Donald Trump appeared to almost acknowledge defeat for the first time Friday as he stopped himself from uttering the words ‘Biden administration’ during his first address to the nation since he lost the election.
Trump insisted on Friday he would never put the US into a coronavirus lockdown but said ‘time will tell’ if another administration takes office in January and does so – two days after Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisor said the US should go into a national six-week lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.
Trump stopped short of mentioning Biden’s name, however this is the closest he has ever come to acknowledging the President-elect will succeed him.
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Donald Trump appeared to almost acknowledge defeat for the first time Friday as he stopped himself from uttering the words ‘Biden administration’ during his first address to the nation since he lost the election
In his first public remarks since Biden last Saturday was widely projected the winner, Trump said he expected a coronavirus vaccine to be available for the entire population as soon as April, amid a crush of new infections that has pushed daily case counts to record highs.
In broadcast remarks in the White House Rose Garden, Trump showed the first signs that he may be coming to terms with the possibility of an upcoming Biden administration, though he stopped short of conceding the race and did not mention his Democratic rival by name.
‘Ideally, we won’t go to a lockdown. I will not go, this administration will not be going to a lockdown,’ he said.
‘Hopefully the, the – uh – whatever happens in the future – who knows which administration will be. I guess time will tell.’
Trump’s insistence his administration will not issue a lockdown comes just two days after Dr Michael Osterholm, Biden’s coronavirus advisor said he believes shutting down businesses nationally for four to six weeks could prevent the US from entering ‘COVID hell’.
Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said Wednesday a national lockdown may be the best way to keep hospitalizations and deaths down across the country until a vaccine can be distributed.
The scientist is one of the public health experts the Biden transition team has appointed to its advisory panel fuelling speculation the President-elect will follow his guidance over the coronavirus response.
Trump stopped short of saying Biden’s name but it’s the closest Trump has ever come to acknowledging that the President-elect will succeed him
Trump was speaking in public for the first time since he lost the election In the White House Rose Garden Trump said he was giving an ‘update’ on Operation Warp Speed and vaccine distribution after Pfizer breakthrough. Pictured him listening to other speakers at the event
Trump’s near-slip to say the ‘Biden administration’ and his focus on a national lockdown during Friday’s public address seems to suggest the president may finally be coming around to his loss.
Publicly he is refusing to concede but inside the White House, aides including daughter Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have reportedly urged him to admit defeat to salvage his reputation.
Since the November 3 election, he has persisted with unfounded accusations of widespread voting fraud.
But while he has continued to make such claims on Twitter, he also did not repeat them in his public remarks on Friday.
The last time Trump spoke – in the White House briefing room two days after the election – he said without evidence that if ‘legal’ votes were counted he would ‘easily win’ the election.
Biden solidified his victory over Trump on Friday after the state of Georgia went his way, leaving Trump little hope of reversing the outcome through legal challenges and recounts
Meanwhile, Biden solidified his victory over Trump on Friday after the state of Georgia went his way, leaving Trump little hope of reversing the outcome through legal challenges and recounts.
The Republican president said on Friday that he expects an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine ‘extremely soon.’
Pfizer has said it expects to report required safety data next week and can then apply for an emergency use authorization.
The remarks came after Trump received an update on ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ an administration effort to turbocharge development of a vaccine.
Criticism of the administration’s response to the virus became a rallying cry for Democrats ahead of the elections.
America is currently experiencing a growing surge in infections with the number of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations hitting record highs this week.
New infections across the country hit a record high for the third consecutive day with 153,496 cases on Thursday.
Hospitalizations also reached a single-day high with 67,096 patients currently being treated across the country.
Deaths, however, dropped slightly with 919 American dying on Thursday.
It comes after the death toll spiked a day earlier to 1,893, which is the highest number of fatalities since May 8 during the initial peak of the outbreak.
In total, 10.5 million people have been infected and 242,500 have died.
‘He should be ashamed of himself’: Cuomo slams ‘bully’ Trump for threatening to withhold vaccine from New York until governor admits it’s safe and says real reason president is angry is criminal probes
The governor of New York has hit back at Donald Trump’s threat to withhold a vaccine for residents of his state, as part of a long-running feud between the two Queens-born men which escalated when Andrew Cuomo said he wanted Trump’s vaccine independently vetted.
