Donald Trump’s aides start the blame game and immediately focus on Jared Kushner for election loss as ‘black’ mood in COVID-hit White House turns ugly
- Blame game has begun among Republicans for President Donald Trump’s failed bid for second term
- Fire landing on presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was de facto campaign manager
- ‘If the president wins, Kushner deserves credit, but if he loses, Kushner deserves the blame,’ Trump ally told Washington Post
- But a senior administration official defended Kushner to DailyMail.com
- ‘The expectation was the campaign would beaten by a large margin and, thanks to the infrastructure Jared set up it, came down to a few thousand votes in a few states,’ the person
Donald Trump‘s team has begun the blame game for the president’s failed re-election bid and the early fire is aimed at Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who serves as a senior adviser in the White House.
Kushner wears many hats in the Trump world – de facto chief of staff, keeper of the president’s moods, front man on the Middle East, coordinator on the coronavirus plus the brains behind the re-election effort.
He made it clear from the beginning he was involved in all major campaign decisions when it came to securing the president a second term. Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager who ran the campaign in the early days, reported to Kushner and was a loyalist to the presidential son-in-law.
Jared Kushner looks on as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday
Kushner is a constant presence at the president’s side.
He was with Trump on his final, two-day, seven-state, 10 rally campaign swing. The president brought him up on stage at one rally and pointed him out during several others but, most of the time, the Kushner stood backstage, focused intently on the scene of thousands of supporters cheering on Trump, few with facial masks and no social distancing. Unlike other aides, Kushner didn’t join them in dancing the ‘YMCA’ – the song that closed out Trump rallies.
Kushner also was with the president on Election Day, joining him on a visit to campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and spending the evening watching returns with him and other members of the first family in the residence at the White House.
‘The only constant in this campaign, from Day One, to the very last day, was Kushner,’ a Trump ally told The Washington Post. ‘So if the president wins, Kushner deserves credit, but if he loses, Kushner deserves the blame.’
But a senior administration official defended Kushner’s work, saying without it the result from the 2020 contest would be much worse.
‘The expectation was the campaign would beaten by a large margin and, thanks to the infrastructure Jared set up, it came down to a few thousand votes in a few states,’ the senior administration official told DailyMail.com.
Votes are still being tallied but Biden carried battleground states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada by a few percentage points.
Also garnering some blame was Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr who ran the campaign’s fundraising operation. Trump was outraised by Biden and struggled to stay on the airwaves in the final weeks of the campaign.
Campaign aides told Politico that Guilfoyle’s operation ‘underperformed and was an HR nightmare.’
Jared Kushner is a constant presence at President Donald Trump’s side – above he is seen behind the president, with campaign manager Bill Stepien, when Trump visited his campaign headquarters on Election Day
President Trump was on his Virginia golf course on Saturday when the presidential race was called for Democratic rival Joe Biden
Ivanka Trump and Jarrod Kushner applaud as President Donald J. Trump exits the stage during a campaign visit to Michigan Stars Sports Center in Washington, Michigan, on Sunday
Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle at President Trump’s final campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Trump, meanwhile, spent his Saturday morning on the golf course at his club in Sterling, Virginia, which is where he was when the race was called for Biden.
After he played 18 rounds, he stopped to take a photo with a bride getting married there as supporters cheered him on, according to video posted to Twitter.
He’s shown no signs of conceding and, in a statement released by the campaign, vowed it wasn’t over.
‘The simple fact is this election is far from over,’ Trump said.
Additionally, the president won’t be making a concession call to Biden.
‘No scheduling updates,’ deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere told DailyMail.com when asked if such a conversation would happen.
And President Trump has no immediate plans to invite Biden to an Oval Office meeting, a tradition between outgoing and incoming presidents, CNN reported. Then President Barack Obama hosted Trump for such a meeting on Thursday, November 10, 2016, two days after that year’s presidential election.
Trump took an early lead in the vote count on Tuesday night but, as more ballots were counted, Biden started to pull ahead and the mood in the White House turned dark.
The country was kept in suspense all week with news organizations declining to call the race while ballots were still being counted. Trump’s early lead in the vote count in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania dropped as the week continued and, one-by-one, those states were called for Biden.
The president’s mood was ‘black,’ a White House adviser told The Wall Street Journal, in the lead up to Saturday’s election result.
Adding to the White House worries was another coronavirus outbreak in his ranks.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and at least five other staffers tested positive for the disease after the election.
Meadows had escaped diagnosis when Trump caught the virus in September.
He has been one of the most adamant anti-maskers in the Trump administration, and insiders say he is rarely seen wearing a face mask, in deference to Trump.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, circled, was with President Trump on Tuesday morning at campaign HQ
President Trump has no immediate plans to invite Joe Biden to an Oval Office meeting, a tradition between outgoing and incoming presidents. Then President Barack Obama hosted Trump for such a meeting (above) on Thursday, November 10, 2016, two days after that year’s presidential election
Even before the presidential race was called Trump showed public reluctance to concede amid an internal war among his family and advisers over his next steps.
Shortly before Biden was declared the winner of the contest, Trump went to his Virginia golf club, tweeting in route: ‘I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!’
As Trump golfed and tweeted on Saturday, Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer and one of the biggest advocates of the president keeping up the fight, was in Pennsylvania, leading a legal battle go try and win the state – without there is no second term for Trump.
Giuliani held a press conference in Philadelphia with a few poll workers he claimed ‘were uniformly deprived of their right to inspect any part of the mail-in ballots.’
He offered no proof of his allegations but said a lawsuit would be launched by the campaign on Monday.
The Trump campaign – for all its lawsuits in the battleground states – have offered no solid proof of voter fraud. And the election observers – volunteers from both parties watching officials count ballots – have flagged no major incidents with the counting.
The campaign named David Bossie, a Trump adviser who is not a lawyer, to lead the legal challenges.
Quietly, the campaign seems to be preparing for a concession.
No major official from the re-election effort is scheduled to be on one of the Sunday public affairs shows – the all-important programs that set the agenda for a week and would offer Trump’s team a chance to argue the president’s false claim of illegal votes.
But a concession would require one thing: the cooperation of President Trump.
And no one seems to know how to break the news to him.
‘They know he’s lost, but no one seems willing to tell King Lear or Mad King George that they’ve lost the empire,’ one Republican in frequent touch with the White House told The Washington Post.