President Trump on Thursday baselessly accused local election workers of cheating as they counted remaining ballots and Trump’s lead shrank in several key states.
Trump made a raft of wild and unsubstantiated claims of fraud, accusing everyone from political pollsters all the way down to county and municipal election workers of scheming to steal the election from him in an extraordinary statement from the White House briefing room.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said, although there is no evidence to suggest any ballots being counted are not legal. He is currently trailing former vice president Joe Biden by millions of votes in the popular vote count and he is also trailing Biden in the Electoral College count, which decides the election.
Trump’s meandering complaints often returned to the issue of mail-in ballots, which he has railed against for months.
He suggested the large lead Biden maintains among those who voted by mail in key states is evidence of fraud, though he repeatedly urged his supporters to vote in person instead of by mail, and Republicans by and large did so in key states during this election.
Trump himself has voted absentee in Florida.
In the last 48 hours, the Trump campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits seeking to challenge various parts of the vote count, calling for it to be paused in several states.
“Ultimately I have a feeling judges are going to have to rule,” Trump said, suggesting the election could be decided by the courts.
Fact-checkers jumped on the president’s statements even as he delivered the address.
I've read or watched all of Trump's speeches since 2016. This is the most dishonest speech he has ever given.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 5, 2020
MSNBC is the first network to pull away from Trump's speech after he says "if you count the legal votes, I easily win."— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 5, 2020
Brian Williams: "There are no illegal votes that we know of. There has been no Trump victory that we know of." pic.twitter.com/SNZHlR8VFJ
Several networks cut away from Trump’s remarks rather than air them in full. He finished without taking questions.
Christina Prignano can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.