- Giuliani wanted Trump to preemptively declare victory in Michigan, a new book says.
- “If we don’t say we won, they will steal it from us,” Giuliani contended.
- Giuliani’s preemptive claims of a stolen election concerned Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
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Michigan was a key state in former President Donald Trump’s electoral calculus for winning a second term in office.
In 2016, Trump narrowly won the Wolverine State by chipping away at the blue-collar base that had long powered wins by Democratic presidential nominees.
Last November, the former president’s campaign team knew that the state’s 16 electoral votes would be pivotal in a race against now-President Joe Biden.
However, before the race was called in Michigan for Biden, then-Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani wanted the former president to preemptively declare victory in the key swing state, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.
As the election results were coming in, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien was reportedly concerned that Giuliani was “getting through” to the former president about embracing the message of a stolen election.
Wolff detailed the incident in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.
According to the book, Stepien complained to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior advisor Jason Miller, and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark about Giuliani’s conduct regarding Trump and the election.
“He’s just telling him things that are not true,” Stepien reportedly said to the group.
The group of men soon pulled Giuliani aside in the White House China Room, and according to the book, Giuliani “had too much to drink” and was “fumbling through devices.”
“We’ve won! We need to declare victory!” Giuliani told the group.
When Stepien gently chided Giuliani about what he knew that was unknown to the rest of the group, the former New York City mayor raised the prospect of a corrupt election.
“If we don’t say we won, they will steal it from us,” Giuliani added. “Look, we’ve won Michigan!”
Stepien pointedly told Giuliani that Trump had not won the state, as it had not been called yet.
“We have to say won it! Otherwise they will steal it!” Giuliani responded.
Meadows, who has “a small tolerance for drunks,” according to the book, shut down Giuliani’s request.
“No, we are not going to do that because we will look foolish,” he said. “Things are moving too fast. We can’t put the president in the position of looking like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
Biden went on to carry Michigan by a 51%-48% margin, buoyed by strong performances in Detroit and its populous suburbs, along with decisive wins in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.