Infighting and an attempted 'coup': Trump team erupts into chaos as Giuliani takes over legal efforts
As President Donald Trump's legal efforts to challenge election results continue to come to an end, his campaign and legal teams have fallen into chaos behind the scenes as many brace for the post-election fight, several say Sources told ABC News.
Since President Trump made an expansive effort to reverse election results through unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud, he has suffered a dizzying spate of court losses and setbacks across the country that prompted him late last week to install his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to lead legal efforts in the future.
Giuliani's rise, however, has sparked an explosion of fighting and disenchantment among the president's longtime legal team and senior election campaign officials, which has resulted in dueling factions emerging from the president's dwindling campaign, multiple sources told ABC News.
PHOTO: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, gestures during a press conference in Philadelphia on Nov. 7, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters, FILE)
Over the weekend, Giuliani and his own legal team, which includes Trump campaign legal advisor Jenna Ellis, attempted what ABC News called an internal campaign coup - an attempt to wrest power from the current longstanding Trump campaigning with the Claims the president gave them full control, said multiple sources.
Giuliani's team has taken over office space at Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and Ellis, who was previously raised by White House staff, has told Trump campaign staff that they will report to her now .
Ellis told the remaining campaign staff to only follow the instructions of someone named "Rudy or Jenna" and ignore any other instructions from the campaign leader, according to sources familiar with the episode.
The policy sparked outrage from high-level election officials, including Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior advisor Jason Miller.
The attempted power grab hit a boiling point on Saturday when Miller, who has been the campaign's chief strategist for months, and Ellis got into a "screaming match" in front of other employees. Both threatened to call the president to sort out who he wanted to lead. At one point Miller berated Ellis and called her "insane," multiple sources said.
Advisors fear that Giuliani and Ellis' heightened influence over Trump will continue to lead the president to give in to his worst impulses.
"To the horror of the fake news, there is no split here. I have full confidence in Jenna's abilities as an attorney and an effective communicator on behalf of the President, and I look forward to working with her to achieve the victory for President Trump," said Trump Miller in a statement to ABC News.
"This is another false diversion of the news from the true story of electoral fraud," Ellis said in a statement. "ABC refuses to give our legal or communications team time to discuss our litigation, but they will use anonymous gossip about people calling me names and trying to undermine our team. That should tell you all, what You need to know about the media priorities. "
The chaos within the campaign matches the president's ongoing court efforts, which have been hit by increasingly frustrated judges across the country.
"When does it get ridiculous?" said a disgruntled judge, an appointed President of Barack Obama, before ruling against the Republicans in Nevada.
Many members of the presidential team continue to view their ongoing legal efforts as unfounded and doomed. But they now see the potential decision this week in Pennsylvania as Trump's last breath of a lengthy legal battle, sources said.
And on the eve of a major Pennsylvania court hearing, several lawyers representing the Trump campaign asked to back out of a lawsuit that advisors believe will make or break their future endeavors, prompting Giuliani to file papers that were im Trump campaign names should appear in court on Tuesday.
Infighting and a coup attempt: The Trump team breaks into chaos as Giuliani takes over the legal effort that originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
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