Trump Unleashes Feral Attack On Democracy With Lie-Filled Speech As Chances of Victory Shrink
As Joe Biden’s electoral college lead grew on top of his record-setting popular vote total, President Trump again tried to claim he’s winning on the basis of “legal votes,” which is verifiably untrue.
As President Donald Trump’s margin swiftly shrank in several key states, with analysts increasingly predicting that Joe Biden would win the presidency, the president unleashed a lie-filled speech from inside the White House during which he baselessly proclaimed he won the election based on “legal votes.”
As of Thursday evening, Biden is ahead of Trump in the popular vote count by 3.9 million. All are legal votes. Biden also leads in the electoral college tally.
Trump, who hasn't been seen or spoken in public since Tuesday night, repeated the same lie he said then—that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election, refusing to acknowledge a legitimate vote count that even Fox News stands by.
It was a sad spectacle after an intense 48 hours of vote tallying across the country. Trump’s speech came just a few hours after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gave a short statement in which he said, “In America, the vote is sacred. It’s how people of this nation express their will … Each ballot must be counted … Democracy is sometimes messy and it sometimes requires a little patience as well.” Biden added that he has “no doubt whatsoever that when the count is finished, Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.”
Reporters and fact-checkers immediately blasted the sitting president for such a blatant attempt to undermine democracy.
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
NBC and CBS cut away from the president mid-speech because of the sheer amount of lies. Immediately after Trump’s speech, CNN cut to anchor Jake Tapper who said, “What a sad night for the United States of America to have to hear the president say that...lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen. ... It’s ugly, it’s frankly pathetic."
Trump falsely claimed he’s won all “legal votes,” again pushing his baseless narrative of widespread voter fraud, which is not real. All the votes that have been counted are legal. In fact, out of the estimated 160 million votes cast in the election, election officials have only so far reported two instances of voter fraud: and they both came from Republicans.
The president also falsely claimed that mail-in voting is “corrupt,” a charge he’s made nearly all year long, as he’s been setting the stage to cast the integrity of the U.S. election into doubt. He said election officials are “finding” votes, when in reality they are simply counting votes.
Several states offered mail-in voting as an option long before this election and a pandemic, and voter fraud via mail-in voting is also extremely rare. The president himself has previously voted by mail at least twice, including earlier this year in the Florida primary.
While Trump seeks to discredit ballots received after November 3, even if they are postmarked for that day or earlier, military leaders and veterans are reminding the public that many of those ballots are cast by service members serving overseas—therefore, Trump is also attacking the legitimacy of votes by those in the military.
Reporters also pointed out that in addition to the complete lack of evidence to back up any of the president’s conspiracy theories, there are inherent contradictions in his claims. “The president keeps saying the votes are rigged by Democrats, without explaining how Republicans down ballot managed to not only hold onto their seats but the House caucus made gains etc,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted.
Tapper said earlier on CNN of Trump’s attempt to “STOP THE COUNT”: “Not only is it anti-democratic...it’s stupid,” pointing to how Trump could still win in Arizona as the final count comes in.
The president did not take any questions from reporters after his speech, though many of them tried to ask them as he left the White House press briefing room, including CNN’s Jim Acosta, who asked, “Are you being a sore loser?”