National Review Says Donald Trump's Refusal to Concede Is 'Worst Thing He's Done'

The conservative National Review took President Donald Trump and Republicans to task in an editorial on Thursday that called the president's refusal to concede the presidential election a "disgrace."

Editor Rich Lowry penned an op-ed with senior editor Romesh Ponnuru that dismissed Trump's unsubstantiated claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election and criticized the GOP for their role in his post-election denials.

"It was hard to see him conceding defeat in any circumstance, even if he got buried in a landslide. Having flouted norms throughout his presidency, there was no way that he would begin honoring them on his way out the door," Lowry and Ponnuru write.

"All in all, it's the worst thing he's done in his presidency and the worst exit of a defeated president in U.S. history, an effort that is not less infamous for being incompetent and risible."

They go on to criticize Trump's early attacks on mail-in voting, which the article argued may have cost the president the state of Georgia.

This, they say, was part of Trump's effort to undermine the legitimacy of the election before it happened. The president spent weeks talking about the risks of mail-in voting to reporters and on Twitter, while also trying to draw a distinction between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots. Experts argued these were essentially the same thing.

"His post-election argument this time has been a magnified version of past practice. He has shown even more of the indifference to the Constitution, the rule of law, and simple logical consistency that has marked his political career," National Review goes on.

The op-ed then cites Republicans who've either gone along with Trump's unsubstantiated claims or remained silent about them, saying they "have resorted to offering one shabby excuse after another for the president's conduct."

After explaining in some detail why Republican "excuses" don't hold up, Lowry and Ponnuru argue that elected members of the GOP are afraid of Trump and this fear has grown more "intense" as the president has claimed the election was stolen from him.

"It's not surprising that Trump would disgrace himself after an election loss; it is remarkable that he's done it this grotesquely, and with so many who should know better effectively aiding and abetting him," the article concludes.

National Review was founded by conservative icon William F. Buckley and published an editorial opposing Trump's nomination in 2016. However, National Review has also published pro-Trump op-eds over the past four years.

Donald Trump Speaks About Operation Warp Speed
Donald Trump speaks during the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington, DC on December 8, 2020. The conservative National Review has criticized him for refusing to concede the election. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images