Trump said on Friday afternoon in the Rose Garden that a COVID vaccine would be available to the general public – ‘except for New York’. The state has a population of 19.5 million.
On Friday night Cuomo responded to Trump’s announcement, describing Trump as a ‘bully’.
‘He tries to bully people – he tries to bully governors, he uses government as a retaliatory tool,’ Cuomo told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
‘I’m not going to let a bully push New Yorkers around, period.’
Trump’s ‘bullying’ of New York included withholding the vaccine. Cuomo said it was misguided.
‘As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exceptions of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say: ‘I don’t think it’s good politically. I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint,’ said Trump.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, said Trump was ‘a bully’ and vowed not to be intimidated
NY to Trump: Andrew Cuomo lashed back at Trump on MSNBC saying: ‘He should be ashamed of himself.’
Donald Trump spoke to a tiny audience of journalists and officials including in the front row Alex Azar, his HHS Secretary (third from left), Mike Pence, the outgoing vice president (third from right), and Dr. Deborah Birx (second from right), a Coronavirus taskforce member who had not been seen at the White House in weeks
‘He wants to take his time with the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,’ Trump said.
‘He doesn’t trust the fact that it is this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say,’ the president said.
‘Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he is ready for it. Otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t to be giving it to its people immediately. And I know many – I know the people of New York very well. I know they wanted, so the governor will let us know,’ he added.
He was referring to Cuomo’s comments on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Monday when he called the news of Pfizer’s breakthrough on a potential vaccine ‘good news, bad news.’
Trump‘s remarks came during his first public appearance in eight days, for an event billed as an update on ‘Operation Warp Speed’.
The president came out into the Rose Garden, 26 minutes late, and called his coronavirus response the ‘single greatest mobilization in U.S. history.’
The number of people in hospital from COVID as he spoke was estimated to be 67,000; 153,000 people were diagnosed with it Thursday.
Cuomo, like other governors including Gavin Newsom of California, has also set up a panel to review the safety of any vaccines which become available.
‘The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,’ Cuomo said.
Trump said it was too bad the governor, who became a national figure based on his handling of the pandemic in his state, ‘doesn’t trust’ his White House.
Cuomo appeared on MSNBC less than an hour later to say that Trump’s charge was untrue and that he was ready to distribute the vaccine. ‘We’re all excited about the possibilities about a vaccine,’ he said.
He added: ‘He should be ashamed of himself. He uses the government as a retaliatory tool. That’s what he does.’ And he added: ‘None of what he says is true. Surprise, surprise. As soon as Trump delivers me a dose, I will be ready to administer it. Period.’
The state – along with other Democratic ones including California – has set up a panel to review the virus, which Cuomo said was ‘because the president has politicized’ it.
And Cuomo told CNN he believed the vaccine move was because Trump has ‘possible criminal exposure,’ a reference to two tax probes – one possibly criminal being carried out by the Manhattan DA, and one civil, led by the state attorney general.
Cuomo said he would fight the vaccine refusal and said it was not accurate to single out New York.
He said that New York was among several states that have established scientific panels to independently approve any coronavirus vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration ‘to give people confidence in the approval process’ in light of concerns that it has been politicized.
‘As soon as the FDA approves it, we will have our panel approve it, seven other states will review it,’ Cuomo said. ‘And then I can say to the people of New York, ‘I know you were dubious, but we had a separate panel review it — it’s safe, take it.”
Cuomo said that the state panel’s review of the FDA’s protocol in approving a potential vaccine would be ‘simultaneous’ with the delivery of the vaccine, such that ‘there will be no delay – as soon as they get us the drug, we are ready to distribute it.’
But Cuomo expressed confidence that such a review would not reveal any problems with a potential vaccine.
‘I don’t think the FDA is going to play games at this point,’ he said. ‘So I don’t anticipate any real issue.’
In the Rose Garden Trump also – again – railed against lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But that rant bumped into the reality that he had lost the election, something he has yet to publicly concede.
