At the time, Election Night 2020 was already considered a fiasco. Donald Trump seemed to be leading in several states, but only because absentee ballots weren’t allowed to be counted to later on. As the country leaned decisively Joe Biden’s way, Trump went live on television to prematurely declare victory — a move he later tried to pass on to Dr. Mehmet Oz. We’ve learned a lot more about what went down behind the scenes, especially now thanks to the Jan. 6 hearings. Now there are pictures of the Trump team that fateful night, and they aren’t pretty.
These photos — which were published exclusively in “Betrayal” — show the scene at the White House on election night. Look at the faces — these people did not think they were winning. pic.twitter.com/3gGJQ71IIF
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 14, 2022
In his recent book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl added to the pile of books about the former president’s chaotic single term in office. It included some pictures inside the White House on the big night, which were made public to those who didn’t buy the book after the Jan. 6 hearings delved deep into what went down. To put it lightly, they do not show a group of people who thought their side was winning.
In one, presumably taken early in the evening, Trump’s entourage — including Don Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, as well as Stephen Miller — everyone’s all smiles and giving the thumbs up. It’s the only happy one. The others show grim and/or exasperated faces, tense stare at phone screens, Jared staring at campaign manager Bill Stepien in disbelief as Eric shoots a thousand-yard stare.
The photos were allegedly taken as more ballots were counted and Trump’s re-election fortunes waned.
The images align with the many revelations in Monday’s Jan. 6 hearing. Among them was Stepien testifying that he and many others advised Trump against prematurely declaring victory, which he did at the suggestion of a reportedly tanked Rudy Giuliani. (The former “America’s Mayor” may have overcorrected by claiming all he drank was Diet Pepsi.) Perhaps, as Bill Barr suggested, Trump believed the voter fraud nonsense. But these photos strongly suggest he was one of the only ones.
You can see more pictures of that grim night over at ABC News.