WASHINGTON (AP) — More and more indifferent from actuality, President Donald Trump stood earlier than a White Home lectern and delivered a 46-minute diatribe towards the election outcomes that produced a win for Democrat Joe Biden, unspooling one misstatement after one other to again his baseless declare that he actually gained.
Trump referred to as his tackle, launched Wednesday solely on social media and delivered in entrance of no viewers, maybe “a very powerful speech” of his presidency. However it was largely a recycling of the identical litany of misinformation and unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud that he has been making for the previous month.
Trump, who spoke from the Diplomatic Room, saved up his futile pushback towards the election at the same time as state after state certifies its outcomes and as Biden presses forward with shaping his Cupboard upfront of his inauguration on Jan. 20.
Trump’s remarks raised questions on how far he could also be keen to go in his marketing campaign to overturn Biden’s win, together with whether or not he may press Republicans in Congress to dam certification of the vote, a transfer that’s been floated by the president’s allies.
Biden obtained a report 81 million votes in comparison with 74 million for Trump. The Democrat additionally gained 306 electoral votes in comparison with 232 for Trump. The Electoral School break up matches Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton 4 years in the past, which he described then as a “landslide.”
Trump dug additional into his competition of a “rigged election” though members of his personal administration, together with Legal professional Common William Barr, say that no proof of widespread voter fraud has been uncovered. Courts in a number of battleground states have thrown out a barrage of lawsuits filed on behalf of the president.
“This isn’t nearly honoring the votes of 74 million Individuals who voted for me,” Trump mentioned. “It’s about making certain that Individuals can think about this election. And in all future elections.”
In reality, his baseless claims are having the other impact — undermining public religion within the integrity of U.S. elections.
About an hour after it was posted, Trump’s video had been considered tons of of hundreds of occasions on Fb and shared by greater than 60,000 Fb customers. Each Fb and Twitter flagged the president’s posting as problematic, with Twitter noting that Trump’s claims about election fraud are disputed.
Julian Zelizer, a professor of political historical past at Princeton College, mentioned the nation has seen shut elections earlier than — 1800, 1876 and, most not too long ago, 2000. However this 12 months’s election doesn’t slot in that class.
“That is only a random baseless assault on your entire election,” Zelizer mentioned. “Trump has no turning level. I usually say there are parallels or precedents, however there aren’t on this case. He retains bending norms.”
Trump mentioned the election outcomes must be “overturned instantly” in a number of battleground states and instructed the Supreme Courtroom ought to intervene in his favor, saying, “Hopefully, they may do what’s proper for our nation as a result of our nation can’t reside with this type of an election.”
However likelihood is distant that the Supreme Courtroom would become involved. No appeals claiming fraud have been filed on the excessive court docket. Pennsylvania Republicans need the justices to forestall certification of Biden’s win within the state, however their enchantment alleges Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail regulation is unconstitutional, not fraud. The state Supreme Courtroom already has dismissed the lawsuit.
Lots of Trump’s claims have been debunked repeatedly in latest weeks.
His overarching declare: “This election is about nice voter fraud, fraud that has by no means been seen like this earlier than.”
In reality, Christopher Krebs, the director of the Division of Homeland Safety’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company, voiced confidence within the integrity of the election forward of the November vote. And afterward, he knocked down allegations that the rely was tainted by fraud.
Krebs was fired by Trump weeks in the past.
Barr, in an interview with The Related Press on Tuesday, mentioned the Justice Division has uncovered no proof of widespread voter fraud that would change the election end result.
Trump, in his speech, delved right into a sequence of baseless claims about voting in battleground states together with Pennsylvania, Michigan and past.
He alleged that in Pennsylvania, “giant quantities of mail-in and absentee ballots have been processed illegally and in secret in Philadelphia and Allegheny County with out our observers current.”
In reality, nobody tried to ban ballot watchers representing either side within the election. And Democrats didn’t attempt to cease Republican representatives from with the ability to observe the method.
The primary concern was how shut observers representing the events may get to election staff who have been processing mail-in ballots in Philadelphia. The Trump marketing campaign sued to permit the observers to get nearer than the rules allowed. A court docket dominated in favor of that request.
Trump zeroed in on the excessive use of mail-in ballots this 12 months, citing the “Democrat Occasion’s relentless push to print and mail out tens of thousands and thousands of ballots despatched to unknown recipients with nearly no safeguards of any variety.”
In reality, mail-in ballots have a sequence of built-in safeguards to confirm voter identification and stop fraud. Some states mail ballots to each registered voter, whereas different states mail ballots solely to voters who request them. However the ballots are topic to that state’s verification necessities in both case.
Use of mail-in ballots soared as Democrats inspired their use to cut back in-person voting throughout a pandemic.
Within the video, Trump additionally bitterly alluded to authorized troubles he may face as soon as he leaves workplace. New York’s legal professional common, Letitia James, is conducting a civil investigation into whether or not the Trump Group improperly inflated the worth of property for mortgage or insurance coverage functions and deflated the worth for tax functions.
Trump fumed that “these identical folks that didn’t get me in Washington have despatched every bit of data to New York in order that they’ll attempt to get me there.”
James responded in assertion: “Not like the president and the unfounded accusations he hurled immediately, we’re guided by the information and the regulation, and the politics cease on the door. Interval.”
Madhani reported from Chicago. Related Press writers Mark Sherman in Washington, Amanda Seitz in Chicago, Ali Swenson in Seattle and Michael Sisak in New York contributed to this report.