Trump Admits it (Again)

Shameless (but not surprising).

One of the weird realities of the various bad behaviors of the 45th president (from the merely strange to the potentially felonious) is that he basically does them all out in the open in a way that renders them seemingly inert. His bizarre way of delivering these nuggets of naughtiness seems to further denigrate their ability to shock the consciences of many who listen. His lack of shame somehow makes his shameful utterances and acts palatable in some weird way that they would not have been if he acted normally and then these actions were revealed to the public.

Consider: if he was publically saying what he should have been saying about the election, but was secretly taped trying to get the Vice President to overturn the election, that would be a scandal. But if he says it to a crowd in a room full of cameras? Well, that’s just Friday:

To use a phrase I often have during the Trump era: it is stunning, but not surprising, that the very week the House investigation is trying to get the public to understand that Trump tried to get Pence to overturn the election Trump himself admits that, oh yes, that was what I wanted. Granted, this is no revelation, as he has said all of this multiple times before. But it is nonetheless quintessentially Trumpian to do so this week.

BTW, it will shock readers to know that his understanding of what Jefferson did vis-a-vis the election of 1800 is, well, rather flawed (to include the fact in the clip that Trump mistakenly assumes Jefferson was elected to VP in that election, not to the presidency). So, for anyone who wants a run-down of what he is talking about, here is a piece from January 5, 2021 by history professor Holly Brewer: No, Thomas Jefferson Didn’t Rig the 1800 Vote Count. (Sorry, but the piece cannot confirm or deny whether the phrase “hear ye, hear ye” was uttered on the floor of Congress that day).

The bottom line remains that Pence did the right thing on January 6th and he has at least said confirmed his lack of power to do what Trump wanted him to do since that day. I give him credit for that, but I also would say that if he really valued the country over his own political ambitions, he would have testified to the committee live and, indeed, would have been more forceful from the beginning about what Trump wanted him to do. Instead, he is too afraid to risk his (in my view) paltry chances of being the 2024 GOP nominee/being ostracized from GOP society to use his position to protect American democracy. Of course, this is no surprise since he willingly lent what credibility he had to Trump in 2016 and onward, again in hopes of one day being president.

See, also, the NYT: A Day After a Portrait of Pence in Danger, Trump Attacks Him Again.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Yes, but you see, the election had to be overturned because it was rigged. Joe Biden wasn’t legitimately elected. Trump was the true winner.

    That’s how MAGAworld interprets this.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    There has been a narrative that the mob on Jan 6th was leaderless. That somehow it formed on its own. James, you have said many times that the majority of the mob were just swept up in the moment. Of course that is true, but that is the way all mobs function. The real question is: were there leaders of the mob, planning before hand, instigating the crowd to go after the capital and attempting to direct them. This video at the NYTimes makes that case strongly.

    Trumps words and actions make it clear that he knew well beforehand about the Proud Boys and other leaders. He made any number of statements well before Jan 6th that indicate he knew at least generally what was going to happen, that he wanted it to happen, that his behavior and statements during the day were calculated to exacerbate the violence and put maximum pressure on Pence and others to give in to the mob and overturn the election. His statements since then only reinforce this.

  3. Scott F. says:

    Not only does Trump’s brazen bad behavior numb the consciences of public, it emboldens his cultists – He’s not hiding anything, so he must be on the up & up. It’s truly perverted, but it clearly is working.

  4. Scott F. says:

    I’d put the Trumpist logic a little differently: Trump told us all along that the only way he could lose the election was if the Democrats cheated. Ergo, if Biden won, the Democrats cheated. Trump was right, because he knew what would happen from the beginning – Democrats would cheat, so Biden would win.

    Trump is vindicated, but the sheeple don’t see what we know to be fact. Only we can see what is right and true and American. Listen to the rioters captured on video. They are absolutely certain they’ve got it right and everyone else has it wrong.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    The crunch comes in 2024 when Kamala Harris may be presented with slates of Electors certified by Red state legislatures that contradict their announced vote counts. They should hit the courts first, but three GOP Justices have endorsed the “independent state legislature” doctrine, which would allow the lege to override the count, and their own state courts. A fourth has weakly endorsed it, and Barrett and Roberts haven’t been heard from. What should Harris do if presented with an obviously improper, but SCOTUS blessed, certification? James has previously opined that if push were to come to shove, the military would follow SCOTUS. The universally respected legal scholar /s Eastman thought the Supremes would decline such a case in ’21, declaring it a political question. It’s clearly a matter of Constitutional interpretation, i.e. prima facia the Court’s job, but he might be right the Supremes would take the easy way out. But only if that left the GOP as prez.

