Donald Trump addressed the nation Thursday as the tortuous US presidential election seemed headed to a conclusion and alleged without proof that he was being deprived of a second term.
The White House press conference was the President’s first public appearance in more than 36 hours and came as his Democratic opponent Joe Biden edged closer to victory after a day punctuated by tweets that reflected his dissatisfaction.
Trump made a number of misleading statements about the election and its actions in his 17-minute presentation. Without taking questions, he quit.
If you count the legal votes, then I’ll win easily. They will try to snatch the election from us if you count the fraudulent votes,” Trump said.
Vote counting is underway. A distinction between votes cast on election day and ballots counted later seemed to be drawn by the President.
In-person ballots were counted immediately after polls closed on November 3 in many crucial states, including Pennsylvania, which Trump must win to be reelected, giving him a wide lead over Biden.
But as ballots sent by mail or deposited in official drop boxes were counted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the benefit of the President was eroded. The two kinds of voting are legal.
Voting by mail
“For many times, I have been dreaming about mail-in voting. Our infrastructure is completely destroyed. It’s a crooked system, and, by default, it makes people corrupt, even though they don’t. Yet they’re getting crooked. It’s too convenient, “said Trump.
The President has been repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, saying that a “rigged” election will be triggered. But US officials and foreign observers said no fraud had occurred.
“All of a sudden, they’re finding ballots. It’s incredible how one-sided all those mail-in ballots are,’ he said, while his own warnings may well have convinced Republican voters not to vote by mail.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, mail-in voting was in use in the United States, and it is usually a tried and tested scheme that was significantly expanded this year.
“The conspiracy theory that voting by mail induces fraud simply has no foundation,” said Ellen Weintraub of the US Federal Election Commission ( FEC) as part of a 66-tweet thread in May, as Trump ramped up his postal voting assaults.
“All election-related risks are taken seriously by us,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying at a Senate national security hearing on September 24.
“Historically, in a big election, we have not seen any kind of organized national voter fraud operation, whether by mail or otherwise,” he said.
We were leading in all the main places, by a lot actually, and then our numbers began to be whittled away in secret miraculously, “Trump said.”
He went on to say that by “a lot,” he captured the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia and also claimed that in Michigan, he was victorious.
In all three states, Trump was once ahead, but his advantage weakened as mail-in ballots were counted. In Michigan, Biden now has a major advantage-US network called it in his favor-and is quickly closing the Pennsylvania gap.
In the southern state of Georgia, Trump’s lead dropped to 0.1 percent while he was speaking.
The President said of his critics, “This is a situation where they’re trying to snatch an election; they’re trying to manipulate an election.”
No evidence exists to support that argument.
The Senate Control
“Despite having twice as many seats to defend as Democrats, we held the Senate,” Trump said.
With votes still being counted and at least one runoff to come, it has not been decided that the upper house of the US legislature has absolute authority. According to The New York Times, the split between Democrats and Republicans was 48-48 as of 0230 GMT on Friday.