Editorial board of Adelson-backed newspaper tells Trump it's time to face reality

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The editorial page of a newspaper owned by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson thinks it’s time for President Donald Trump to face the reality of his defeat.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that absent concrete evidence, Trump’s continued claims of pervasive voter fraud “does a disservice to his more rabid supporters” because the idea is “simply false.”

“In fact, rhetoric from Trump surrogates alleging widespread illegal activity has been devoid of detailed evidence supporting the charge that there was a concerted effort to ‘steal’ the election through corruption,” states the editorial published Wednesday night. “An electoral system that involves the participation of 150 million Americans will have its share of issues, but it’s an insult to reason and logic to argue that isolated irregularities constitute proof of a grand national conspiracy.”

The paper noted that Republicans down ballot from Trump outperformed expectations and preelection polls — a fact that has Republican candidates pretzeling themselves to fit within the president’s characterization of the election.

“Why, if there were some orchestrated Democratic attempt to rig the balloting, did the party underachieve in congressional and statewide balloting across the country?” the editorial asks.

Nevada is one of the states whose electoral process has been in Trump’s crosshairs during the presidential race, with his campaign filing legal challenges both before and after Election Day and the president frequently complaining about top state officials during his campaign rallies. Joe Biden leads by more than 35,000 votes as the state continues to work through counting its final batches of ballots.

It’s the latest sign that Republican heavyweights and parts of the conservative media are beginning to talk of Trump in the past tense — at least as a sitting president.

POLITICO reported that Adelson, whose multibillion-dollar fortune came from the casino business, and his wife gave $75 million to a pro-Trump super PAC during the homestretch of the presidential campaign in an attempt to buoy Trump’s reelection. The paper’s owner had been a reliable Trump ally, but the president ripped into Adelson over the phone earlier this year, alleging that the casino mogul was not spending enough to support him.

The conservative-leaning editorial board did side with Trump and his allies on some fronts, writing that he “indeed faced an overtly hostile press, a political establishment that treated him as an enemy occupier and an opposition party that took leave of its senses at the mere thought of his existence.”

“But Mr. Trump lost this election because he ultimately didn’t attract enough votes and failed to win a handful of swing states that broke his way in 2016,” it wrote.

The editorial acknowledged that Trump and his campaign can continue to fight the election results in court, but it said “he has nothing to lose” by allowing the government to begin working with Joe Biden’s transition team.

“Mr. Trump expected no less from the Obama administration in 2016 even as [Hillary Clinton’s] acolytes floated ways to manipulate the Electoral College vote,” it states. “Mr. Biden deserves the same consideration today regardless of how long the president seeks to delay the inevitable.”

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