Trump declared himself as the winner even as counting is underway, and then alleged Democrats were indulging in voting fraud. Here’s what you should know about the President’s claim.
Donald Trump, during his tenure at the White House, has earned the reputation of a president with a penchant for baseless claims. He was not averse to it on the voting day as Trump called the voting ‘fraud’ and said that he would move to the US Supreme Court to stop counting. Trump made these statements post election day on early Wednesday morning in the East Room of the White House even as votes were being counted.
The president didn’t stop here. He brazenly declared his victory over Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump also announced that he had won the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan despite the counting being underway in those places. No media outlet had come up with election results, no election official had declared Trump the winner and Biden was leading in many of the states at the time of Trump’s statement.
Trump made baseless claims of voting fraud even as counting is still underway.
Watch: Trump’s Full Statement Claiming Election Victory Over Joe Biden
Fueling The Divide
Trump’s allegations come at a time when America is deeply divided over political inclinations. Racial tensions have flared up across the country and the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the US. “This is a fraud on the American people. This is an embarrassment to the United States. We were getting ready to win the presidential elections. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said in the East Room. “Millions and millions of people have voted for us,” He said. “A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people.”
Trump went on to say that he wanted to move to the Supreme Court. “We want the law to be implemented in a proper manner. So I will be going to the Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. I don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 AM and add them to the list.” Trump’s speech came moments after his rival Biden had delivered a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, where he said every vote must be counted. “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who has won the presidential election,” Biden told the crowd in Wilmington.
Trump’s allegations come at a time when America is deeply divided over political inclinations.
Republican vice-president Mike Pence, who spoke shortly after Trump, tried to tone down the president’s remarks. He said Trump was ‘on the road to victory’. Trump at times contradicted himself, saying votes should be counted in Arizona, a state where he was trailing at that time.
Widespread Criticism Of Trump’s Claim
Trump’s election day statement drew criticism. Immediately after his speech, some top Republicans like former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and ex-Senator Rick Santorum lambasted the President. Media outlets cut direct telecasts of Trump’s speech and called him out for ‘untrue’ remarks. Channels like CNN ran a fact-check capsule to contradict Trump’s statement. News anchors like MSNBC’s Brian Williams, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and CNN’s Jake Tapper also criticized Trump for his ‘misleading’ and ‘false’ statements.
Christie, a Republican and an informal advisor to the president, said Trump’s statement was a ‘bad political decision’ and a ‘bad strategic decision’. Santorum, a Republican ally of Trump, said he was ‘very distressed for what Trump had uttered. “Trump is prone as we all know to bluster, being upset about how he’s said today,” Santorum said declaring victory was not wrong, but Trump shouldn’t have used the word ‘fraud’ during his speech.
NBC News and MSNBC cut into Trump’s address to point out that he was peddling falsehoods. Guthrie said, “We’re listening to Trump speaking at the White House, but we’ve got to cut here because many of his statements are just frankly not true. Williams told viewers that MSNBC was ‘reluctant’ to interrupt Trump’s speech, but said the president’s remarks were ‘not based on the facts at all.’ “Almost everything Trump said in his declaration of victory was not true,” Tapper said.
Media houses cut into Trump’s speech running fact-check tickers in real time.
CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell said Trump was guilty of ‘castrating the facts of the US presidential election results’. Trump has spoken against a Supreme Court decision allowing the extension to receive mail ballots in Pennsylvania. He claimed that such a verdict would result in cheating and incite violence. Trump has said time and again that ballots received after Election Day should not be counted.