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Ex-Trump Campaign Adviser Defends Election Lawsuits, Voter Fraud Claims

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

What exactly does the departing president hope to gain through his various legal challenges? Let's remember judges keep dismissing cases for lack of evidence. Multiple law firms have withdrawn from representing the Republican efforts in various states. The remaining lawyers keep changing their arguments as their claims fail. Multiple lawsuits in Arizona, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, in Georgia have yet to change any vote. And even if a suit overturned the vote in a state, Biden has won with states to spare. We spoke with Marc Lotter, who until a few days ago was working for the Trump campaign.

I'm sure you're familiar with this fundraising email. There have been many of them seeking money to help finance the challenge to the result of the election. But as you know, the fine print says that the contributions that people make, thinking that they're financing a recount, go to Donald J. Trump's personal political PAC and also to the Republican Party. It's only if there's money left over that it goes to a recount. Why is that?

MARC LOTTER: Well, obviously, these lawsuits - and I can't speak to the specifics of how that financing operation has been set up, but these lawsuits are being fought at various levels, sometimes with the campaign directly in the lead. Sometimes, the Republican National Committee and/or a state party is taking the lead. So I think the way that this has been arranged is so it allows all of the money to flow to the organization that needs it. And then we also have back office expenses in terms of the staff that are still with the campaign or outside legal advisers.

INSKEEP: John Bolton, the former national security adviser, conservative Republican, described that on our air as, quote, "a kind of con game."

LOTTER: I would just say that that points to John Bolton really not knowing a lot about politics and how political finance is involved these days. Obviously, what we are trying to do is make sure that whomever is incurring and taking the lead in these various initiatives - that that organization has the ability to to meet those financial obligations.

INSKEEP: Mr. Lotter, I want people to know, if they don't, you've been around politics for a long time. You've worked for Mitch Daniels. You've worked for Mike Pence. You've worked for a lot of distinguished people. And you know a lot. What is a way that the president would walk away having made the charges and conspiracy theories that he has?

LOTTER: Well, I think, ultimately, once these legal issues are resolved, once the vote is certified, obviously, then we will have a definitive answer. And it's something where I think, you know, the president has said before, you know, that he will accept that. If the president is not - you know, not reelected, then we will see on January 20 a President Joe Biden take the oath of office.

INSKEEP: I believe you will accept that. But has the president said he will accept that?

LOTTER: I think the president in the past has said publicly when asked - I think it was before the election - that he would accept the results. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't go through this process. And it does take time.

INSKEEP: Marc Lotter until recently was part of the president's reelection campaign. Mr. Lotter, it's always a pleasure talking with you. Thank you.

LOTTER: Good to speak with you, Steve. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.