President Donald Trump defiantly refused to concede the president election to Joe Biden on Saturday, claiming the election is not over and saying his campaign would unleash a new round of lawsuits on Monday.
He charged the media with working the Biden campaign to declare a victory. Multiple news organizations called Pennsylvania as going for Biden, handing him the more than 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
‘We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,’ President Trump said in a statement released by his campaign.
The president was on his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, when the presidential election was called for his Democratic rival.
Trump argued several states would have recounts of their ballots. Georgia officials said there would be one there and the Trump campaign has requested one in Wisconsin. The campaign could also request one in other states with close contests, including Arizona.
‘Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,’ Trump said.
President Donald Trump defiantly refused to concede the president election to Joe Biden
President Trump leaving the White House on Saturday for his golf course in Sterling, Virginia
President Trump was playing golf on Saturday when the eletction was called for Joe Biden
Recounts can only be initiated under specific circumstances, and the rules vary from state to state. Regardless of how they’re conducted, recounts rarely change the outcome of a race.
HOW TRUMP REACTED
As he golfed, Trump’s campaign issues a lengthy statement:
‘We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
‘Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.
‘So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.’
President Trump said more legal action will come on Monday.
‘Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election,’ he said.
He accused the Biden campaign of hiding voter fraud by not cooperating with his team’s request for a recount.
‘It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access,’ he said. ‘So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.’
Before the race was called Trump showed public reluctance to concede the election amid an internal war among his family and advisers over his next steps.
Shortly before Biden was declared the winner of the contest, Trump went to his Virginia golf club, tweeting in route: ‘I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!’
As Trump golfs and tweets, Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer and one of the biggest advocates of the president keeping up the fight, was in Pennsylvania, leading a legal battle go try and win the state – without there is no second term for Trump.
Giuliani held a press conference in Philadelphia with a few poll workers he claimed ‘were uniformly deprived of their right to inspect any part of the mail-in ballots.’
He offered no proof of his allegations but said a lawsuit would be launched by the campaign on Monday.
The president argued in his statement Saturday: ‘In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.’
But Trump’s campaign lawyer conceded to a Philadelphia judge on Thursday that the president’s team did have election observers in the room to watch mail-in ballots be counted in Pennsylvania.
‘I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?’ said U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond, a President George W. Bush appointee, after Trump lawyers conceded that observers had been admitted to the facility.
Joe Biden won Pennsylvania on Saturday, giving him enough electoral votes for a win
Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, held a news conference in Philadelphia on Saturday
President Trump complained his campaign was not allowed to have observers watch ballot counting but, above, members of both the Democratic and Republican Party watch as Lehigh County workers count ballots in Allentown, Pa.
A Republican observer, center, watches as Lehigh County workers count ballots
The Trump campaign was trying to get an injunction to halt vote counting in Philadelphia, a heavily Democratic area that was expected to add to Joe Biden’s vote total.
They argued their observers had been unfairly barred from parts of the city’s ballot-counting area inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
But, under questioning, Trump lawyer Jerome Marcus conceded: ‘There’s a non-zero number of people in the room.’
Diamond urged the Trump campaign and the Philadelphia election board to come to a resolution. The two parties ultimately agreed that a fixed number of observers from each campaign — up to sixty — could be admitted, according to NPR.
The Trump’s campaign suit was then dismissed as moot.
The Trump campaign – for all its lawsuits in the battleground states – have offered no solid proof of voter fraud. And the election observers – volunteers from both parties watching officials count ballots – have flagged no major incidents with the counting.
Quietly, the campaign seems to be preparing for a concession.
No major official from the re-election effort is scheduled to be on one of the Sunday public affairs shows – the all-important programs that set the agenda for a week and would offer Trump’s team a chance to argue the president’s false claim of illegal votes.
But a concession would require one thing: the cooperation of President Trump.
And no one seems to know how to break the news to him.
‘They know he’s lost, but no one seems willing to tell King Lear or Mad King George that they’ve lost the empire,’ one Republican in frequent touch with the White House told The Washington Post.
Trump’s allies are divided into two camps – one led by his family that thinks he still has a path to victory through the legal system and the others who think it’s time to concede.
The Trump campaign has named David Bossie, a Trump adviser who is not a lawyer, to lead the legal challenges.
On Saturday morning, before the race was officially called, Trump fired off a series of angry tweets, making a series of unfounded claims including that tens of thousands of mail-in votes had been ‘illegally’ cast because they arrived after 8 pm on election day, hundreds of thousands more should not be considered because they were not observed being counted and that he had won ‘by a lot’.
