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Donald Trump's History Of Crying "Rigged Election"

Submitted by Robin Messing on Thu, 12/28/2023 - 3:36pm

Donald Trump’s claim that the election was rigged is nothing new. He was making that claim even BEFORE the election. In fact, that’s been his schtick for years. Jack Smith has indicated that he plans to make Trump's history of crying "rigged election" a focus of his upcoming trial.

In addition to this intrinsic evidence of false statements about the 2020 election, the Government will offer evidence reflecting the defendant’s historical record of making such claims. For example, as early as November 2012, the defendant issued a public tweet making baseless claims that voting machines had switched votes from then-candidate Romney to then-candidate Obama. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the defendant claimed repeatedly with no basis, that there was widespread voter fraud—including through public statements and tweets (for instance, on October 17, 2016, tweeting, “Of course there is large scale fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!”). The defendant’s false claims about the 2012 and 2016 elections are admissible because they demonstrate the defendant’s common plan of falsely blaming fraud for election results he does not like, as well as his motive, intent, and plan to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election results and illegitimately retain power. . . .


To ensure the destabilizing impact of his widespread election fraud claims, in the run-up to the 2020 election, the defendant repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transition of presidential power if he lost the election. The Government will offer proof of this refusal as intrinsic evidence of the defendant’s criminal conspiracies because it shows his plan to remain in power at any cost—even in the face of potential violence. For instance, at a September 23, 2020, news conference the defendant was asked whether, “win, lose or draw in this election,” in light of “rioting in many cities across this country—red and—your so called red and blue states,” he would “commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferal of power after the election.” The defendant responded, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster. And, and--”. A reporter interrupted the defendant and repeated, “I understand that, but people are rioting; do you commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferal of power?” The defendant responded, “I know. I know. We want to have—get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans—we’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it.”

Similarly, the Government will offer evidence that the defendant pursued the same strategy four years earlier, in 2016. In the presidential debate on October 19, 2016, the defendant was asked whether he would accept the results of that election, to which he responded that he would “look at it at the time.” The debate moderator followed up, “There is a tradition in this country— in fact, one of the prides of this country—is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner . . . and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?” The defendant responded, “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” The defendant’s consistent refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power, dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign, is admissible evidence of his plan to undermine the integrity of the presidential transition process when faced with the possibility of an election result that he would not like, as well as his motive, intent, and plan to interfere with the implementation of an election result with which he was not satisfied.

Let's dive deeper into the type of evidence that Smith might bring up at trial.

Trump's Was Crying About The Democrats Rigging The 2020 Election Months Before The First Vote Was Cast. He Was Crying Foul Despite The Fact That He Was Consistently Losing In The Polls

Trump complained that the 2020 election was going to be rigged more than five MONTHS before the actual election.  What follows is a partial list of Trump's claims that the election would be rigged, followed by Trump's standing in national polls as compiled by FiveThirtyEight at the time that he made those statements. You can find out where Trump and Biden were polling relative to each other by sliding your mouse across FiveThirtyEight's interactive chart to the date you want to check.

Notice that Biden was always ahead of Trump in national polls. Now, let's look at Trump's statements and see where he was in the polls when he made them.


May 24, 2020: "The Democrats are trying to Rig the 2020 Election, plain and simple!"

Poll: Biden was leading by 5.8% on May 24


July 30, 2020: Trump raised eyebrows when he tweeted.

Trump clarified later that day that he did not really want to delay the election. And then he said, "I don't want to see a crooked election. This will be the most rigged election in history if [mail in voting] happens."

Poll: Biden was leading by 8.3% on July 30


August 17, 2020: Video and The Hill article:  ". . . the only way we're going to lose the election is if the election is rigged. Remember that. It's the only way we're going to lose this election. . . .  The only way they're going to win is that way, and we can't let that happen." 

Poll: Biden was leading by 8.4% on August 17


August 24, 2020Politico article: "The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election."

Poll: Biden was leading by 9.3% on August 24


September 12, 2020: “It’s a rigged election. It’s the only way we’re going to lose.” Tweet by NBC Correspondent, Vaughn Hillyard. See also the next video: 

Poll: Biden was leading Trump by 7.6% on Sept. 12.