‘Ideally we won’t go to a lockdown,’ Trump said. ‘I will not go – this administration will not be going to a lockdown.’
After saying he administration ‘won’t go to a lockdown,’ Trump came the closest yet to acknowledging that his policies on the virus might not be in place for the long term.
‘Whatever happens in the future – who knows which administration it will be, time will tell,’ Trump said. Ironically, he was on his feet when news broke from Pennsylvania that a judge there had thrown out his legal bid to stop thousands of mail-in ballots being counted there, his latest defeat on a grim day for his legal teams.
Trump has not made a statement conceding the race to Biden in any way, despite Biden being on track to win 306 electoral votes.
His statement appeared to acknowledge the potential that Joe Biden might be the president in a few months – with his own power to at least shape policy on lockdowns. He left the Rose Garden without answering questions as reporters shouted them anyway, including: ‘When will you admit you lost the election sir?’
Trump spoke as:
- His daughter Ivanka fled to New York in a move certain to be read as telling him she knows it is all over;
- Georgia was called for Joe Biden and North Carolina for Trump, ending 10 days of waiting for projected results across the country and putting Biden on 306 Electoral College votes – what Trump who got same in 2016 called a ‘landslide’;
- His legal strategy to stop vote results being certified appeared in tatters with his campaign abandoning litigation in Arizona, being thrown out of court and their evidence called ‘not accurate’ in Michigan;
- In Pennsylvania one of the two major legal firms suing on his behalf quit amid a staff rebellion and a federal appeals court dismissed Republican attempts to stop late ballots being counted;
- Trump himself told Geraldo Rivera he would ‘do the right thing’ but demanded the veteran journalist ‘look into’ an entirely debunked conspiracy theory that an election software company changed the results in Biden’s favor;
- Two top aides launched a denial tour of Fox programs with Peter Navarro telling Maria Bartiromo there would be a second Trump term and Kayleigh McEnany saying he would be at ‘his second inauguration’;
- 130 Secret Service officers dedicated to protecting him and his family were revealed to be quarantined after testing positive or being exposed to COVID while at the White House or guarding his rallies;
- Pro-Trump demonstrators including the Proud Boys began to descend on Washington D.C. for a ‘Million MAGA March’ on Saturday which Trump tweeted he might go to – but which anarchist groups said they would target;
- Top CEOs were revealed to have plans to speak out if he tries to cling to power and will threaten corporate relocations if Republican legislatures try to overturn the popular vote in states which went to Biden.
His Rose Garden speech offered a Trumpian response to the growing inevitability of his departure from office.
Trump, again, blamed the case spike on enhanced testing. ‘The case levels are high because of the fact that we have the best testing program anywhere in the world,’ the president said. ‘We test far more than any other country, so it shows, obviously, more cases.’
Not only did he rail against Cuomo, he took aim at the vaccine manufacturer itself.
Back to the Oval: Donald Trump was photographed walking back to the presidential office which he is fighting not to vacate on January 20 – with one minor legal victory and at least 15 defeats to show for it
Over to you Mike: Mike Pence also spoke in the Rose Garden – where he admitted that states were now so badly hit by COVID that they were seeking federal help getting PPE from the national stockpile
He claimed Pfizer, which announced a promising coronavirus vaccine on Monday, made an ‘unfortunate mistake’ and an ‘unfortunate misrepresentation’ for saying the company wasn’t part of the Trump administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed.’
Trump claimed that it was because Pfizer was promised funds from the federal government to buy the vaccine once developed. Pfizer purposely didn’t take Operation Warp Speed dollars to create the product.
‘Pfizer said it wasn’t part of Warp Speed but that turned out to be a unfortunate misrepresentation, they are part – that’s why we gave them the $1.95 million, billion dollars – it was an unfortunate mistake that they made when they said it,’ Trump said. The figure was $1.95 billion for doses.
‘Our investment will make it possible for the vaccine to be provided by Pfizer free of charge,’ Trump said.
Trump also called what Pfizer developed a ‘China virus vaccine.’
‘Operation Warp Speed is unequaled and unrivaled anywhere in the world and leaders of other countries have called me to congratulate us on what we’ve been able to do,’ the president boasted.
