Trump levels baseless claims about effort to ‘steal’ the election as Biden’s lead grows

Courtney Subramanian

David Jackson
 
| USA TODAY

play
Show Caption
Hide Caption

Election: President Trump makes new appeal to women at Michigan rally

President Trump made an appeal to women voters at a rally in Michigan to help their husbands recover from economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump leveled a series of baseless claims Thursday against the system of counting presidential ballots and accused Democrats of trying to “steal” the election, while offering no evidence of illegal activity. 

As his Democratic rival Joe Biden appeared on the verge of securing the number of Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, Trump predicted the outcome would wind up in the Supreme Court. Trump’s remarks drew bipartisan criticism.  

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said at the White House late Thursday without offering evidence to back up the claim of illegal votes being cast. 

Trump’s lead in several states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, shrank as more mailed ballots were counted and Biden inched toward the majority threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

“It’s going to end up, perhaps, at the highest court in the land,” Trump said.

Trump’s briefing drew condemnations from Democrats, and even some Republicans who accused him of “undermining” the process of determining the election outcome.

“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Trump’s speech was “the most dishonest and anti-democratic moment in the history of the presidency.”

“Donald Trump lied incessantly about our election and undermined the very foundation of our democracy. We will count every vote. No matter what he says,” Schiff said.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said “of course” every “legal” vote should be counted.

“But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation…This is getting insane,” he said.

The president said the elections were run “by Democrats,” although Georgia and Arizona – two states that still have outstanding votes – are run by Republican governors.

“We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually,” said Trump, who declined to take questions from reporters after his brief remarks. “And then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret.”

Trump’s appearance represented a contrast with Biden, who appeared hours earlier in Delaware and offered brief remarks in which he urged the nation to remain patient as votes were counted. Biden, who also did not take questions, said he was confident he would win the cliffhanger contest, but he stopped short of declaring victory. 

“It is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,” he said. “Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world.”

Trump has for weeks sought to raise questions about the validity of mail-in voting, which was predicted to lean toward Biden. There has been no evidence of voter fraud. Several states experienced delays in counting the surge of ballots that arrived because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president’s campaign mounted several legal challenges in states that could tip the election in favor of Biden. Two lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia were dismissed Thursday.

“Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election,” he said. “We will not allow the corruption to steal such an important election.”

Trump prematurely declared victory Wednesday even as hundreds of thousands of ballots had yet to be counted. He threatened to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the counting of legally cast absentee ballots.

Contributing: John Fritze and Michael Collins

Source

Leave a Reply