There is a growing expectation among President Donald Trump’s advisers that he will never concede that he lost re-election, even after votes are certified in battleground states over the coming weeks, according to multiple people familiar with the president’s thinking.
“Do not expect him to concede, ” one top aide said. More likely, the aide said, “he’ll say something like, ‘We can’t trust the results, but I’m not contesting them. ’”
Another adviser said that after the legal battles and recounts, the closest the president is likely to get to a concession is, “he’ll acknowledge the results and that we’ll never know how accurate they are. ”
“But we’re not there yet, ” the adviser said.
In the meantime there is also growing frustration inside the White House — what allies described as “embarrassment” as well as “uncertainty and doubt and confusion” — over the president’s refusal to acknowledge the election result and chart a path forward. Allies caution that no final decision has been made on where Trump intends to take this fight or when it might end. And a small group of senior advisers — most of them in the Trump campaign — still believe there is a path to victory for the president.
But those allies are a shrinking minority, and some advisers say the president is coming around to the fact that the election result won’t be reversed. “Even Trump realizes that the likelihood of the result changing is almost zero, ” one of them said.