But in Wisconsin last month, during a leg of his thank-you tour, he appeared to give the opposite impression, recounting a long discussion he had with his wife on election night.
"But anyway, so I got the bad news from my daughter," he told the crowd in West Allis. "And I said, 'That's too bad.' So I go and see my wife. I said, 'Baby, I tell you what. We're not going to win tonight, because the polls have come out ... It's just looking bad, but you know what? I'm OK with it because of the fact that I couldn't have worked any harder.'"
Trump told supporters that he remembered saying, "If I lose, I lose."
"But so I felt, you know, you don't feel good if you didn't put out and you lose, but if you put out every single ounce of energy in your blood, you feel like, OK, there's nothing more you can do," he recounted. "So I told her, and she looked at me, and she has seen these rallies, and she said, 'You're not going to lose." I say, 'No, I'm telling you, the polls are looking very bad.'"
"She said, 'You're not going to lose,'" he told the crowd. "OK. So now the poll just closed, and they start announcing numbers. And I say, 'Oh, this is going to be embarrassing.' And I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do."
Later in the speech Trump said that he took reports of Clinton's canceling her planned election night fireworks display over the Hudson River as a sign things were going his way.
"They knew bad things were happening, and I got a good sign when four days before the end, I called up Mike [Pence]. They just canceled the fireworks was the front page story. They canceled," he said. "Now, usually you cancel fireworks because you don't want fireworks if you're going to lose. Did anybody ever use fireworks if they're going to lose?"
Trump lost the popular vote, however, by nearly 3 million ballots.