The Note: Trump plants time bombs for GOP with refusal to admit realities

The president continues to challenge the results of the election.

December 11, 2020, 6:00 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The Trump presidency is now destined to end with falsehoods -- a blizzard of baseless accusations about the election that he lost, as distilled into a final plea to the Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump's ask is for the nation's highest court to overturn the results of the election. As unlikely as he is to succeed, that breathtaking statement doesn't even encapsulate the principles at stake that will matter long after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Some 106 House Republicans -- more than half the GOP conference -- are backing the president's effort to get the Supreme Court to step in. More than that number continue to resist labeling Biden "president-elect," just three days before the Electoral College will cement Biden's victory based on certified results from every state.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump stands in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 7, 2020.
President Donald Trump stands in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 7, 2020.
Patrick Semansky/AP

So much of the Trump era is ephemeral and transactional. Some Trump loyalists will essentially pretend as if Trump never existed, or that his smashing of conservative principles in service to Trumpism wasn't what it was.

But some of those principles -- of federalism, the rule of law and even basic democracy and common sense -- are still at stake at this moment.

Trump once famously promised to his supporters that they would be "sick and tired of winning" one day. Now, though, what Trump is losing could outlast the limited days of his presidency.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Good news on the vaccine was juxtaposed next to exasperation on Capitol Hill this week.

The country may be closer to vaccinating health care workers and some of the most vulnerable Americans, but millions are still waiting for help from Congress while facing the threat of eviction, hunger and poverty.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts on a mask after speaking to the media after the Republican's weekly Senate luncheon in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 8, 2020.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts on a mask after speaking to the media after the Republican's weekly Senate luncheon in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 8, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Days before some benefits and protections for Americans in need expire, Congress has yet to reach a deal. The big sticking points continue to be possible liability protection for business during this time and the debate over direct payments to Americans.

Threats to shut down the government have come from both sides in the last few days.

Livelihoods hang in the balance as Congress debates.

The TIP with Adam Kelsey

As pressure mounts on Biden to diversify the ideological makeup of his Cabinet, liberal Democrats, frustrated by the dearth of progressives within the group, are nevertheless cheering one of Biden's selections for the potential opportunity opening in its wake.

Biden's choice of Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department could result in a special election in the Buckeye State's 11th Congressional District, which happens to be home to former state senator, and Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential surrogate, Nina Turner.

PHOTO: Former Ohio Senator and Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign co-chair Nina Turner speaks in Portland, Maine, Aug. 22, 2019.
Former Ohio Senator and Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign co-chair Nina Turner speaks in Portland, Maine, Aug. 22, 2019.
Nikolas Hample/Sipa USA via AP, FILE

Turner, 53, who served on the Cleveland City Council prior to the state senate, has yet to announce a run, but her name appears on FEC paperwork filed this week. During Sanders' two presidential campaigns over the past five years, she was arguably the most popular opening act, building a progressive fanbase nationwide that could make her a grassroots fundraising force, much like the Vermont senator himself.

But the 11th district field is already filling up, mere days after the reports of Fudge's potential new job. Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown and former Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson have each voiced an intention to run, should the congresswoman be confirmed to Biden's Cabinet.

PHOTO: In this Feb. 10, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. wave to supporters at campaign stop at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H.
In this Feb. 10, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. wave to supporters at campaign stop at Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H.
Andrew Harnik/AP, File

Even so, liberals are already dreaming of adding a member to the House's progressive "Squad," where the outspoken and notoriously blunt Turner could make Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar look sheepish by comparison. As one Sanders supporter told ABC News this week: "I wanted her to be Bernie's vice president, but she could definitely make some noise in Congress."

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News' Anne Flaherty, who recaps Thursday's favorable vote from an independent panel on the Pfizer vaccine. ABC News' Benjamin Siegel explains why Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield is taking heat for allegedly directing a staffer to delete communications about the coronavirus response. And Genevieve Reaume from KATU in Portland tells us about a new standoff between protesters and police. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. According to various reports, President Donald Trump is considering preemptively pardoning family members and allies before he leaves office, which could include his three oldest children and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump has already pardoned his ally Roger Stone and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke speaks with Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux about why presidents have the power to pardon, how that power has been used historically and how Trump's record compares with that of his predecessors. https://53eig.ht/374fM6S

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND

  • Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., will appear on ABC's "The View."
  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will separately receive the President's Daily Brief. Later Friday, they will introduce key members of their administration in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Sunday on ABC's "This Week:" Political analysis from former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie and former Chicago Mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel. Plus, the Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week's politics with ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, The New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker, and The New Yorker Staff Writer Susan Glasser.

Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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