedly attempted to assert misinformation about his election loss" before abruptly ending the interview, NPR writes.
As Inskeep pressed, Trump peddled "excuse after excuse," NPR reports — "it was 'too early' to claim fraud, his attorney was no good, things just seem suspicious." The tone of the interview reportedly changed.
When Inskeep then asked if Republicans running in 2022 must back Trump's fraud claims should they want earn his endorsement, Trump replied, "What they have to do, they're going to do."
Fraud "shouldn't be allowed to happen," he went on. "And the only way it's not going to happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020."
Inskeep tried to continue, but, per the interview's transcript, couldn't get a full question out before Trump thanked him and hung up.
Read the full transcript and write-up at NPR.