NYT’s Haberman: Trump ‘can’t handle the concept of the label ‘loser’

New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman on Thursday said President Trump is unable to “handle the concept of the label ‘loser,’ ” as the president still refuses to concede in the 2020 election with only a month to go until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In an interview with NPR, Haberman, who has reported on Trump throughout for the past 20 years, called the president a “self-destructive” individual who tends to seek out what he doesn’t have. 

“One of the things that I say about how he views advisers and people close to him is that he never wants someone more than when their back is turned to him, because he wants to see if he can win them over,” the reporter explained. “And he has trouble being told that the sale is over. You can’t do it anymore.”

“He has never before encountered a problem that he couldn’t sue away through the court system or spin away,” Haberman explained. 

When it comes to the 2020 election, the Times reporter explained, “this is just an objective fact that he can’t do anything about.”

“It is roiling him,” she added. 

Before her more than four years covering the Trump campaign and White House for the Times, Haberman wrote about the business figure for the New York Post, New York Daily News and Politico. 

Although several major news outlets called the race for Biden on Nov. 7, Trump has since refused to acknowledge his defeat, instead repeating unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud. 

Trump’s legal team filed lawsuits challenging election results in several states, although many of these have been thrown out by courts due to a lack of evidence. 

While some have expressed fears of whether Trump will willingly leave office at the time of Biden’s inauguration in January, Haberman said in Thursday’s NPR interview that she believes it is unlikely that Trump will have to be forcibly removed. 

“There has been this ongoing fear that he’s going to somehow barricade himself in the White House,” she says. “I’ve never thought that’s reality and I still don’t.”

However, Haberman explained that she believes Trump has grown to like the titles and perks that come with being the president. 

“I think he liked being called president,” Haberman explained. “I think he liked knowing that he … lives in the White House. I think he likes Air Force One.”

“I remember asking a friend of his at the end of 2017, if he liked being president,” she continued. “The friend said, ‘Oh, absolutely.’ And the friend said, ‘Oh, you know, Air Force One, Air Force Two, Marine One.’ I think he likes the accouterments. I think that the act of being president, the job of being president has not always thrilled him.”

Trump has over the past month reportedly told advisers that he plans to announce a 2024 run after Biden’s win is officially certified, and alluded to a potential 2024 bid during White House remarks last week, saying, “we are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.” 

Haberman, who in 2018 was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia, added in the NPR interview that she will be covering politics for the Times moving forward, and plans on writing a book about Trump.

Tags 2020 election 2024 election Donald Trump Joe Biden Maggie Haberman New York Daily News New York Post New York Times NPR Politico Trump legal battle voter fraud claims

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