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Aussie journo’s Trump plea

It was the “train wreck” interview that spawned a dozen memes – and in the wake of the US election, it’s sparked a dozen more. But now, more than a week since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential race and with Donald Trump still refusing to concede, the star of said memes…

It was the “train wreck” interview that spawned a dozen memes – and in the wake of the US election, it’s sparked a dozen more.

But now, more than a week since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential race and with Donald Trump still refusing to concede, the star of said memes – Axios’s national political correspondent, Australian reporter Jonathan Swan – has called for people to stop sending them his way.

“Yes I have seen the meme. Please, for the love of God, stop texting it to me,” he wrote on Twitter overnight, alongside a compilation of screengrabs from his viral chat with the US President, Mr Trump presenting the 35-year-old with a rigged game of noughts and crosses, declaring that he “won”.

A similar meme, shared in the replies to Swan’s tweet, showed Mr Trump presenting the reporter with a map of America where all of the states were red – a clear nod to the President’s repeated claims that he has beaten Mr Biden in a number of key states, despite the results showing otherwise.

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The interview, aired by HBO to much anticipation in early August, was deemed a “train wreck” for Mr Trump, with Swan’s many baffled and exasperated facial reactions to the President’s words instantly becoming internet fodder.

During the 35-minute chat, Mr Trump lumbered through topics including the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter, political rallies during a pandemic, Russia paying the Taliban to kill US troops and underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged chief accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell.

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Commentators both at home and abroad praised Swan for persistently grilling Mr Trump, and for “listening to answers, thinking on his feet, and asking relevant follow-up questions” – while those on social media dubbed Swan “one of the best live interviewers on the planet” and an “American hero”.

Asked about the experience by ABC Radio National Breakfast broadcaster Fran Kelly, Swan said the opportunity to interview Mr Trump in the circumstances of 2020 was “incredibly rare”.

“We are at a moment when a President of the United States is in absolute crisis. Handling the worst pandemic in a century, with an economic crisis overlaid over the top of it,” he said.

“He is like no other President in my lifetime … or even in American history.”

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Meanwhile, Mr Trump has taken one step closer to finally conceding – admitting in a series of bitter tweets overnight for the first time that Mr Biden had won the US election – before taking it back.

In a backhanded comment aimed at the Democrat, the US President earlier appeared to make a nod to defeat overnight, writing on Twitter: “He won because the Election was Rigged.”

The comments were among a slew of disputed claims the President made on social media, all of which Twitter flagged.

Yet, soon after news of Mr Trump’s admission hit the headlines, he posted again, claiming he concedes “nothing” and, “We have a long way to go.”

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