September 15, 2020: Tweet by Matthew Gertz with a video from Fox & Friends: “I’m winning that state easily but the one thing they can’t beat, if they cheat on the ballots. Now he [the Democratic Governor of Nevada] will cheat on the ballots, I have no doubt about it.” (See 5:10 - 7:53 of the following video).

Poll: Biden was leading Trump by 7.0% on Sept. 15.


September 25, 2020: Newsweek article with embedded videos: We're going to win. We're not going to lose this except if they cheat that's the way I look at it. We can't let them cheat. . . . Our country is at stake and it's true. . . . Because these people will destroy our country. We can't let this happen and this is a scam. They know it. The media knows it, but the media doesn't want to cover it. They know exactly what's going to happen, and so do I. But the Democrats know better than all of us what's going to happen. . . . it's very hard to watch, millions of ballots, very hard to watch. That's the only way we're going to lose is if there's mischief. Mischief and it'll have to be on a big scale."

Poll: Biden was leading Trump by 7.2% on Sept. 25.


If you slide your mouse across FiveThirtyEight's interactive graph, you will see that Biden's lead ranged from 3.4% on April 13 to 10.7% on October 17 and 19. Clearly the polls were wrong--they overestimated Biden's lead. And maybe Trump knew through internal polling that the external polls were wrong. But we know that at least by election time, Trump's internal polling showed that he was losing or he had lost. Trump's Communications Director, at the time, Alyssa Farah Griffin, told Jake Tapper that Trump's internal polling on November 5 projected that Trump had lost. November 5 was two days after the election, but two days before Biden was called the winner.

The Trump campaign, and those senior advisors in the Trump White House, had access to internal poling that projected him losing. You know, poling, it's a science, but it's not always completely accurate, but the results of the election at that time, November 5, were not far off from what we had been predicting, with the exception of Georgia. But this just goes to shows that before the democratic process was underway or was even complete, they were thinking of what they could do to try to hold onto power.

You can watch Farah Griffin's conversation with Tapper in the following video between 3:15 - 4:09.


But maybe, despite external polling, and likely internal polling throughout 2020, Trump just had a gut feeling that the polls were wrong and that he would win. It would have been hard to fault Trump had he said, "I don't think the polls are right. The race will be a lot closer than the polls indicate. In fact, I think we are going to win."

Most people would have doubted this claim, but it was within the realm of possibility. However, that is not what Trump said. Trump supposedly looked at this data and said that the ONLY way Biden could win was by cheating. This might have been a reasonable thing for Joe Biden to have said about Donald Trump, given Biden's consistent lead. But it was an insane claim for someone who was consistently behind to make BEFORE the election without strong evidence.

But who knows? Maybe Trump had some inside information that Biden was going to cheat that wasn't apparent to the rest of us.


The History Of The Stop-The-Steal Movement: 2016


Trump's Stop-the-Steal movement actually started before May 2020. It started WAAAAAY before May 2020. And Trump didn't just use it against the Democrats.

Trump tweeted the following on Feb. 3, 2016, after he lost the 2016 Iowa caucus to Ted Cruz:




Blaming Ted Cruz for stealing the Iowa Caucus wasn't a one-off. When Cruz beat Trump in Wisconsin's primary, Trump's campaign released a statement that said, "Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet--- he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump" 


And when Cruz won all of Colorado's delegates, Trump lashed out at Colorado's "rigged" delegate selection rules

Trump wasn't the only one in 2016 who spread the gospel that other Republicans were stealing the Republican nomination from Trump. His close ally, Roger Stone, set up a website called to get Trump's message out. And fortunately, the internet Archive made snapshots of this website starting in March of that year. The first posting on March 10, 2016 was a fundraising campaign based on the premise that Trump was investigating over 600 votes that had been cast for Trump but tallied for Marco Rubio in Texas. The Trump Ballot Security Project supposedly found hundreds of more questionable ballots around the nation, including double voting by supporters of Ted Cruz.

Stone followed this up with an all-out assault against Cruz during his nearly 15-minute April 2, 2016 interview with Breitbart News. Here is Breitbart's teaser, but I recommend listening to the entire interview which can be found at the bottom of this article.

