As vote counts continue, Team Trump can't keep its story straight

Perhaps the president's followers are chanting contradictory messages because Team Trump is struggling to keep its post-election story straight.
Image: Kayleigh McEnany
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany talks to the media outside the White House on Oct. 4, 2020.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A funny video made the rounds online last night, featuring two groups of Donald Trump supporters: one demanding that vote-counts continue, the other demanding that vote-counts end.

The confusion was amusing, but also understandable. These conservatives are, after all, taking their cues from the president and his team, who are also struggling to keep their stories straight.

This morning, for example, Trump published a tweet that read, "STOP THE COUNT!" (The Republican incumbent apparently doesn't realize that if all vote-counting were to end immediately, he'd lose the election.) Around the same time, Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News and said largely the opposite: "We can't wait three hours, three days, three weeks, to get a result in our great, sturdy democracy as to whom the president will be? What is the rush all of a sudden?"

And there's Kayleigh McEnany, who appears to have White House and Trump campaign roles simultaneously, and who insisted on Fox News this morning that Pennsylvania election officials shouldn't count ballots that arrive after Election Day, even if the votes were cast legally on Election Day. As the Washington Post noted, McEnany then made the opposite argument -- during the same interview -- about votes in Arizona.

[E]ven shortly before McEnany made the point about how votes should be counted on Election Day in Pennsylvania, she — as many Trump allies have and Trump himself has before her — made quite a different argument about Arizona. There, hundreds of thousands of ballots are still being counted and helping Trump make up ground in a state that some organizations have called for Biden.

The White House press secretary said Republicans expect "a very good drop" of pro-Trump ballots in Arizona, while moments later questioning similar ballot-counts in Pennsylvania. Or put another way, the president and his team support including vote "drops," except when they don't, depending on whether they think it might help the GOP incumbent maintain power.

Is it any wonder the president's followers are chanting contradictory messages?