On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he’d been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.
If both David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — the two embattled Georgia senators he was campaigning for — lost their runoff elections the following day, the GOP would lose control of the U.S. Senate. And Trump did not want the blood of Georgia on his hands.
The TV in the plane’s conference room was set to Fox News, with the sound off. As the screen showed footage of supporters filling up the Dalton, Georgia, rally space, Trump’s spirits lifted briefly. “Look at that crowd,” he mused.
Then Fox shifted to an interview with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — whom Trump loathed for refusing to deny Joe Biden’s win or validate myths about fraud. The president’s disgust set back in. “What a horrible, incompetent guy,” he growled.