“Having worked very hard to collect evidence of voter fraud and irregularities in Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, Hawaii and Texas, frankly, they ought to put the handcuffs on him,” said Stone, referring to Ted Cruz, “because the Trump people can go to credentials and challenge the seating of hundreds, literally hundreds of Ted Cruz’s delegates who were fraudulently elected.”


Asked  to elaborate, Stone said, “Go to For over a month we have had an 800 number up, a toll free number. We have collected and documented with sworn affidavits thousands of claims of voter irregularities in the states where Ted Cruz has won. And we’re prepared to present them to the credentials committee.”

“If they want to fight, let’s fight,” Stone continued. “Ted Cruz’s delegates in Texas were fraudulently elected. There are thousands  of examples of voter fraud. That means people voted for Donald Trump, but their vote was counted for Ted Cruz. Thou shalt not steal, Ted,” said Stone. “You’re a big bible man, Ted, read that one carefully. Thou shalt not steal. That’s why I call him tricky Ted,” concluded Stone.


But Stone did more than just insinuate that Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz was trying to steal the Republican nomination from Trump. He flat out accused Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell of being in a conspiracy to steal the nomination away from him. Here is an excerpt from the July 9th post on

The Big Steal from Donald J. Trump is on- and only you can stop it.


The Bush-Cruz-Kasich-Romney-Ryan-McConnell faction has united and is moving into high gear to steal the nomination from Trump. The immediate plan is an all-out bid to deprive Donald Trump of victory – and to steal the delegates to defeat him. We have seen the will of the voters who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump thwarted by Republican Party bosses in Louisiana, Colorado, Arizona, and now in Indiana where party leaders are stacking the delegation with anti-Trump hacks even before the voters in that state have voted. But that is only part one of the BIG STEAL.

Even if Donald Trump secures 1237 commitments on the first ballot, the anti-Trump forces are stealing a majority on questions of rules and Credentials. By placing anti-Trump Republicans in the Trump delegate seats (so called Trojan Horse delegates) they plan a rules change that will unbind the delegates. Because they have stacked the Trump delegate seats with ringers, this crucial vote comes before the first ballot for President. If passed the Trump delegates will no longer be bound by party rules to vote for Trump. Anti-Trump quislings are being planted in various delegations that will be free to betray Trump, regardless of the will of the voters. This is the BIG STEAL.


Of course, after Trump won the Republican primaries, the Stopthesteal website turned its attention to Hillary Clinton. Here, for example, is an excerpt from their October 28 post.

Donald Trump thinks Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are going to steal the next election. “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” he told a campaign rally last week.


The issue is both voter-fraud and election theft through manipulation of the computerized voting machines. The truth is both parties have used these DIEBOLD/ PES voting machines to rig results of elections at the state and federal election. The party in power in a given state controls the programming of the voting machines. . . .

We now know, thanks to the hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee that the Clintons had to cheat and rig the system to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders. Why wouldn’t they try to steal the election from Donald Trump?

If this election is close, THEY WILL STEAL IT.

The Washington Post even ran an editorial saying it was “impossible” to steal an election. Then, incredibly, Barrack Obama called Donald Trump’s concerns about a rigged election “ridiculous.”

Plus they intend to flood the polls with illegals. Liberal enclaves already let illegals vote in their local and state elections and now they want them to vote in the Presidential election.


And just a few weeks before the general election, Trump tweeted



And even after he beat Clinton, Trump STILL accused the Democrats of rigging the election. Beating Clinton in the electoral college wasn't enough for Trump. Clinton beat Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote count, and Trump could not abide by this. So without a scintilla of evidence, Trump claimed Clinton won 3 - 5 million votes through voter fraud, and he would have won the popular vote as well if you took away those illegal votes from Clinton's total. How 3 - 5 million people could have voted illegally without it being noticed by a large number of election officials is beyond me. That doesn't seem like an easy thing to hide. But Trump wanted to prove his claim, so he set up a special election commission to find and investigate all the alleged voter fraud. The commission was quietly disbanded in 2018 when it found no evidence of widespread fraud.


