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Reported texts show just how far Team Trump went to push lies

A then-Trump campaign adviser's texts debunking election fraud claims were apparently shrugged off by Trump's inner circle.


The newly revealed trove of text message exchanges reported to involve then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is chock-full of damning — and embarrassing — moments.

On Monday, CNN reported that it had obtained more than 2,000 text messages received or sent by Meadows between Election Day 2020 and President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.

News of the messages don’t do former President Donald Trump or any of his loyalists any favors. 

Texts reportedly sent from then-Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller appear to completely undermine Trump’s election fraud lies. They do an equally good job of exposing the right-wing attempt to deflect blame from Trump for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

It's worth noting that NBC News hasn't independently verified all of the text messages. NBC News reached out to those who allegedly sent or received texts and hasn't received responses from most of them.

Members of the House Jan. 6 committee have previously alleged that Trump was made aware he’d lost the election fairly, but the texts reportedly from Miller shine more light on the specific details Trump and many in his circle refused to accept. 

Days after the election, according to CNN, Miller sent a text carefully detailing how Trump lost in Pennsylvania, a state the former president still falsely claims to have won: 

One other key data point: In 2016, POTUS received 15.5% of the vote in Philadelphia County. Today he is currently at 18.3%. So he increased from his performance in 2016. In 2016, Philadelphia County made up 11.3% of the total vote in the state. As it currently stands, Philadelphia County only makes up 10.2% of the statewide vote tally. So POTUS performed better in a smaller share. Sen. Santorum was just making this point on CNN — cuts hard against the urban vote stealing narrative.

Miller texted Meadows a week later saying he hadn’t found evidence of a George Soros-backed election conspiracy, CNN reported. Conservatives frequently try to paint Soros, a billionaire Democratic donor, as an ominous political figure — and they frequently use antisemitic tropes to do it. But Miller told Meadows there was “not much there on Dem/Soros conspiracy connections.” 

Donald Trump Holds Weekend Meetings In Bedminster, NJ
Jason Miller briefs reporters at Trump National Golf Club on Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster, New Jersey. Drew Angerer / Getty Images, file

“Will defer to you on whether or not to share full report with POTUS,” Miller reportedly texted. “POTUS is clearly hyped up on them, not just from his tweets, but he also called me and Justin separately last night to complain.”

But when it came to shepherding Trump’s conspiracy theories, Miller was no moralist it seems. On Jan. 6, Miller allegedly suggested Trump blame the Capitol riot on liberals, CNN reported.

He even sent Meadows ideas for tweets Trump could send to deflect blame: 

Call me crazy, but ideas for two tweets from POTUS: 1) Bad apples, likely ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today’s peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now! 2) The fake news media who encouraged this summer’s violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn’t who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!

In retrospect, Miller’s alleged tweet suggestions may have been his strategy for getting Trump to end his crusade in, perhaps, the most Trumpian way possible: with a self-serving lie. 

And just a week after the attack, Miller was apparently still looking for ways to place the crusade in the rearview mirror. CNN reported he sent data to Meadows on Jan. 13 claiming to show two-thirds of Trump supporters wanted the campaign to “move on” when it came to election fraud claims. Almost a year and a half removed from the Jan. 6 attack, it’s safe to say Miller’s reported advice hasn’t been heeded: Trump is still pushing baseless allegations of fraud.

Miller's reported texts are the clearest sign yet that Trump and his team weren’t completely blinded by conspiracy theories. They apparently received inconvenient truths about Trump’s soul-crushing loss from one of their most trusted figures and chose to ignore them.