In a bid to stop the ongoing US election vote count, President Donald Trump has continued to dish out unsubstantiated claims that he has been cheated out of winning the knife-edged Presidential race.
According to local media, vote counting across battleground states early Friday showed Democratic candidate Joe Biden steadily closing in on victory which seems to displease the Incumbent president.
During an extraordinary appearance at the White House on Thursday two days after polls closed, Trump accused his opponent of fraud. “They are trying to steal the election,” an increasingly isolated Trump said.
Providing no evidence and taking no questions afterward from reporters, Trump spent nearly 17 minutes making the kind of incendiary statements about the country’s democratic process that have never been heard before from a US president.
According to Trump, Democrats were using “illegal votes” to “steal the election from us.” He claimed, “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” adding that, “they’re trying to rig an election. And we can’t let that happen.”
Trump’s rhetoric — he also tweeted early Friday reiterating his claims — came as his campaign aggressively challenged the integrity of the huge number of ballots mailed in rather than cast in person on Election Day.
The big shift to postal ballots this year reflected the desire of voters to avoid risking exposure to COVID-19 in crowded polling stations during a pandemic that has already killed 235,000 Americans.
Mail-in ballots have tilted heavily to Democrats. In the crucial state of Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign moved to stop the counting of ballots, which authorities were forbidden from processing before Election Day.
Several major US television networks cut away from live coverage of Trump’s event over concerns of disinformation and there were signs of cracks in support within his Republican Party.
Biden was just one or at most two battleground states away from securing the majority to take the White House. Trump needed an increasingly unlikely combination of wins in multiple states to stay in power. Biden, who has promised to heal a country bruised by Trump’s extraordinarily polarizing four years in power, appealed for “people to stay calm.”
Trump’s campaign insisted that the president has a way to win, citing pockets of Republican support yet to be counted and also alleging mass fraud without providing evidence. Trump’s team fanned out across the battleground states challenging the results in court and his supporters converged outside election offices in several cities.
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