    Obviously the 1/6 Committee should propose legislation to forestall this possibility, but equally obviously it would never pass the Senate as long as McConnell can get a filibuster upheld. Trivia. The 1800 election TFG blathered about in the clip elected Jefferson Prez and Aaron Burr VP. This made Burr President of the Senate, in which role he launched an effort to clean up senate rules, noting they’d never had a motion to call the question, he got it cut from the rules. This was the change that inadvertently allowed the filibuster to develop.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    Absolute certainty. Absolute belief in one man and one man alone. Rejection of all evidence to the contrary. Willingness to commit violence in defense of Dear Leader. The abandonment of previous belief systems. The willingness to accept that we have always been fighting Eastasia. Giving more money than you can afford to Dear Leader. The sublimation of the self to Dear Leader.

    As I’ve maintained for years, this is a cult of personality. It’s the very definition of a cult of personality.

    It is a cult of personality that builds on the pre-existing intellectual weakness, credulity and father figure worship already part and parcel of evangelical Christianity. The Trump cult is the successor to the Jesus cult. It is not the successor to the Republican Party, it has replaced the Republican Party.

  7. CSK says:

    @Scott F.:
    I agree. Trump was told in the summer of 2020 that he was going to lose, so he had to come up with a story that contradicted that. And boy oh boy, the Trumpkins snapped it up hook, line, and sinker.

  8. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The Trump cult is the successor to the Jesus cult. It is not the successor to the Republican Party, it has replaced the Republican Party.

    The GOP/Trump replacement is key. As Judge Luttig made clear in this week’s hearings, the Trump Cult alone wouldn’t pose this clear and present danger to democracy without its Republican allies.

    Ha, there was something to a great replacement threat. They just got the ‘replacers’ and the ‘replaced’ wrong.

  9. Michael Cain says:

    Trump spent his life working in industries where “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” is a mantra. I think it has given him a remarkable ability to admit to cheating in phrasing, tone, and body language that leads many people to respond, “Yeah, everyone cheats, no biggie.”

    I was thinking about this the other day, and perhaps because I’m getting old and cynical, realized that cheating seems to be becoming a standard American way of getting ahead. People believe that the contractor or auto mechanic is going to cheat them. People believe that the insurance company is going to deny their valid claims. People see their favorite professional football or basketball player cheat in every game, because cheating is so widespread that the refs can only call the most egregious instances. Trump’s just demonstrating that you can take it to another level.

  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott F.:
    It’s a bit like the way the Stalin cult of personality took over the body of the Communist Party, violating established party ideology, purging anyone but the most faithful, requiring abject subservience to the man Stalin rather than the CP hierarchy. Or the way the National Socialist Worker’s Party which had several leaders became the Hitler cult with only one leader, a leader who was freed to ignore beliefs he’d once subscribed to (anti-capitalism), pivot to anti-Marxism and anti-semitism, and enforce slavish obedience.

    The party or religion essentially subverts mental defense mechanisms, weakens the spiritual immune system if you will, and allows an opportunistic infection to take hold. The party or religion persists only as a sort of zombie body with arms and legs but no independent will.

  11. dazedandconfused says:

    He has a life time’s worth of experience it dodging the law. He knows the difficulty in proving criminal intent…knowledge he is committing a crime. Continuing to assert and demonstrate he had no knowledge of doing anything wrong has been key.

    The question is if this parlor trick which worked so well in real estate/lawsuits will work at this level. Probably not, but it’s the only card he seems to have. With so many of his own people testifying against him it’s essentially an insanity defence though. May it still serve to ruin him, no matter what the outcome of a criminal case.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Cain: The angry Trumper at my last job was very much in the “if you don’t cheat, then you’re a sucker because everyone else cheats” mindset. I think it’s very common.

    I got him ranting during diversity training, and then he got to spend lots of time with HR. (Another benefit of diversity training… it helps screen out those who can’t stop being assholes for an hour)

    Anyway, I’m sure Dr. Taylor would refer to this as a declining faith in institutions.

