Trump tells Republicans at fundraising dinner: You lost the 2018 election because it was rigged

Speaking at a fundraising dinner for the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump told GOP members of Congress they need to be more “paranoid” because Democrats are rigging elections and rigged the 2018 midterm.

Trump also denied that he was the reason Republicans lost the House of Representatives in the 2018 blue wave that gave control of the House to Democrats, commenting:

“I say, what the hell do I have to do with it? They say, Trump wasn’t running.”

If Trump had been running, there’s a very real chance Democrats would now control the House, Senate, and White House.

The president then pivoted to a conspiracy theory, suggesting the 2018 midterm had been stolen by how “the votes are being tallied,” telling the audience:

“We have to be a little bit careful, because I don’t like the way the votes are being tallied. You don’t like it either, you just don’t want to say it because you’re afraid of the press.”

There were a lot of close elections? That might be partially true, but just because Democrats won those close races doesn’t mean there was cheating. If close elections meant cheating, then what are we to think of the fact that Trump himself lost the 2016 popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but still won the election thanks to the electoral college and a lot of assistance from Russian bots, troll farms, and social media targeting done by companies with connections to the Kremlin?

The NRCC fundraiser also suggests that many Republicans are not exactly excited about the fact that Trump is leading their party. Last year, the event raised $32 million for GOP candidates. This year, only $23 million was raised. A $9 million drop off isn’t good news with Trump seeking re-election a year from now.

One thing is absolutely safe to predict: If Donald Trump loses in 2020, he’ll automatically say the election was stolen from him. He won’t want to leave the White House. They may have to drag him out of the Oval Office.

Let the dragging begin.

Here’s Trump’s full NRCC speech:

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