After Trump and other health team members spoke, Vice President Mike Pence took to the lectern, assuming his familiar role of Trump-booster.
Fans of the 45th President were making their way down Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. when they came up against crowds of left-wing activists brandishing signs ridiculing the Commander-in-chief over his election loss
In his calm baritone, Pence said he ‘was grateful to just have a few minutes today to commend the team of Operation Warp Speed,’ and by extension, Trump.
‘You told the American people that we would have a vaccine before the end of the year, and some scoffed at that timetable. But I can tell you the team on Operation Warp Speed didn’t,’ he said.
‘And as you have articulated her Mr. President the American people can be comforted with all the news this week that help is on the way,’ Pence said, looking at Trump while complimenting him, as Trump looked on.
It was similar to the obsequious tone Pence has adopted throughout the administration while navigating the public and private demands of the job.
But Pence’s comments Friday came in a dramatically different political environment. Long considered a top contender for Republicans in 2024 after his loyal tenure the last four years, Trump advisors in recent days have put out word that Trump himself might stage a political comeback in four years.
The Constitution sets a maximum of two full terms which do not have to be served consecutively.
That possibility dramatically changes the shape of the field of Republican conservatives who hoped to succeed Trump or win his blessing.
Pence has strong support among religious conservatives, which is one reason Trump picked him, and gets warm receptions at Trump events. But it is not at all clear he has the political support to try to out-muscle Trump if he sought the Republican nomination again, having essentially taken over the Republican Party.
On the virus, Pence was upbeat, even as he acknowledged ‘we see cases rising around the country’ as well as ‘hospitalizations rising around the country.’
He was pointing to the record increase in infections, beyond 10 million, and rates surpassing the worst of the pandemic in the spring.
He said ‘before the year is out, we’ll be able to administer a vaccine’ to tens of millions of Americans.
He said the coronavirus task force would meet with governors by phone Monday. Those calls have routinely leaked.
‘I want to encourage the American people with the news,’ he said. ‘We’re going to move heaven and earth to make sure that your family has access to the level of health care that we’d want any of our family members to have.’
He said the team is receiving requests from states for PPE – an indication of shortages of the personal protective gear critical for health providers.
But he said ‘we are meeting all of those requests.’ He said requests could be met from the national stockpile and the private market.
In office, but almost at the end of his power: Donald Trump was photographed sitting at the Resolute desk after he spoke but his fight to stay there after January 20 is looking doomed
Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar also heaped praise on Trump, with upbeat remarks that also did not dwell on the swelling scale of the pandemic.
The Washington Post reported this week that at a task force meeting, he made comments suggesting that the FCA contributed to a delay in the Pfizer vaccine announcement, in essence bolstering Trump’s arguments it was politically motivated that it came days after the election.
On Friday in the Rose Garden, many of his comments were about Trump himself. ‘Thank you, Mr. President for providing the leadership that’s gotten us where we are today,’ he said.
He said the vaccine program’s success came ‘only because of the bold vision you announced not even six months ago right here in the Rose Garden.’
He then provided an update on a potential working vaccine by Moderna. ‘His support was indispensable at each step of the way.’
‘The president gave us the full financial support we needed,’ Azar said. Like Trump, he went after the New York governor, calling him one who ‘injected politics into the process and suggested the possibility of intentionally delaying access to an FDA authorized vaccine.’
He called it ‘simply unconscionable.’ Azar will return to the private sector on January 20.
The results put Biden on 306 electoral college votes and Donald Trump on 232 – precisely the same numbers, although not from the same states, as the president’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, which he called a ‘massive landslide.’
The call shows the monumental uphill struggle Trump would have to overturn the popular will in multiple states – at least three and as many as six.
The calls end the longest-drawn out post-election wait for projected results in history.
Arizona had been called late Thursday night, confirming a contentious projection made early on the Wednesday morning after the election by Fox News and Associated Press, to the fury of Trump and his entourage. His son-in-law Jared Kushner even tried phoning Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s owner, to have it with drawn but was rebuffed.
Additionally Republican senator Martha McSally finally conceded to Democratic candidate Mark Kelly in the Arizona senate race, meaning she enters history as having been appointed twice to vacant senate seats there and twice lost her attempts to keep them.
