Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, cut short an interview with NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ taking up only nine of the 15 minutes allotted to him. The episode which aired on Wednesday, on the heels of some teasers from host Steve Inskeep, saw Trump hanging up the call when he was asked about the lies surrounding the 2020 election.

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He initially insisted that the only way to avoid unfair elections in the future is to solve the issue of the “presidential rigged election of 2020”. Trump also took the opportunity to respond to Senator Mike Rounds’ statement that the 2020 elections were as fair as any ever seen. He said Rounds was “totally wrong” and iterated that Republicans senators didn’t support him further because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “is a loser”. 

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Inskeep responded by citing federal judges who’d refused to accept Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results and mentioned that his lawyers said in court that they weren’t claiming any fraud had occurred. Then, he proceeded to ask Trump about his potential endorsements for the 2022 midterm elections, at which point the interview was cut short.   

However, before departing, the former president also fielded some questions about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump said, “The vaccines, I recommend taking them, but I think that has to be an individual choice. I mean, it’s got to be individual, but I recommend taking them.” 

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Trump’s stance about vaccination has previously earned him umbrage from his usual support base, particularly QAnon. However, his statements come amid a surge of omicron cases in the US, and the Supreme Court is determining whether to uphold the Joe Biden administration’s mandate of being vaccinated, or getting tested, which is applicable for large employers. 

The unvaccinated are much more likely to be hospitalized or succumb to COVID, and Republicans are far less likely to be vaccinated.