Trump, Largely Uninvolved in Va. Race, Credits Himself for G.O.P. Victory

“Without MAGA, he would have lost by 15 points or more,” the former president said in a radio interview.


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Trump, who had little engagement with Youngkin’s campaign, claims credit for his victory.

A rally for Glenn Youngkin on Monday in Leesburg, Va. Hours after the governor’s race was called for Mr. Youngkin, former President Donald J. Trump claimed credit.Credit…Cliff Owen/Associated Press

Nov. 3, 2021, 11:12 a.m. ET

CHANTILLY, Va. — Former President Donald J. Trump never appeared in public with Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s new Republican governor-elect. Other than delivering a six-minute speech during a conference call with supporters on Monday and issuing a few written statements, Mr. Trump was not that involved in Mr. Youngkin’s campaign.

But that did not stop him and his supporters from claiming, mere hours after the race was called, that Mr. Youngkin could not have won the election without the former president and his legions of supporters.

A little after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Trump called into the John Fredericks Radio Show and, in typically grandiose fashion, claimed most of the credit.

“Without MAGA, he would have lost by 15 points or more,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the shorthand he and his supporters use for the Trump movement. “Instead of giving us credit, they say, ‘Oh he’s more popular than Trump.’ It’s unbelievable.”

Mr. Fredericks, who served as Mr. Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman during his presidential campaigns, said multiple times during the interview that he agreed. “If there was no Trump in this election, there’s no Glenn Youngkin,” he said.

Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Youngkin in a news release in May — but only after the Republican had secured his party’s nomination. The two men did not know each other and are not close. Republicans were concerned that the former president’s interference in the race could cost Mr. Youngkin in a state that voted for Mr. Biden by 10 percentage points.

Mr. Youngkin kept his distance from Mr. Trump even as he leaned into issues that are popular with Trump supporters, including exaggerated claims of lax security around elections.

After the interview, Mr. Trump’s office issued a single-sentence news release. It was Mr. Fredericks’s comment about the former president’s supposedly pivotal role in the race.

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