President Trump addressed the nation on Thursday, sharing baseless claims and outright lies about voter fraud meant to undermine the legitimacy of the election.
Multiple news outlets, including NPR and WDET, carried only a few minutes of the speech before cutting away to provide fact-checking about the false information being shared by Trump.
“It was really sad, because if you think about it, this was a defeated man saying those things,” says Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson. “This was someone who almost nakedly was admitting that there is no way for him to pull out this election.”
How do we reconcile a reality where the understanding of truth isn’t shared? Stephen Henderson delves into that challenge on Detroit Today.
Listen: Stephen Henderson speaks with Congressman Andy Levin and political journalists about the 2020 election.
Philip Bump is the national correspondent for the Washington Post. Bump, who has been writing about what he calls Trump’s efforts to rewrite history, says that the president’s behavior and words last night don’t “even bear repeating because it was outrageous and completely unfounded… I think the one bright spot is that [Trump’s address] was treated as what it was… a guy who sees the writing on the wall and hopes no one else does.”
In looking at President Trump’s behavior over the last four years, Bump points out that his words over the last week have brought to light a significant question: “How much of his concern is about the fact that he doesn’t have the umbrella of [legal] protection that he’s had while being in office?” asks Bump.
On the issue of how the Republican party as a whole moves on after 2020 and the division created by Trump over the last few years, “it’s fairly safe to assume at this point that many GOP officials are hoping [this] will just go away and they won’t have to take a stand,” says Bump.
Congressman Andy Levin is a former election attorney who was involved in the chaos of Florida’s votes in the 2000 election. “The difference between Florida in 2000 and now couldn’t be greater. Florida had a lot of problems with its election: the hanging chads, the ballots confused people [to the extent] that they voted for the wrong person,” recalls Levin.
As far as election and voting processes across the nation, Levin says that “there’s just no credible allegation anything went wrong [this year]…Trump is the ultimate poor loser.” He also says that hopes the “credible voices in the Republican party will come to the fore and we will move forward as we always have.”
Tim Alberta is chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine. Alberta has talked with countless GOP politicians and voters over the last few years.
In reaction to Trump’s address to the nation in the days following the election, Alberta says that “it’s one thing for GOP elected officials who have their own aspirations in mind to get out and enable [Trump] and parrot that lie, that’s bad enough. But for millions of people who are not familiar with how elections work in this country and who are listening to Trump deliberately and fragrantly undermine the institution of the American election system, they are in many ways persuaded by what the president is saying.”