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Trump has never said the 2020 election was over, not even on Jan 7

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
President Donald Trump recording a video statement at the White House on Jan. 7, 2021.House Select Committee / via AP

WASHINGTON — If it’s Friday ... The Jan. 6 committee concludes its final hearing of the summer, but promises more in September. ... President Biden holds virtual meeting with economic team after testing positive for Covid. ... Man attacks GOP New York gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin at campaign event. ... The Department of Homeland Security launches criminal probe into deleted Secret Service texts. ... And Wes Moore’s lead over Tom Perez shrinks to 7 points in Maryland Governor's Democratic primary after more (but still not all) mail-in ballots are counted.

But first: Donald Trump couldn’t bring himself to say the 2020 election was over.  

Even after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, even after people had died on that day, and even after Congress had certified the election results.  

We learned this from an outtake of a video that Trump recorded on Jan. 7 — the day after the attack. 

“Okay, I’ll do this, I’m gonna do this, let’s go. But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results. I don’t want to say the election is over, I just want to say Congress has certified the results, without saying the election is over, ok?”   

Repeat: “I don’t want to say the election is over.” 

That outtake says everything about Trump and helps explain what happened on Jan. 6 — especially when you pair it with last week’s witness who described why he marched on the Capitol. 

Rep. Stephanie Murphy: "So why did you decide to march to the Capitol?"

Stephen Ayres: "Well, basically, you know, the president got everybody riled up and told everybody to head on down. So we basically was just following what he said."

Murphy: "After the president’s speech as you’re marching down to the Capitol, how did you feel?"

Ayres: "I was, you know, I’m angry. You know, after everything that was basically said in the speech. You know, a lot of the stuff he said he already put out in tweets. I’ve already seen it and heard it before. So, I mean, I was already worked up and so were most of the people there."

So Trump couldn’t admit he lost. He “riled up” his supporters. Violence ensued. And he waited hours to respond to the violence. 

A year and a half later, Trump still won’t admit he lost. 

“I had an election Rigged and Stolen from me, and our Country. The USA is going to Hell. Am I supposed to be happy?” Trump posted on his social-media platform Thursday night, per NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard. 

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … $24 million

That’s how much money Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has given to the Democratic Governors Association this year, per the group’s most recent IRS filing (h/t Puck’s Teddy Schleifer).

It’s a massive amount of money — more than a third of the $68 million the group raised in the first two quarters of the year. 

And the disclosure comes weeks after the Illinois gubernatorial primary, a race where the DGA spent $19 million to help shepherd a more-conservative Republican to the nomination in the hopes of having an easier path to a Democratic re-election in the fall.  

Other numbers to know:

7 points: Author and former non-profit executive Wes Moore’s current lead over Tom Perez in the Democratic primary for governor in Maryland after election officials started to count mail-in ballots Thursday.

70%: The share of the American people who have had Covid, according to CDC estimates cited by Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid coordinator. 

9: How few majority-Black congressional seats there could be in the next Congress, down from 22 this session, thanks to redistricting, per Bloomberg. 

8: The number of Republicans who voted for a House bill to protect birth control access.  

2.9: The number of monkeypox cases per 100,000 people in New York, the state with the highest rate and also the most cases of the disease. 

9: How many years it’s been between the last case of polio in 2013 and now, when a New York resident tested positive for the disease

Midterm roundup: Trump vs. Pence in Arizona

Donald Trump’s anger and disregard towards former VP Mike Pence on Jan. 6 was front-and-center at last night’s hearing, and they may be facing off in 2024 as both men weigh runs for the White House. But their sway over GOP voters will first be tested in the midterms, with the next test coming in Arizona’s Aug. 2 primaries. 

Trump and Pence will hold dueling events in the Grand Canyon State today, where they’re on opposite sides of the governor’s race. Around noon local time, Pence will join GOP Gov. Doug Ducey for an event with their pick for governor, Karrin Taylor Robson, in Peoria, and for a briefing and discussion on border security in Tucson. 

At 7 p.m. local time, Trump will hold a rally in Prescott Valley, featuring his preferred candidate for governor, former TV news anchor Kari Lake. Trump’s other guests include Senate hopeful Blake Masters; state Rep. Mark Finchem, an election denier running for secretary of state; and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has furthered Trump’s false claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Georgia Senate: Republican nominee Herschel Walker is up with a new ad depicting him as a “uniter” who “back[s] the blue” and wants to solve America’s problems. Meanwhile, VoteVets is spending another $380,000 next week as it continues to attack Walker on the airwaves, per AdImpact. 

Washington Senate: The Associated Press explores how Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is running for re-election at another inflection point for women following the Supreme Court’s abortion decision. 

Wisconsin Senate: Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said in a statement that he won’t oppose a Senate bill to codify protections for same-sex marriage. 

Florida Governor: Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who are facing off in the Democratic primary for governor, clashed in a debate last night, per Politico. There was even some pre-debate drama over Crist’s pen and personal fan, NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports.

Michigan Governor: Republican Kevin Rinke booked another $300,000 over the next week ahead of his gubernatorial primary, per AdImpact. 

New York Governor: Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, the party’s gubernatorial nominee, was attacked at a campaign event on Thursday night but was not hurt. 

Maryland-04: NBC’s Decision Desk projects Glenn Ivey has defeated Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary. 

Ohio-09: Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur is up with a new ad attacking Republican J.R. Majewski for his presence at the rally on Jan. 6 and playing audio of him talking about secession. 

Ad watch: Back-and-forth in Michigan Governor: Yesterday, we covered an ad from Republican businessman Kevin Rinke attacking his opponent in the Michigan governor’s race, Republican Tudor Dixon.

Now Dixon has a response. In a new ad, a narrator tells viewers, “Kevin Rinke is losing and desperate. That’s why he’s falsely attacking Tudor Dixon.”

Dixon’s ad contrasts Rinke’s attack with clips from former President Donald Trump at a recent rally, where he told the audience, “Fantastic, brilliant: Tudor Dixon.

Rinke still has the edge in ad spending, with $4.3 million already spent on ads in this race, according to AdImpact. Dixon’s campaign has only spent $26,000 so far, but she has an outside group, Michigan Families United, backing her with over $1.5 million already spent on her behalf.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world 

Biden’s Covid diagnosis throws a wrench in the White House’s midterm push.

The Supreme Court won’t allow the Biden administration to impose new border enforcement priorities for now.