Donald Trump tonight raised the specter of a bitter challenge of the remaining ballots to be counted in the presidential race, telling a crowd of supporters at the White House that “as far as I am concerned we have already won.”
The incumbent also said that he would be going to the Supreme Court, saying, “We want all the voting to stop.” Trump added: “This is a fraud on the American public.”
But what the former Celebrity Apprentice host said does not reflect the reality of a fairly normal part of the election process.
What has been happening in states like Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan is that remaining ballots remain to be counted, including mail-in ballots in Democratic-leaning metro areas. The vote counting has taken longer than normal because of the sheer number of absentee returns.
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Trump’s suggestion that he already won — and suggestion that remaining ballots should be discounted — drew a quick rebuke from network news anchors and pundits.
“This is straight up autocratic malarkey,” said Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC. On CBS News, Norah O’Donnell said that Trump was “castrating the facts of the election results” that have been reported, falsely claiming that he has won the election.
Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace said, “This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it. He hasn’t won these states. Nobody is saying he’s won the states. The states haven’t said that he’s won. You know, this goes right back to what Joe Biden said, which is that the president doesn’t get to say that he’s won states that, you know, the American people get to say it, the state officials get to declare it.”
NBC News cut away from Trump’s speech to Savannah Guthrie, who said, “the president is going through some of the states, stating that he has prevailed in those states, naming Georgia, saying they’re winning Georgia, or that they won Georgia. …The fact of the matter is those states have not come close to counting all of their vote. There’s still outstanding vote.”
In his remarks, Trump claimed that “a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won’t stand for it.” But he didn’t seem to challenge the counting of remaining votes in Arizona, where he trails Biden and the race has been called by Fox News.
“This is a nightmare scenario,” Yamiche Alcindor said on PBS Newshour.
On CNN, Ben Ginsburg, a veteran election lawyer for the GOP, said, “These are all legally cast votes and the process of trying to toss them out for some reason would just, I think, be viewed by any court, in the Supreme Court, as just a massive disenfranchisement that would be frowned upon.”
Many predicted a scenario in which Trump declares victory and falsely claims that the remaining results would be fraudulent. Although he boasted of a lead in Pennsylvania, a huge chunk of the vote is not yet in in Pennsylvania.
More to come.
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