He tweeted that his supporters have been banned from observing vote counting in some of the key swing states despite shouting ‘stop the count!’ and that officials had been ‘covering windows’ to block their views and forbidding them from overseeing the process.
He also promised a ‘big’ press conference in Philadelphia, where vote counting continues, where he said his lawyers would be present, then was seen leaving the White House in casual dress.
While in the car, he tweeted a link to a Breitbart story about a ‘glitch’ in vote counting software, then said: ‘I WON THIS ELECTION BY A LOT!’. He was seen arriving at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, shortly afterwards.
Trump has not yet offered any proof of his claims. His campaign has vowed to file lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada to argue that the results cannot be trusted, and he is demanding a recount in Wisconsin.
President Trump was seen leaving the White House on Saturday morning after firing off a barrage of tweets claiming the election results were fraudulent. It’s unclear where he is going
The President was dressed casually with a white MAGA hat and sweater. He was not seen in person yesterday
Overnight, faith among Trump’s allies seemed to dwindle and calls for him to concede the race mounted.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham prepared viewers for the likelihood that he had lost.
She said: ‘For now, it’s time to take our gains, learned from our defeats, and confidently expand one of the greatest political movements for the past 100 years,’ she said.
She said a Trump defeat did not mean that the ‘America First movement’ was over, but that ‘President Trump’s legacy will only become more significant if he focuses on moving the country forward’.
Trump tweeted again on Saturday morning claiming the election had been fraudulent and that he’d won ‘by a lot’
Donald Trump Jr., who earlier in the week told his father to ‘fight until the death’ and urged their fans not to give up at a rally, posted a photograph of the pair on Instagram in the Oval Office, which he captioned: ‘Thanks for always fighting so hard for America dad, it’s an honor to be in that fight with you.’
It was a softened tone from the angry rally where he said America had turned into a ‘banana republic’ that had to be reclaimed.
The Wall Street Journal – which, like Fox, is owned by Rupert Murdoch – published an op-ed from its editorial board urging Trump to concede.
‘If Mr. Biden has 270 Electoral College votes at the end of the counting and litigation, President Trump will have a decision to make.
‘We hope in that event he would concede gracefully,’ they said.
In its editorial board piece on Friday night, the Wall Street Journal said Trump had ‘accomplished a great deal’ since 2015.
‘He has accomplished a great deal since descending on that Trump Tower escalator in 2015, including his historic first victory and a strong re-election performance when he was supposed to lose in a rout. We’d hate to see that legacy ruined by a refusal to accept the normal transfer of power.
‘But if defeat comes, he will serve himself and his country best by honoring America’s democratic traditions and leaving office with dignity.’
Trump offered no indication that he plans to concede in the run up to the race being called, even as Biden inched closer to victory. The president spent Friday evening tweeting furiously to air a series of fraud conspiracies, and before Biden began his address had tweeted: ‘Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!’
Through the evening he shared attacks on Fox News calling Arizona early in the race, claims that mail-in ballots postmarked after election day were counted and suggestions that poll watchers were barred from watching counts.
In his Friday night speech, Biden urged patience but said he was confident he would win.
Earlier, his campaign trolled President Trump as it became increasingly clear that the Democratic nominee would be the next president of the United States.
‘As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfect capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,’ Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said Friday.
In his address, Biden added: ‘No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot and to improve the lives of our people.’
‘We may be opponents – but we are not enemies. We are Americans,’ he continued. That didn’t stop him from boasting about wins, however.
‘One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done all across America,’ he told a crowd of socially distanced reporters and staff. ‘We are going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years. We are going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years.’
‘And we re-built the Blue Wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin.’
Biden did not answer questions on whether Trump, who said his opponent could not ‘wrongfully claim the office of the president’, should concede.
However, a spokesman for his campaign said: ‘The United States Government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.’
Biden did indicate he expects a result in the presidential contest on Saturday.
‘I hope to be talking to you tomorrow,’ he said.
He counselled patience as the vote tally continues and anxious Americans wait to learn who will be their next president.
‘I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow and does as low it goes, it can be numbing. Never forget, the tallies aren’t just numbers, they were represent votes and voters. They exercised this fundamental right to have their voice heard.
‘What’s becoming clearer each hour, is that record number of Americans of all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same. It given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They made it clear, they want the country to come together, not continue to pull apart. The people spoke,’ he said.
Ironically, minutes after he finished speaking, it was revealed that the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has become the latest person there to test positive for COVID-19.
Joe Biden addressed the nation late Friday night as his leads expanded in Pennsylvania and Nevada putting him on the cusp of winning the presidency
Speaking alongside his running mate Kamala Harris, Biden said he is on his way to a ‘clear win’, predicting more than 300 electoral votes in his favor
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A United States Marine stands guard in front of the west wing at the White House, signalling that President Trump has entered
Meadows, 61, was last in the White House on Thursday, CNN reported.
He would in theory be critical to a handover of power, but Biden indicated that he and Harris have started the transition process without saying whether they had received help from the Trump administration.
‘We are not waiting to get the work done. We are starting the process,’ he said.
And he vowed to bring the country together.
Biden said he believed people were sick of politics being so nasty.
‘No matter who you voted for, I am certain of one thing: the vast majority of those 150 million Americans who voted, they want to get the vitriol out of our politics. We are not going to agree on a lot of issues, but at least we can agree to be civil with one another. We have to put the anger and the demonization behind us it’s time for us to come together as a nation to heal. It’s not going to be easy, but we have to try.
‘My responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation and I want you to know that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me. That is the job. That is the job. It’s called the duty of care for all Americans,’ he said.
Trump is yet to react to Biden’s remarks, however he did fire off a series of retweets on Twitter supporting his claims of voter fraud and cheating as his opponent spoke.
Minutes after Biden finished speaking, it was revealed that the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has become the latest person there to test positive for COVID-19
Among the tweets was one by co-founder of Real Clear Politics Tom Bevan who criticized Fox News’s early call in Arizona, where Biden currently leads by a slim margin.
Bevan called the move ‘totally unnecessary’ while pointing to how they waited hours to make a call in Florida when Trump was up by three points.
Trump also retweeted a clip of Jim Jordan, the Ohio congressman who was re-elected on Tuesday, who told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the situation was ‘worse than we thought’.
Jordan said people in Pennsylvania were ‘allowing votes to come in after the day’ – something which the courts ruled could happen, provided the ballots were postmarked by election day.
He also railed at ‘the transparency issue’, claiming – without evidence – that election monitors like Dave Bossie were being asked to leave.
‘This is the first time in history that you have a party systematically set out to win the election after the election, and it has to be stopped.’
Trump tweeted: ‘Incredibly stated Jim!’
Earlier he also tweeted: ‘I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by. Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!’
Demonstrators celebrate and dance at the “Donald Trump is Over” party in Washington Square Park in New York City
Donald Trump spent Friday evening tweeting furiously to air a series of fraud conspiracies
People listen to Biden’s speech from Delaware through speakers outside the White House, as votes continue to be counted four days after Election Day
People gather during a demonstration held by supporters of democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden at Washington Square Park in New York
Read Joe Biden’s late-night address to the nation in full
We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers tell a clear and convincing story: We are going to win this race. Just look at what has happened since yesterday. In 24 hours, we were behind in Georgia. Now we’re ahead and we’re going to win that state.
Twenty-four hours ago, we were behind in Pennsylvania, and we are going to win Pennsylvania, and now we’re ahead. We’re winning Arizona. We’re winning Nevada. In fact, our lead just doubled in Nevada.
We’re on track for over 300 Electoral College votes. And look at the national numbers. We’re going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us. We’ve gotten over 74 million votes. Let me repeat that: 74 million votes. That’s more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America. And out vote total is still growing.
We’re beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes, and that margin is still growing as well. One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done across America.We are going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years. We are going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years.
And we re-built the blue wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin – the heartland of this nation.
I know watching these vote tallies on TV move very slowly, and as slow as it goes it can be numbing.
But never forget: the tallies aren’t just numbers – they represent votes and voters, men and women who exercised their fundamental right to have their voice heard. And what is becoming clearer each hour is that a record number of Americans – from all races, faiths, religions – chose change over more of the same.
They have given us a mandate for action on Covid, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They made it clear they want the country to come together – not continue to pull apart. But while we’re waiting for the final results, I want people to know we are not waiting to get to work done and start the process.
Yesterday, Senator Harris and I held meetings with groups of experts on the public health and economic crises this country is facing. The pandemic as you know is is getting more worrisome all across the country.
Daily cases are skyrocketing, and it is now believed that we could see spikes as many as 200,000 cases in a single day. The death toll is approaching 240,000 lives lost to this virus. That’s 240,000 empty chairs at the kitchen tables and dining tables across America.
