US President Donald Trump publicly declared himself the winner of the presidential election Wednesday and called for it to be “turned around” while unleashing a litany of debunked theories and falsehoods as evidence of his victory.
“This was an election that we won easily. We won it by a lot,” he told a meeting of the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee by phone.
“This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen; we can’t let it happen for our country and this election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot, and we won all of these swing states by a lot,” Trump said.
The president has been tweeting many of these claims since Election Day and especially since Joe Biden was declared president-elect on November 7. But this was the first time he has spoken publicly about the results since his last post-election news conference on November 5.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2020
Trump’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, were at Wednesday’s meeting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which also featured various witnesses from across the state who claimed voter fraud and irregularities.
The president, who said he was calling from the Oval Office and was watching the proceedings on television, spoke for just over 11 minutes and outlined his reasons why he was convinced that the Democrats “cheated” and won a “fraudulent election”. Every one of his justifications has been debunked and almost all of the lawsuits his legal team has filed have been tossed out of court.
The states Trump referenced Wednesday – Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin – have already certified their election results, except for Wisconsin, where two counties are undergoing a recount and no widespread irregularities have surfaced so far.
A Pennsylvania judge issued an order halting any further Pennsylvania vote certification until a hearing on Friday in a case brought by Pennsylvania Republicans, separate to that of Trump’s campaign claims.
Among Trump’s unfounded claims on Wednesday:
Trump’s Claim: “Anybody watching television the night of the election was saying, I was called by the biggest political people, ‘congratulations sir on a big win,’ and all of a sudden ballots were dumped all over the place and a lot of horrible things happened.”
Fact: Ballots were not being “dumped all over the place”; they were simply being counted, in some cases later than they normally would due to rules in some states that mail-in ballots could not be processed until Election Day or, in others, until after polls closed. The late-count phenomenon was well known and predicted long in advance of the election and there is no evidence of anything illegal behind it.
Trump’s Claim: “Between the voter suppression and all of the horrible things that happened to poll watchers … the poll watchers weren’t allowed to watch. … If you were a Republican poll watcher, you were treated like a dog and the Democrats had no problem.”
Fact: As The Associated Press has reported, “Trump is wholly misrepresenting a court case in [Pennsylvania] and what happened at voting places. No one tried to ban poll watchers representing each side in the election. Democrats did not try to stop Republican representatives from being able to observe the process.” In addition, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week upheld a lower court’s ruling that Philadelphia “officials had given Republican observers sufficient access to the vote counting, without allowing them within 6 feet,” the Associated Press reported.
Trump’s Claim: “We got 74 million votes, and if you would’ve said 74 million votes the day before the election, every single professional in the business would have said there’s no way of beating that.”
Fact: Due to the surge in early voting, there were many predictions that overall turnout would be record-breaking. The New York Times reported on October 31, “Over all, the early turnout has set the country on course to surpass 150 million votes for the first time in history.” On October 17, The Associated Press wrote, “Americans’ rush to vote is leading election experts to predict that a record 150 million votes may be cast and turnout rates could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908.” It should not have been a surprise to anybody that a presidential candidate could have received more than 74 million votes.
Trump’s Claim: “People were getting two and three and four ballots in their home. People that were dead were signing up for ballots.”
Fact: “In battleground states that Trump needed to win to secure a second term, there has been an influx of claims about illegally cast ballots — including some that say dead people voted in the election. Those claims haven’t panned out,” reports Politifact.
Trump’s Claim: “You look at Michigan with Detroit, you look at what happened in Detroit, where you have a voter, but you have more votes than you have voters.”
Fact: “According to unofficial election results on the City of Detroit’s website, on Nov. 5, there were 250,138 votes cast and 504,714 registered voters. Detroit has an estimated population of 670,000,” reports The Associated Press. Poll books in some Detroit precincts revealed that “the number of names recorded in poll books did not match the number of ballots counted.” But that numbered in the hundreds, and that is attributed to human error, something that happens in every election.
After laying all of this out, Trump has maintained, “it’s a very sad thing for our country to have this. And they have to turn over the result.”
The fact is there has been no overwhelming evidence to convince state elections officials or judges to completely halt vote certification, throw out ballots or most certainly “turn over” the will of American voters.