"He hates to be a loser, that I’m sure of," the president's first ex-wife says, "but if he loses, he loses"

By Sean Neumann
November 09, 2020 12:05 PM
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For the record, President Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump is sick of all of this too.

“I just want this whole thing to be over with, one way or the other,” Ivana, 71, tells PEOPLE. “I really don’t care.”

Trump, 74, has insisted that he won’t personally accept the results of the presidential election in which he was defeated by Joe Biden and he has said he will mount a series of legal challenges in the states where he lost, such as Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Without evidence, the president has argued the 2020 contest was “stolen” from him and that the votes for Biden were fraudulent, echoing claims he has made about other elections going back years.

“He’s not a good loser,” says Ivana, the president's first wife and mother of his three oldest children. “He doesn’t like to lose, so he’s going to fight and fight and fight.”

While some Republicans have echoed Trump's allegations of wrongdoing, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's election was recognized by former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, likewise sent his congratulations.

Other leading conservatives have made more vague statements about the importance of investigating any serious allegation of fraud.

From left: Ivana and Donald Trump
| Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images
From left: Ivana and Donald Trump in 1990
| Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images
From left: Donald Trump Jr. and Ivana Trump in 2015
| Credit: Grant Lamos IV/Getty

Around the globe, Biden was congratulated by leaders such as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Still, Trump and his allies say the election isn't over even as some around him acknowledge the challenge ahead.

"We just want the process to play out," says one former administration official turned Trump adviser. "The media don't get to call elections, the people do."

"The states have to certify [their results by December]," this source says.

Nonetheless, they tell PEOPLE, "I'll always think the president did not get the campaign he deserved. They raised $1 billion and lost to Joe Biden."

Another source close to the Trumps tells PEOPLE there’s “still chaos” within the immediate family and that they haven’t fully realized the election results because “nobody was expecting it.”

“It’s been a headache,” the source says.

Says a third source, who is close with son Eric Trump: "They’re very upset. It’s been hard to watch."

From left: Donald and Ivana Trump in 1987
| Credit: Joe McNally/Getty
Ivana Trump during a recent U.K. TV appearance
| Credit: Loose Women/ Youtube

Ivana tells PEOPLE her three children with her ex-husband — Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka — are doing “fine” but that she can’t wait for them to move on from Washington, D.C.

“I just want them to be able to live their normal lives — normal lives,” the businesswoman and former model says. “Not the Washington life and all that, just in New York or wherever they’re going to be and just live their normal lives.”

“I think they enjoyed being around Donald and running the election and seeing what will happen, but now it is — thank god — over,” Ivana says. “I’m not really sure what they are going to be up to.”

(A source close to Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, both of whom are senior White House aides, had only rosy projections to make: "Back of the envelope, the opportunities that are available to them — without getting too much in the weeds — it's obvious they can be in control of the Republican Party for decades or they can do international work or business.")

As for the president, his ex — with whom he has had a notoriously tempestuous relationship through the decades and who isn't shy about offering her opinion on him and the White House, praising his conservative achievements — guesses that he's likely to be done with politics despite his bluster.

“I don’t think he has a choice,” Ivana says. “He’s going to go down to Palm Beach and play golf and live the normal life, I think. This is the best choice for what he can do.”

But first, he would have to face reality.

“He has to go and declare that he lost. But he hates to be a loser, that I’m sure of,” Ivana says. “But if he loses, he loses. He has plenty of money, places to go and live in and enjoy his life.”

• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON