Trump makes bizarre statement from the White House, wanting counting to stop as he leads in swing states before mail-in ballots are tabulated.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared premature victory and said he would go to the US Supreme Court to stop the counting so that he would win key electoral states he is leading in, giving him the presidency.
Speaking from the White House after 2 a.m. Washington time, Trump said there had been a “major fraud” committed on the American people because “millions and millions” of mail in ballots were allowed. “Frankly, we did win this election,” he declared.
Trump leads in the swing states of Wisconsin by 51 percent to 47 percent with 81 percent of the votes counted; Pennsylvania by 58 percent to 43 percent with 74 percent counted; North Carolina by 50 percent to 49 percent with 95 percent counted and Michigan percent to 45 percent with 68 percent counted.
There are about 1.4 million votes yet to be counted in Pennsylvania alone.
Biden is leading by 225 to 213 electoral votes, according to a count by The New York Times. CNN has Biden leading by 220 to 213. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke after Trump, appeared to ignore what the president said, calling for the votes to be counted.
Throughout his presidency Trump has repeatedly made wild statements, spoken, and on Twitter, that he quickly reversed himself on. It has made it hard to often take him seriously. It remains to be seen if Trump continues to pursue his line of “major fraud” because of the “millions of ballots” sent by mail that will take time to count.
If an authoritarian leader does not have the people around him to implement his orders, he is not a dictator, but an isolated fabulist. So it remains to be seen what will happen.
Trump has been against mail-in ballots for months when it became clear that these would favor Biden. Trump wants the counting to stop so he can be declared the winner of those battleground states that he leads in, which would give him at least 270 electoral votes.
If those mail-in ballots tip at least some of these states to Biden, he the former vice president could win. It would remain to be seen how Trump would react to that.
A Republican lawyer told CNN that Trump had no way to go to the US Supreme Court to have the counting stopped. He said such a legal move can only made in state courts, and that Trump had no basis to demand the counting be stopped.
Rick Santorum, the former Republican senator, told CNN he was “distressed” by Trump’s statements.
Trump had earlier tweeted that he won the election and that “they” are trying to steal it. Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein told CN Live! Thursday night that that was a dangerous signal to violent Trump supporters.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about two hours earlier to his supporters, saying he is “feeling good,” about winning. “It ain’t over until all the ballots are counted.” About 1.4 million mail-in votes have not yet been counted in Pennsylvania.
Biden said “we are going to win Pennsylvania. It will take time” to count the votes. “We may know in the morning,” he said. “Keep the faith, we are going to win this.”