Her race had been called on Wednesday but she hung on for more than a week before bowing to reality.
Despite Biden being declared winner of the election on Saturday, Trump has refused to concede and continues to make baseless claims of election fraud.
An official audit of more than half of Arizona‘s counties, representing 86% of the population, found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in another blow to President Donald Trump‘s campaign’s legal and rhetorical push.
Eight of 15 Arizona counties, including Maricopa – the state’s most populated – turned in hand count results and found ‘no discrepancies.’
Meanwhile in Georgia election officials in its 159 counties started counting ballots Friday morning for a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.
The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin -Biden leads – Trump by 14,000 votes – meant a full hand count was necessary.
The audit is a new requirement that was included in a 2019 law that also provided guidelines that the state used to purchase a new election system from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.
The final numbers in the audit count will almost certainly be slightly different from the numbers previously reported by the counties but the overall outcome should remain the same, said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system for the secretary of state’s office.
The results will not be released piecemeal as the counties finish counting but instead will be announced once the full tally is complete, he said, adding that the results of the new count from the audit is what will be certified.
There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead stood at 0.28 percentage points as of Thursday afternoon.
Once the results from the audit are certified, the losing campaign can request that recount, which will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes, Raffensperger said.
The recount came as Trump suffered a trifecta of legal setbacks in a single day, even as he continues to make his case that the election was ‘rigged’ and that he will prevail.
The latest bad news for the president came in Michigan, where a judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop the canvassing of ballots in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
In addition to ruling against Trump, Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny called the campaign’s case ‘not credible.’
‘No formal challenges were filed. However, sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and the city of Detroit,’ Kenny wrote in an opinion released Friday. ‘Plaintiff’s interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible,’ he wrote, the Detroit News reported.
In Arizona, Trump’s lawyers abandoned a suit seeking a hand count of ballots after a series of networks called the race for Biden.
Biden’s lead exceeds the number of outstanding ballots now, and dropping the suit acknowledges the state will be in Biden’s column.
And in Pennsylvania, a law firm representing the Trump campaign in its claims of fraud seeking to overturn the election results in battleground Pennsylvania has withdrawn from the case.
The Ohio-based Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had brought the suit claiming Pennsylvania’s ‘two-tiered’ voting system was illegal. Its expansive case called into question millions of votes cast by Pennsylvania residents who voted by mail in accordance with state law.
The firm was facing a backlash for its legal work, was facing public pressure from the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans that worked to defeat President Trump, for seeking to ‘overturn the will of the American people.’
Amid the legal retreats and defeats, Trump suffered more glaring losses on the electoral map. TV networks on Friday afternoon called the closely contested state of Georgia for Democrat Joe Biden.
Hours earlier, they called Arizona for Biden. That set up a Biden win that was not particularly close: 306 to 232 in the Electoral Collage, with a lead of about 5 million in the popular vote. Trump himself had crowed about his own margin, which was also 306 to 232 in 2016, as a ‘landslide.’
Trump told longtime friend Geraldo Rivera he will ‘do the right thing’ as the developments went against him – but still
The president reached out for a ‘heartfelt phone call’ with longtime talk host Rivera earlier Friday.
He said Trump told him he is a ‘realist’ who would ‘do the right thing’ but also wants to see ‘what states do in terms of certification,’ he wrote.
President Donald Trump told Geraldo Rivera as a ‘realist’ who would ‘do the right thing,’ according to the talk host and TV personality
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said Friday the White House is ‘under the assumption that there will be a second Trump term.’ He also echoed many of President Trump’s unsupported allegations of widespread voter fraud in the elections
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been brandishing affidavits from Republicans claiming they witnessed fraud
He also said Trump ‘seemed particularly aggrieved by the savage attacks on his presidency from the minute he was elected’ – an indication Trump is still on the political warpath.
The comments come in the context of Trump’s multi-state legal attack on the election count in states Joe Biden carried or where the race is close.
It does not include a specific determination that Trump will concede to President-elect Joe Biden.
‘Just had heartfelt phone call w friend,’ Geraldo tweeted.
