President Donald Trump Falsely Claims US Election Has Been Rigged
Donald Trump addressed the nation, claiming without evidence that he was being robbed of a second term.
The White House press conference was the president's first public appearance in more than 36 hours, and came after a day punctuated by tweets that showed his displeasure as his Democratic rival Joe Biden moved closer to victory.
During a 17-minute address in which he did not take questions, Trump made a series of inaccurate comments about the November 3 election and its conduct.
AFP breaks down what he said.
Also Read: False Claims Of Voter Fraud Rife Even As Counting Continues In Key States
"If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us," Trump said.
Vote counting is ongoing. The president appeared to be drawing a contrast between votes cast on election day and ballots counted later.
In several key states, including Pennsylvania, which Trump must win to be re-elected, in-person ballots were counted straight after polls closed, giving him a large lead over Biden.
But the counting of early ballots, sent by mail or deposited at official drop boxes due to the coronavirus pandemic, has since eroded the president's advantage. Both types of voting are legal.
"I've been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It's really destroyed our system. It's a corrupt system and it makes people corrupt even if they aren't, by nature. But they become corrupt. It's too easy," Trump said.
The president has consistently railed against mail-in voting, saying it would cause a "rigged" election. But US officials and international observers have said there has been no fraud.
"They're finding ballots all of a sudden. It's amazing how all those mail-in ballots are so one-sided," he said, though his own warnings may well have persuaded Republican voters against voting by mail.
Mail-in voting was in use in the United States long before the coronavirus pandemic, and it is a tried and tested system, though it has been greatly expanded this year.
"There's simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud," Ellen Weintraub of the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) said as part of a 66-tweet thread in May, as Trump ramped up his attacks on postal voting.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a September 24 Senate national security hearing, and said: "We take all election-related threats seriously... we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise."
Also Read: No, Wisconsin Did Not Report 101% Voter Turnout As Falsely Claimed
Claims of victory
"We were winning in all the key locations, by a lot actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret," Trump said at the White House.
He went on to claim that he won the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia by "a lot," and also said he was victorious in Michigan.
Trump was once ahead in all three states, but his leads dwindled when mail-in ballots were counted. Biden now has a significant advantage in Michigan -- US networks called it in his favor -- and is rapidly narrowing the gap in Pennsylvania. Trump's lead in Georgia fell to 0.1 percent while he was speaking.
"This is a case where they're trying to steal an election, they're trying to rig an election," the president said of his opponents.
There is no evidence to support that claim.
Control of the Senate
"We kept the Senate despite having twice as many seats to defend as Democrats," Trump said.
With votes still being counted and at least one runoff to come, definitive control of the upper house of the US legislature has not been determined. As of 0400 GMT on November 6, the split was 48-48 between Democrats and Republicans, according to The New York Times.
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