(CNN) — Former US President Donald Trump said he took advice from many people after the 2020 election, but it was his decision to push back on false claims that he had won the presidency and try to change the results.
“It was my decision, but I listened to some people,” Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday.
Trump was impeached for attempting to subvert the 2020 election results. The central premise of special counsel Jack Smith’s case is that Trump knew the election claims were false after close aides told him, according to the charges against the former president. He told him he lost, but he spread them anyway to legitimize them, all allegedly in a criminal conspiracy.
“I was listening to different people, and when I added it all up, the election was rigged,” Trump told Kristen Welker in an interview in which he reiterated the false claim as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
“You know who I’m asking? Myself. I saw what happened,” Trump said.
The former president said that he did not listen to his lawyers who said that he had lost the election and it was because he did not respect them.
“You hire them, you’ve never met these people, you get a recommendation, they turn out to be RINOs, or they’re not that good. In many cases, I don’t respect them,” Trump said. “But I respected others. I respected many people who said the election was rigged.”
Smith’s federal investigation into election meddling is one of four criminal cases against the former president. Trump faces four charges in the Smith case, including obstruction of official action and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
He was also indicted in a wide-ranging Georgia lawsuit that accused Trump of being the head of a “criminal enterprise” bent on rigging the 2020 election. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.