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Trump election night photos emerge as January 6 hearing argues president and staffers knew they had lost

Photos taken as campaign analysts grew worried that Trump might lose after being more confident earlier on election night

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 15 June 2022 21:57 BST
Related video: January 6 committee releases video evidence of alleged ‘reconnaissance tour’

Photos from the Trump White House taken on election night 2020 have been released showing the then First Family and Trump staffers as they watched President Joe Biden take the lead.

The tension is palpable in the images taken by a White House photographer and published by ABC News on Tuesday.

The Trumps followed the votes being counted alongside aides as the then-president’s early lead began to subside as more ballots were recorded.

The photos were published in the book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

The images emerged as the House Select Committee investigating January 6 has been told in testimony by senior Trump administration staffers that they didn’t think that then-President Donald Trump should declare victory that night, which he later did.

The photos show the Trump family as well as Trump campaign staffers in the Map Room in the White House basement, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt followed the movement of the Allies during the Second World War. Some of the maps used by FDR hang on the walls in the room.

On election night in 2020, the room was used by the campaign to follow the results, with large TVs having been put in front of some of the maps used by the 32nd president.

The photos taken on that night show stressed staffers and members of the Trump family.

ABC News reported that one person shown in one of the images said that the photos were taken at a time when campaign analysts grew worried that Mr Trump might lose after being more confident earlier that night.

Top Trump aides can also be seen in the photos, such as Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior strategist Jason Miller, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Members of the Trump family are also in the photos, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, and Lara Trump.

Mr Stepien was seen in pre-recorded testimony released by the January 6 Committee on Monday saying that Mr Trump grew “increasingly unhappy” on election night as his loss was approaching.

Mr Stepien, Mr Miller, as well as other associates, told Mr Trump not to declare victory.

“My belief, my recommendation was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,” Mr Stepien said in the recorded testimony.

He added that Mr Trump “thought I was wrong” and instead went on to say he won in the early morning following guidance by his personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr Miller said Mr Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” on election night.

On Tuesday, Mr Giuliani denied being drunk that evening.

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