The Precursor Of The Stop-The-Steal Movement: 2012


Donald Trump isn't selfish. He doesn't use the terms "rigged election", "election fraud", and "stolen election" just to benefit his own campaign. He's a very generous guy who is happy to spread these accusations around to help his political friends and hurt his political enemies. We have recently seen Trump supporting Kari Lake's claim that the election for Arizona Governor was stolen from her. But as I said before, Trump's claim of "stolen election" goes back--way back--to  when he accused Barack Obama and the Democrats of stealing the election from Mitt Romney in 2012








***************IRONY ALERT!!!**************

I must have missed it when Trump complained about the electoral college in 2016.


What Motivated The Stop-the-Steal Movement?

This pattern makes it clear that Trump would have accused ANYONE who had beaten him in any election of stealing the election--no matter who had beaten him and no matter how wide a margin he was beaten by. And whether he intentionally planned it or not, by repeatedly predicting the election would be stolen from him, he was priming his base to believe his Big Lie if he lost in November.

It is also clear the Stop-the-Steal movement wasn't a grassroots movement that developed as a response to Biden winning the election. For Roger Stone (and no doubt for Trump as well), the Stop-the-Steal movement was a way to make money. The Washington Post reports:

On Nov. 5, as vote counts in key states slipped away from Trump, Stone coordinated a response during a rapid-fire succession of calls. As the filmmakers drove him to his makeshift office space in a strip mall near his home, Stone told one associate to create an account for hunting election fraud on an encrypted email service to avoid surveillance.


Dictating text messages, Stone told an aide to resurrect his Stop the Steal campaign. He predicted to another aide that his brand was about to be “quite a bit hotter” as a result, adding, “We’re going to raise money from Stop the Steal — it will be like falling off a log.


But for Trump, Stop-the-Steal was more than just a way to make a quick buck from the rubes. Accusing his opponents of stealing the election is Trump's modus operandi. He used it as a pre-emptive excuse against the Republicans in 2016 so he could blame THEM if he lost Republican primary. And he used it pre-emptively against Hillary Clinton so that he could blame her and the evil Democrats if he lost the general election in 2016. And you can bet his cries of "ELECTION FRAUD! ELECTION FRAUD!" would have been deafening had he lost in 2016. 

Why is Trump so quick to blame everyone but himself for his losses? Mary L. Trump has a PhD in clinical psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. She is also Donald Trump's niece. She has met him. She has dealt with him in person. That means she isn't just an armchair psychologist speculating about him from a distance. Here is what she said when she was asked, "Do you believe that President Trump really believes he won this and is being cheated out of something, or is something else going on?"

It’s a great question, and it’s pretty complicated. Because on the one hand, it is impossible for Donald to believe that he lost. He’s lost before in his life, but he’s never had to be in a situation in which he can’t somehow turn that loss into a win, either through cheating or buying his way out of a jam, or using somebody else’s connections and power. There’s literally nothing he can do about this, so it’s sort of unfathomable, because in my family, losing was literally the worst thing you can do. So it’s putting enormous amounts of pressure on him. So on the one hand he can’t admit it to himself because that would suggest that there’s no way for him to get out  of this mess. So he’s going to continue to undermine people’s faith in our government and our institutions And again, it’s just another 48 days he has to keep taking a wrecking ball to the United States government.


Donald Trump cannot psychologically deal with a loss. He was always going to blame someone else for any loss he suffered. He was going to say the election was rigged no matter who he lost to and no matter how fair the election was. And in 2020 he had an extra incentive to blame his loss on the system being rigged that he didn't have in 2016. He now knew that he was facing multiple lawsuits and possible jailtime for crimes committed before and during his presidency. The only way out of his legal predicament would be to prevent Biden from becoming the president. And that is why he did everything he could to stop the peaceful transfer of power.


The Big Lie--2024 Edition

And there it is. You knew it was going to happen. It's three weeks before the Iowa Caucus and Trump is already accusing his opponents of cheating.