    (One of my brothers is clearly motivated by this as well and is basically a nihilist, but the other has a more active view based on hatred of the Fox chosen minority du jour and a desire to trigger people… I’ve stopped speaking to the second)

  13. Gustopher says:

    BTW, it will shock readers to know that his understanding of what Jefferson did vis-a-vis the election of 1800 is, well, rather flawed (to include the fact in the clip that Trump mistakenly assumes Jefferson was elected to VP in that election, not to the presidency)

    I am amused that he is less informed than if he got his history from the musical Hamilton. Also horrified. And saddened.

  14. CSK says:

    Trump also didn’t write the Constitution, which in October 2021 Trump claimed he did.

  15. dazedandconfused says:


    I can see it now: “We The Trump….”

  16. CSK says:

    I meant “Jefferson” rather than “Trump” as the first word in this sentence.

    But I suppose if Trump could take credit for it, he would.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Alternative History is interesting here. Would Stalin and Hitler be considered clowns and losers if they hadn’t been able to go that final distance? Trump strikes me as a malignant loser, a proxy of a real person, but if he wins in 24 and installs the fascists in federal and, by coattails, state governments, will history view him as another Hitler?

    Nah… at best a Mussolini. He is truly a stupid f*ck and you can only polish a turd so much.

  18. Gustopher says:

    This seems like it belongs here…

    A little light assault among the Republicans. Crenshaw apparently isn’t insane enough for the base.

  19. CSK says:

    Oh, Crenshaw’s considered to be a globalist Commie traitor who backstabbed Trump by the giant intellects at

  20. Scott says:

    @Gustopher: @CSK: This makes me laugh out loud. Let’s see if the big, tough, Navy Seal punches back at the whack jobs who have taken over the Texas GOP. Apparently, the South is rising again.

    They booed their senior Senator Cornyn also. He’ll cower, of course.

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: The article notes the “protesters” were shouting “eyepatch McCain.” Is that supposed to mean something?

  22. Scott says:

    Some outtakes from the Texas GOP Convention courtesy of The Texas Tribune:

    Texas Republican Convention calls Biden win illegitimate and rebukes Cornyn over gun talks

    Meeting at their first in-person convention since 2018, Texas Republicans on Saturday acted on a raft of resolutions and proposed platform changes to move their party even further to the right. They approved measures declaring that President Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected” and rebuking Sen. John Cornyn for taking part in bipartisan gun talks. They also voted on a platform that declares homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and calls for Texas schoolchildren should be taught “to learn about the Humanity of the Preborn Child.”

    The new platform would call for:

    Requiring Texas students “to learn about the Humanity of the Preborn Child,” including teaching that life begins at fertilization and requiring students to listen to live ultrasounds of gestating fetuses.

    Amending the Texas Constitution to remove the Legislature’s power “to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

    Treating homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” language that was not included in the 2018 or 2020 party platforms.

    Deeming gender identity disorder “a genuine and extremely rare metal health condition,” requiring official documents to adhere to “biological gender,” and allowing civil penalties and monetary compensation to “de-transitioners” who have received gender-affirming surgery, which the platform calls a form of medical malpractice.

    Changing the U.S. Constitution to fix the number of Supreme Court justices at nine and to repeal the 16th Amendment of 1913, which created the federal income tax.

    Ensuring “freedom to travel,” by opposing Biden’s Clean Energy Plan and “California-style, anti-driver policies,” including efforts to turn traffic lanes over for use by pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit.

    Declaring “all businesses and jobs as essential and a fundamental right,” a response to COVID-19 mandates by Texas cities requiring customers to wear masks and limiting business hours.

    Abolishing the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, and guaranteeing the right to use alternatives to cash, including cryptocurrencies.

  23. Scott says:


    Treating homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” language that was not included in the 2018 or 2020 party platforms.

    As an added bonus, they denied the Log Cabin Republicans a booth at the convention.

  24. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Crenshaw is a globalist RINO, just like McCain

  25. Thomm says:

    @Gustopher: I wonder if he will cry to Murdoch as hard as he did to Lorne Michaels and get an on air apology from Tucker like he got from SNL.

  26. Scott O says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Dan Crenshaw wears an eye patch, which apparently covers his bionic eye.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Scott: To be fair to the bigoted fascists at the Texas GOP convention, the Log Cabin Republicans are an abnormal lifestyle choice.

    Normal people do not associate with people that hate them.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: and he supports military aid to Ukraine, which has pissed off Russia First activist Tucker Carlson.

  29. Lydia says:

    @CSK: Okay