‘He sounded committed to fighting for every vote & if he loses, talking more about all he’s accomplished,’ said Rivera.
He later told Fox News: ‘I got no impression tat the president is plotting the overthrow of the elected government.’
But quite what Trump is being told by the few aides who will risk going to the White House is unclear.
Hardly any have spoken in public since the election loss became clear.
On Friday White House economic advisor Peter Navarro said he is operating under the assumption of a ‘second Trump term’ as he parroted the president’s claims of voter fraud.
Navarro made the comments at the White House, where President Trump has not spoken publicly in days, instead blasting out repeated tweets claiming fraud in states that Joe Biden won or where Biden is leading.
‘We’re moving forward here at the White House under the assumption that there will be a second Trump term,’ Navarro told host Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network.
Then he referenced fraud claims, where the Trump campaign has yet to provide evidence of the large-scale fraud it alleges, and several individual claims have failed to pan out.
‘I think it’s really important before people’s heads explode here to understand that what we seek here is verifiable ballots, certifiable ballots and an investigation into what are growing numbers of allegations of fraud under signed affidavits by witnesses,’ said Navarro.
‘My own view looking at this election, we have, what appears in some sense to be, an immaculate deception,’ he said.
‘But if you look statistically at what happened, clearly the president won this election and was leading on Election Day, and then after Election Day somehow in these key battleground state they got just enough votes to catch up to the president. That’s kind of what is being investigated,’ he said.
Many states counted in-person votes first, where Trump voters made up a disproportionate share, and counted mail ballots later, where Biden supporters cast their support, amid huge Democratic efforts focused on mail-ballots and Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting.
Navarro added: ‘We think he won that election, and any speculation about what Joe Biden might do I think is moot at this point.’
Biden is approaching 78 million votes overall, with Trump below 73 million.
Navarro was in friendly territory. His interviewer, Maria Bartiromo, posted on Parler, a social media site featuring right-leaning content, echoing Trump’s claims about voting machines deleting millions of votes for him.
‘Massive national security issues. Massive. I’m told Dirty Venezuelan & Cuba money behind dominion,’ she said, using the name of one of the equipment manufacturers. ‘The software also has components from china. This is about to explode,’ she wrote.
Navarro spoke after China became the latest country to congratulate Biden. Said a foreign ministry spokesman: ‘We congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. At the same time, we understand that the outcome of this US election will be ascertained in accordance with US laws and procedures.’
At a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, as advisers explained to the odds of him changing the election results are slim, the president asked whether Republican state legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors who would in turn give him a second term when they meet in Washington D.C. in January to formally cast their votes for president, The New York Times reported.
Aides say privately the president knows the election is over but, publicly, Trump continues to complain of a ‘rigged’ election and proclaim himself the victor.
‘Biden did not win, he lost by a lot!,’ Trump tweeted on Thursday.
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 47,620
On Monday the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted. On that basis, they say, the results should not be certified on November 23.
The case faces an uphill struggle – and on Thursday the largest law firm in. involved in it, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, quit.
The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump lawyer last Friday agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud. It did include a claim by an Erie mailman that he had heard his supervisors talking about illegally backdating ballots; he was said to have recanted that claim when questioned by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 12,813. RECOUNT IS LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE
Trump’s campaign said last Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have no basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
On Thursday 12, a judge savaged the affidavits produced to back the case as ‘spam’ and a Trump lawyer said they were not alleging fraud in any form.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,726
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
No new suits have been lodged so far.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 14,111
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 148,645
On Monday 9 Trump filed a federal case alleging fraud and then later a separate demand that the votes are not certified on November 23.
In the first case, one witness – possibly misgendered by the Trump lawyers – claimed that they had been told by another person that mysterious ballots arrived late on vehicles with out of state plates and all were for Biden; that they had seen voters coached to vote for Biden; and that they were told to process ballots without any checks.
It also included poll watchers and ‘challengers’ who said they could not get close enough to see what was happening.
A federal judge has yet to issue any response on when and how it will be looked into. The Trump campaign also filed the same case again to the wrong federal court on Thursday 12 for no apparent reason.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday 6, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.
The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.