We’ll never be able to measure all the pain, the loss, and the suffering so many families have experienced. I know how it feels to lose someone, and I want them to know they’re not alone. Our hearts break with you.
And I want everyone to know on Day One, we are going to put our plan to control this virus into action. We can’t save any of the lives that have been lost, but we can save a lot of lives in the months ahead.
Senator Harris and I also heard yesterday about how this recovery is slowing because of the failure to get the pandemic under control. More than 20 million people are on unemployment. Millions are worried about making rent and putting food on the table. Our economic plan will put a focus on a path to a strong recovery.
We both know tensions can be high after a tough election, the one like we’ve had. But we need to remember, we need to remain calm, patient, and let the process work out as we count all the votes.
You know, we’re proving again what we have proved for 244 years in this country: democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen. People will be heard. Our journey toward a more perfect union, and it keeps moving on.
In America we hold strong views, we have strong disagreements, and that’s OK. Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy, and strong disagreements are healthy. They’re a sign of vigorous debate, of deeply held views.
But we have to remember: the purpose of our politics isn’t total, unrelenting, unending warfare. No. The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot, to improve the lives of our people.
We may be opponents – but we are not enemies. We are Americans.
No matter who you voted for, I’m certain of one thing: The vast majority of the 150 million Americans, they want to get the vitriol out of our politics. We’re certainly not going to agree on a lot of the issues, but we can at least agree to be civil to one another. Let’s put the anger and the demonisation behind us.
It’s time for us to come together as a nation and heal. It’s not gonna be easy, but we have to try.
My responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me. That’s the job. That’s the job. It’s called a duty of care, for all Americans.
We have serious problems to deal with — Covid, the economy, racial justice, climate change. We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare. And more than that, we have such an incredible opportunity to build the future we want for our kids and grandkids.
I’ve said it many, many times: I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of our nation. There is no reason we can’t own the 21st century. We just need to remember who we are. This is the United States of America, and there has never been anything, anything we’ve been unable to do when we’ve done it together.
I hope to be talking to you tomorrow. I want to thank you all. May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.
Trump is yet to react to Biden’s remarks, however on Twitter he retweeted a series of posts supporting his claims of voter fraud and cheating as he spoke
Earlier on Friday the Supreme Court ordered all late mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted separately, as Joe Biden continued to pick up steam.
All Pennsylvania counties must temporarily segregate ballots that arrived after 8pm on Election Day under an order issued by Justice Samuel Alito Friday night following an appeal lodged by Republicans earlier to exclude those votes from the total count.
Trump’s campaign had filed a motion to block a decision by the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that are delivered through Friday.
Alito on Friday agreed to set those votes apart however, it came after Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had already instructed county boards to separate them – limiting Trump’s ability to claim the court order as a victory.
Most of the votes are believed to favor Biden, and Republicans say they should be disqualified under Pennsylvania state law. The concern is that if they are mixed with other ballots, it would render any attempt to disqualify them impossible.
But whether or not those ballots are ultimately counted seems unlikely to affect who gets the state’s 20 electoral votes now that Biden is leading by a 28,877-vote margin, as of midnight.
As of late Friday, there were approximately 89,000 mail ballots still to be counted in Pennsylvania, with the majority in Allegheny County, the second largest county in the state.
Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.
Allegheny could be what brings Biden to 270 electoral votes. The county includes Democratic strongholds of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where he holds 80.78% of the vote.
Biden’s plans to address the nation had prompted an angry tweet from Donald Trump sent from the White House where he had spent the day reportedly fuming as he watched television and spoke to confidantes.
His legal path to challenging the election unclear and his mathematical path to retaining power apparently almost closed, Trump railed: ‘Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!’
Then he tweeted – apparently somewhat plaintively – that his initial ‘big leads’ had vanished, something which election watchers had predicted for weeks before the election.
‘I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by. Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!’ he tweeted.
But vote tallies in Pennsylvania and Nevada showed Biden’s lead – not Trump’s increasing.
In the White House, Trump’s inner circle were scrambling to work out how to tell him he had lost, while he vowed defiantly to pursue legal challenges to the count in a series of states, claiming he was fighting for ‘election integrity,’ the day after an extraordinary 17-minute tirade claiming he was the victim of a ‘conspiracy’ and that counting the votes was part of the ‘fraud.’
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney earlier on Friday said it was time for Trump to ‘put his big boy pants on’ and concede.