Photos capture election-night tension at White House as Trump family, aides watch lead fade away


(WASHINGTON) — A series of photos taken on election night 2020 inside the Trump White House captures the tension as Donald Trump’s family and his top aides track election returns and see Trump’s early lead fade away.

The photos, taken by a White House photographer and published exclusively in the book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, are a visual representation of the testimony of senior Trump advisers who told the House Jan. 6 committee that they did not believe Trump should declare victory on election night.

The photos show Trump’s family and campaign team camped out in the Map Room of the White House.

The room, located in the basement of the White House residence, is where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tracked the movement of Allied Forces during World War II.

It’s called the Map Room because some of the maps used by FDR are framed and on the walls.

For election night, however, Trump’s political team transformed the room in to a campaign war room, installing large-screen televisions and placing them over FDR’s maps.

The photos capture the apparently pained expressions on the faces of Trump’s inner circle.

According to a source who is shown in at least one of the photos, they were taken as the campaign’s analysts, who had been more confident early in the evening, became concerned Trump could lose.

The photos feature some of Trump’s most prominent advisers, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior strategist Jason Miller, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Also present are several Trump family members, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Lara Trump.

In videotaped testimony released Monday by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Stepien said Trump was “increasingly unhappy” on election night as votes were counted and he started to lose.

Stepien, Miller and other key aides urged Trump not to declare victory that night.

“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,” Stepien said in a clip of his interview with the committee played during Monday’s hearing.

Trump, he said, “thought I was wrong,” and would instead declare victory at the White House early the next morning on the advice of Rudy Giuliani, who Miller said was “definitely intoxicated” on election night.

Giuliani on Tuesday challenged Miller’s testimony and denied being drunk on election night at the White House.

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