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Former Trump advisers testify they urged him not to declare victory on election night

Video from an interview with former President Trump campaign manager William Stepien, left, and his attorney Kevin Marino is played during Monday's Jan. 6 committee hearing.
Saul Loeb
/
AFP via Getty Images
Video from an interview with former President Trump campaign manager William Stepien, left, and his attorney Kevin Marino is played during Monday's Jan. 6 committee hearing.

Video clips from depositions with top Trump campaign staff, including Bill Stepien, Jason Miller and Ivanka Trump, illustrated how many of the former president's advisers argued against declaring victory on election night.

In one clip, Miller, a senior adviser to the campaign, described Rudy Giuliani as "definitely intoxicated." Panel vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said he was "apparently inebriated."

Rudy Giuliani, Miller said, wanted to speak to the president on election night, telling Miller that he wanted Trump to say that "We won. They're stealing it from us."

In video testimony, Bill Stepien, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, said he advised against taking the course that Giuliani was suggesting.

"It was far too early to be making any calls like that, ballots were still being counted," Stepien said. "Ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days."

In another video clip, Ivanka Trump stated that she didn't have a "firm view as to what he should say."

"The results were still being counted. It was becoming clear that the rates would not be called on election night," she said.

In remarks delivered on election night, Trump called the election a "fraud" and then continued to push baseless claims that he had won. "We were getting ready to win this election," he said. "Frankly, we did win this election."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.
Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.