After two weeks of leveling lawsuits at high-profile states and crying election fraud without evidence, Donald Trump has grudgingly allowed the presidential transition to move forward — and some of his most die-hard supporters are finally following suit.
Trump took to Twitter Monday to say it was "in the best interest" of the country for him to stop the General Services Administration's weekslong stonewalling of President-elect Joe Biden's transition.
"Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!" he wrote. "Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that [GSA administrator] Emily [Murphy] and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."
Now some of the most passionate parroters of Trump's election fraud lies, including many of the far-right pundits at Fox News, are pivoting from their previous positions to tacitly acknowledge Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.
On Monday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham broke the news to her audience that Trump had greenlighted GSA's funding of the transition.
"As unpleasant and disappointing as these past three weeks have been to so many of us, as much as we wish things were different, this is where things stand tonight," Ingraham said. "Now, legal challenges continue in a number of states, serious questions about vote counting, poll watcher access are outstanding, but unless the legal situation changes in a dramatic and frankly an unlikely manner, Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20."
She falsely claimed the election was "rife with problems" and "potential fraud," and hastened to assure her viewership that she is not a "sellout to the conservative populist movement."
"It does not mean that I disagree at all with the president's right and obligation to pursue all legitimate legal challenges to this outcome," Ingraham added. "To say this constitutes living in reality. And if I offered you a false reality, if I told you that there was an excellent phenomenal chance that the Supreme Court was going to step in and deliver a victory to President Trump, I'd be lying to you."
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Ingraham has been one of the staunchest defenders of Trump's false claims of voter fraud.
Right-wing media host Rush Limbaugh, too, condemned the efforts of Trump's legal team to challenge election results.
"They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened," Limbaugh said on Monday. "And that's just, that's not — well, it's not good."
Limbaugh criticized Trump for claiming he had "massive bombshells" about election fraud that never materialized.
"There better be something other than what we got," he said.
Conservative media host Ben Shapiro did an about-face over the course of 13 hours.
On Monday night, he retweeted Andrew Klavan, a founder of the conservative website Daily Wire, remarking on Trump's decision to accede to the transition: "So if we're following the left's playbook, this is the moment when @realDonaldTrump graciously begins the transition — and the FBI, CIA, Congress and the news media all begin a 3-year investigation into whether a foreign power got Biden elected. Let's get kraken!"
But by Tuesday morning, Shapiro was no longer complaining about the election's illegitimacy, but instead was mocking Biden's plans for his presidency — tacitly conceding the election by admitting Biden was president-elect.
"Great to see the return of bullshit conventional foreign policy wisdom, brutal partisan demonization covered as Democrat-led bipartisanship, and corrupt aristocracy are back in with the 'Democracy Dies in Darkness' crowd!" Shapiro tweeted.
Other right-wing figures have come under fire in recent days from Trump supporters for accepting the election results.
On Thursday, one of Trump's favorite Fox pundits, Tucker Carlson, was slammed by the right after he said that former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell "never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one."
Ohio's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also recently faced criticism by the right for saying Biden is president-elect.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has been attacked by members of his own party, with some demanding his resignation, for calling the state for Biden.
Fox News host Mark Levin has lambasted conservatives who say that Biden won the elections, such as former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
And while some right-wing pundits have accepted the results of the election, others, such as Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, continue to call for infinite recounts and courtroom battles to contest Trump's loss.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.