- The Washington Times - Monday, June 21, 2021

Former President Donald Trump on Monday said that he has “never admitted defeat” in the 2020 presidential race.

“I never used the word concede, I have not conceded,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with David Brody on Real America’s Voice.

Mr. Trump reiterated his unproven allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, and said he anticipates the controversial audit in Arizona to show just that.

He also predicted more states will follow suit and more evidence will appear.

Mr. Trump said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in 2018 raised concerns about shady behavior in their elections, suggesting his “stolen election” claims are not out of the ordinary.

“There is a tremendous percentage [of people] that thinks the election was rigged and stolen,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump has been teasing another presidential bid in 2024 and touting those who have said he remains the leader of the GOP.

During the interview, Mr. Trump appeared to throw cold water on the idea that he is interested in running to become the next speaker of the House should Republicans flip control of the lower chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mr. Trump said he is aware of the chatter but that he has a good relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is well-positioned to get the speaker’s gavel if Republicans take charge.

“I have seen talk about that, but it is nothing that I have ever considered,” Mr. Trump said.

The outside-the-box idea has been raised in previous years given that the Constitution does not require the speaker to be a member of the House.

Mr. Trump entertained the idea in an interview earlier this month after former Trump adviser Steven Bannon floated the idea.

“That’s so interesting,” Mr. Trump told conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root.

Mr. Trump said others have raised the prospect of him running for the Senate.

“But you know what, your idea might be better,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s very interesting.”

The comments shifted attention to Mr. McCarthy, the California Republican who has maintained close ties with Mr. Trump since the election and the Jan. 6 riot by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. McCarthy helped keep the storyline afloat over the weekend when asked whether he would favor Mr. Trump becoming the next speaker of the House.

“I talk to President Trump many times, he tells me he wants to be speaker and I think he should be president,” Mr. McCarthy said on Fox News.

A McCarthy spokesperson later clarified that Mr. McCarthy meant to say “he wants ‘me’ to be speaker.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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