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Trump’s Push to Undo Election Result Divides His Media Allies

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John Heilemann, an MSNBC analyst, compared Mr. Trump to a mob boss. On CNN, the anchor Jake Tapper described Mr. Trump’s call to Georgia officials as “pushing them, threatening them and suggesting they might be charged criminally if they don’t ‘find enough votes’ for Trump to change the results of the election in Georgia.” He added, “Too many members of the ruling Republican Party are clearly attempting to undermine the American experiment, to undermine democracy.”

Newsmax, the conservative network that has tried to outflank Fox News on the right by cheering on Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories, gave time to several guests on Monday who vigorously backed the president’s baseless claims, including Representative Jody B. Hice of Georgia and a Trump campaign adviser, Steve Cortes.

Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, told Newsmax viewers that there was “massive voter fraud” and declared that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. would “not be a legitimate president.” He also complained that the judicial system — which on state and federal levels has issued one opinion after another ruling against Mr. Trump’s claims of fraud — was an “abject failure.” Bob Sellers, the Newsmax anchor interviewing Mr. Brooks, did not push back on his claims.

Newsmax’s White House correspondent, Emerald Robinson, claimed on Monday afternoon that Mr. Trump hadn’t been trying to strong-arm Mr. Raffensperger into overturning the results of the election in Georgia during the phone call, but had instead been using it as a sort of fact-finding mission.

“You can hear how passionately the president believes that he won the state,” Ms. Robinson said.

Still, Newsmax is not shielding viewers from the inevitability of Mr. Biden’s inauguration, although many voters may object to its framing. In one segment on the network, the anchor John Bachman explained that Mr. Biden’s plans for Inauguration Day would be pared down because of the pandemic; the right-wing commentator Dan O’Donnell, one of Mr. Bachman’s guests, baselessly wondered if the smaller inaugural could result from Mr. Biden’s “diminished mental ability.”

“That’s a fair question to ask,” Mr. Bachman said.

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