With the official election results uncertain, an upbeat President Donald Trump strode to a White House podium early Wednesday to declare “we did win this election.”
As Trump was speaking at around 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time, control of the Senate and indeed the White House remained unclear, although Republicans had won several key races. Democrats, despite some Republican victories, were expected to remain in control of the House.
Long before election night, officials had said that the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, largely due to states that conducted mass mailings of ballots to all registered voters, would likely make it impossible to call a winner on election night.
But that did not stop Trump from projecting confidence that he would serve another four years as America’s leader.
“I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support, millions and millions of people voted for us tonight. And a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won’t stand for it. We will not stand for it,” Trump said.
In his remarks, Trump did hint that there was a note of uncertainty.
“And we were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off,” he said.
“I mean, literally we were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was so beautiful, so good,” Trump added. “Such a vote, such a success. The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers. This is a record. There’s never been anything like it to support our incredible movement.”
Trump touted his showing.
“We won states that we weren’t expected to win. Florida, we didn’t just win it. We won it by a lot. We won the great state of Ohio. We won Texas, we won Texas. We won Texas by 700,000 votes and they don’t even include it in the tabulations,” he said.
Trump then said he believed he won states that were not officially in his column.
“It’s also clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5 percent or 117,000 votes with only 7 percent left. They’re never going to catch us. They can’t catch us. Likewise we’ve clearly won North Carolina, where we’re up 1.4 percent. We’re 77,000 votes with only approximately 5 percent left. They can’t catch us,” he added.
Trump hinted that Arizona might not go his way.
“We also, if you look and you see Arizona, we have a lot of life in that. And somebody declared that it was a victory for …” Trump trailed off to avoid saying the name of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. “And maybe it will be. I mean, that’s possible. But certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get because we’re now just coming into what they call Trump territory. I don’t know what you call it. But these were friendly Trump voters. And that could be overturned.”
Trump then said he expects to win Pennsylvania.
“We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 690,000. These aren’t even close. This is not like, ‘Oh, it’s close.’ With 64 percent of the vote in, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch. And we’re coming into good Pennsylvania areas where they happen to like your president. I mean, it’s very good. So we’ll probably expand that,” Trump said.
“We’re winning Michigan, but I’ll tell you, I looked at the numbers. I said, ‘Wow.’ I looked, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot.’ By almost 300,000 votes and 65 percent of the vote is in and we’re winning Wisconsin,” he added.
Trump also said that he expected Texas would go his way as well.
“We had such a big night,” Trump said. “You just take a look at all of these states that we’ve won tonight, and then you take a look at the kind of margins that we’ve won it by, and all of a sudden, it’s not like we’re up 12 votes and we have 60 percent left. We won states. And all of a sudden I said, ‘What happened to the election? It’s off.’ And we have all these announcers saying what happened? And then they said, ‘Oh.'”
Trump predicted the election would transition from the polling place to the courtroom.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election,” Trump said.
Some pushed back against Trump for making that claim.
No, Trump has not already won the election, and it is deeply irresponsible for him to say he has.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 4, 2020
“When he says, ‘We did win this election, we’ve already won,’ that is not based in the facts at all,” Brian Williams said of the president’s claims. https://t.co/9ujL8QvpdP
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) November 4, 2020
That was one of the most dishonest and despotic speeches ever given by a president of the United States.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) November 4, 2020
Others said there is nothing wrong with Trump doing what former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg did months ago.
Pete Buttigieg declared victory in Iowa when zero percent of the vote had been counted.
Now he is on TV telling Americans that Trump shouldn’t declare victory until all votes are counted.
Such is the hypocrisy of the democratic party.
— Garikai Chengu (@ChenguGold) November 4, 2020
Trump said that he is ready to take his fight to court.
“So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said.
“We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. OK? It’s a very sad moment.”
Trump then reiterated his contention that when the votes are all in, he will be the winner.
“To me this is a very sad moment and we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” he said.
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