Rudy Giuliani Has His Own History Of Falsely Crying "Election Fraud"

There is an old saying, "You are known by the company you keep." Or, alternatively, "Birds of a feather flock together." It seems like Donald Trump isn't the only fowl who has cried foul over an electon. I hope you will watch this fascinating video about Rudy Giuliani by iilluminaughtii.  If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, then at least watch from 8:30 - 11:40. She reveals that Giuliani made baseless accusations against David Dinkins of election fraud when Dinkins defeated him in New York City's 1989 mayoral race. And in what seems like foreshadowing of the January 6 insurrection, Giuliani was accused of inciting a riot by racist cops against Dinkins on September 16, 1992. Whether he was responsible for inciting the riot or not, he did not condemn it—leading to the impression that he supported it.



Now, you may be skeptical of Iiluminaughtii's claims because you don't know who she is. Fair enough. But she included snapshots from her sources, so I checked them out. This is from the New York Daily News.

Giuliani’s pattern of shaky voter fraud accusations dates back to his first mayoral bid, before he even secured the Republican nomination. In July 1989, he filed two challenges against the nomination petition signatures of his primary opponent, cosmetics heir Ron Lauder. Giuliani separately claimed that Lauder’s petition signatures for the Republican and Conservative Party ballot lines were largely fraudulent. The case went to court, where a special referee concluded that Lauder did not engage in the fraud Giuliani claimed, then a judge upheld Lauder’s petitions.


The 1989 general election was the next opportunity for Giuliani to make baseless fraud claims. According to Giuliani critic Wayne Barrett’s biography “Rudy!,” his election night party was “filled with ugly untruths about how blacks had stolen the election at polls in Harlem and Bed-Stuy, where the dead had supposedly voted by the thousands.” In the decades thereafter, Giuliani’s voter-fraud fable gained further details: people voted multiple times, unauthorized immigrants used fake documents to vote, and votes for David Dinkins were added to voting machines in advance.

As recently as 2016, Giuliani asserted on CNN, “When I ran for mayor of New York City the first time, some people voted eight or 10 times.”


This is from NY1 Spectrum News

Before January 6th, 2021, there was September 16th, 1992 -- a day that bore much in common with Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol.


A peaceful demonstration turned ugly. Thousands pushed past barricades and mobbed the seat of government -- in this case, City Hall in lower Manhattan. There was vandalism.

And firing up the crowd was Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani, then a candidate for mayor running on a law-and-order platform, gave a fiery speech to an enormous crowd of protesters that consisted largely of off-duty police officers. They’d gathered to protest then-Mayor David Dinkins and his plan for an all-civilian police oversight board.

“The reason the morale of the police department of the city of New York is so low,” Giuliani said, “is one reason, and one reason alone: David Dinkins!”

The protest devolved into mayhem, as rioters jumped on cars and blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. On-duty officers did little to police the crowd, much like the scene Wednesday at the Capitol.

Then, as now, critics said Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney, was culpable.


Read Radley Balko's column in the Washington Post if you want to see just how racist and ugly the 1992 riot was. I'll spare you the details here. But note that not only did Giuliani refuse to apologize--he also tried to bury criticism of his role in the riot.

Giuliani never condemned the riots, the signs or the racist cops. He rode the wave of support from police and law-and-order voters into the mayor’s mansion. When his own campaign produced a report criticizing him for egging on the cops and then acquiescing to them after the fact, he ordered the report destroyed. 



Update 5/21/24: Time published an in-depth interview with Trump discussing what he wants to accomplish in a second term that is shocking and really MUST READING. We find out near the end of the article that it isn't just his political opponents that Trump accuses of rigging when what they say doesn't fit his agenda.

On the campaign trail, Trump uses crime as a cudgel, painting urban America as a savage hell-scape even though violent crime has declined in recent years, with homicides sinking 6% in 2022 and 13% in 2023, according to the FBI. When I point this out, Trump tells me he thinks the data, which is collected by state and local police departments, is rigged. It’s a lie,” he says. He has pledged to send the National Guard into cities struggling with crime in a second term—possibly without the request of governors—and plans to approve Justice Department grants only to cities that adopt his preferred policing methods like stop-and-frisk. [Emphasis added]


I recommend following @Kaylan_TX on Twitter. I learned about several of Trump's tweets from this post of hers.