Former President Donald Trump told multiple people that he had no intention of vacating the White House in the days following his 2020 presidential election loss, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman claims in a forthcoming book, as reported by CNN.
In the soon-to-be-released book, Haberman reveals conversations between Trump and his aides and shows the trajectory of Trump's response to losing his re-election campaign. Haberman writes that Trump initially seemed to acknowledge that he had lost the election to Joe Biden and that he reportedly asked his advisors what went wrong, going as far as to comfort them by saying, "We did our best."
At some point, Trump's sentiments shifted, and he began questioning the legitimacy of the results. He told his team that he was "never leaving" the White House, apparently intending to refuse to cede the residence to Biden on Inauguration Day. Haberman reports that Trump was overheard asking Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, "Why should I leave if they stole it from me?"
CNN notes that the fact that Trump refused to vacate the White House had been speculation until now. Haberman's revelation clarifies another detail of the chaos that erupted in the weeks following the 2020 presidential election. Notably, Trump's refusal to step down from his position led to the infamous storming of the capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The riot, led by pro-Trump supporters, is currently being investigated by a House select committee.
Haberman's book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, will be released on Oct. 4.