"Can you believe I lost to that f***ing guy? That f***ing corpse?"

A bizarre routine set in. These meetings would begin with official staff raising plausible legal strategies. Then Giuliani and Powell, a lawyer with a history of floating “deep state” conspiracy theories, would take over, spewing wild allegations of a centralized plot by Democrats — and in Powell’s view, international communists — to steal the election.

Bewildered campaign aides would look around the table at one another, silently asking what the hell was going on. One would invariably shuffle out of the room, followed by another a few minutes later. Then another. Then another. The professional staff would reconvene in Stepien’s office, about 20 yards down the hall.

Eventually, Giuliani would realize that he and his crew were alone in the conference room. He’d walk down the hall and knock on the glass outside Stepien’s office, where about eight aides had squeezed onto a pair of couches. “You guys, where did you go?” Giuliani would say. “This is serious!”…

The White House became a strange ghost town in the days after the election. Trump’s schedule — already unstructured — became more so. It was impossible to shift his focus from his grievances about the election to important policy matters. In conversations in the Oval Office, Trump would occasionally slip and seem to acknowledge he lost saying, “Can you believe I lost to that fucking guy? That fucking corpse?”