The international news media today is utterly fixated on the U.S. presidential election that was still undecided as Tuesday night spilled into Wednesday. Throughout the morning, coverage blanketed cable TV, online and print outlets. Politicians in the UK, Germany, France and Russia have also begun to weigh in from both sides on the hotly-contested race.
The cable news nets in France and the UK are focused on the situation while the online editions of newspapers around the globe are leading with Donald Trump’s false claim that he has already won — and the response from Joe Biden’s camp. Among those are France’s Libération, Le Monde and Le Figaro; the UK’s Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and Times; Germany’s Allgemeine Zeitung and Der Spiegel; Italy’s La Repubblica and Corriere Della Sera; Spain’s El Pais and El Mundo; and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.
Seemingly nonplussed, China’s state media, including Xinhua, is more broadly focused on its own president, Xi Jinping. However, The New York Times reports that some state media highlighted the potential for riots or other election-related violence while #AmericanElection had been viewed more than 3.9 billion times on Weibo.
Global trends on Twitter are a mix of election-related hashtags while Trump is the top trend in Russia. Russian TV’s RT News is keeping close tabs on the ongoing situation, and The Moscow Times has translated a series of comments from local politicians and public figures.
Per The Moscow Times, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said, “America is more divided than ever… I think that Biden, seeing that he is losing, might call for mass unrest… Between the two, Biden will be even more aggressive [than Trump toward Russia].”
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist opposition Liberal Democratic Party, added, ”Biden might get a lot of votes, but Donald Trump will still emerge the winner because he’s done more for Americans than any president before him… That’s considering that he faced obstruction from the very first day… Every American sees that Biden has certain health issues, it’s not his fault.”
Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the upper-house Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, is quoted as saying, “It’s time for America to return to the politics of sanity, in which we will always support it… The subject of some kind of Russian interference, never convincingly proven but enough to permanently attack [Trump], has remained center stage in American realities since the 2016 election… However, it seems that the foreign factor may not play the same role [in 2020] as the last time. This means that any winner or loser in the presidential race will be forced to talk about purely domestic reasons for the outcome of the election, and that’s a completely different story that’s much closer to reality.”
Other politicians have weighed in including Marine Le Pen, President of France’s Rassemblement National party (formerly the National Front). She told CNews this morning she believes “the re-election of Donald Trump is better for France.” The right wing politician was in a heated battle for the French presidency with Emmanuel Macron in 2017, a year after the last U.S. election, and was among the first to congratulate Trump on his win at the time — even before the result was officially called.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer today told ZDF, “This is a very explosive situation. This is a situation that can lead to a constitutional crisis in the U.S… And it is something that must cause us great concern.”
UK politician and Trump campaigner Nigel Farage contradicted himself when he told the BBC “The evidence of fraud with postal voting is there for all to see… There is no evidence of fraud at this stage but we know from our own miserable experience over 20 years of massively extending postal voting that not only is there fraud, there’s intimidation. We’ve seen it again and again.”
The first polls are closing and I am absolutely optimistic. pic.twitter.com/ryfTfmJctt
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 3, 2020
Conservative UK MP Liam Fox also told the BBC, “I think what we’re seeing [from Trump] is political positioning in case it really comes down to the wire,” but allowed, “You can’t claim to have won when some of the bigger electoral votes are still to come.”