Patience stood in the way of lies-laden bluster in the wee hours of Friday morning when leads of thousands of votes in Pennsylvania and Georgia for Donald Trump evaporated as counts continued and both became blue-leaning states.
Biden now leads Trump by 5.600 votes in Pennsylvania, more than a thousand in Georgia the margins are expected to continue through the day.
A win in Pennsylvania easily puts Biden over the 270 Electoral College total he needs to win the presidency.
“Democracy,” Biden told reporters Thursday, “can sometimes be messy.” He urged everyone to be “patient and let the counts continue. “
Trump wanted nothing of the sort. He took the podium at the White House to issue a stream of expletives with claims of widespread “voter fraud” that was so partisan and filled with outright lies that the three major networks cut him off and told viewers he was lying and confirmed those lies with fact checks.
Trump had called for all vote counting to stop, a move so opposite of existing election law that even Republicans came out against him.
“A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon,” Tweeted Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd.
“This is getting insane,” said Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
“If anyone has proof of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved,” said Michigan GOP Congressman Paul Mitchell, nothing that Trump has added nothing but bluster, not evidence. “Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy.”
“Have faith in democracy, in our Constitution, and in the American people,” GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted.
“Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud,” tweets Florida GOP Rep. Marco Rubio, who is considering another run for the White House in 2024.
“Under our Constitution, state legislatures set the rules and states administer our elections,” said Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio.” We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. It’s that simple. I hope we can reach a final resolution as quickly as possible,”
“As we await all the results of the election, I urge everyone to be patient. Each state has different deadlines to receive ballots and a process in place to count those ballots,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. “It is critical that we give election officials time to complete their jobs, and that we ensure all lawfully cast ballots are allowed and counted. The results will be known when all those ballots are counted.”
“We heard nothing today about any evidence,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC. “This kind of thing, all it does is inflame without informing. And we cannot permit inflammation without information.”
Former GOP Sen. Rich Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has run and failed to secure the GOP nomination in past elections, called Trump’s rhetoric “dangerous.”
“It was not factual and was at times incendiary and not something a President of the United States should say,” Santorum told CNN.
If Trump loses in the Electoral College, it will match the national vote count that has Biden leading by more than 4 million votes and would be a change in recent elections.
Hillary Clinton beat Trump by more than 3 million votes in 2016 but lost in the Electoral College, spurring calls to change the way presidents are picked in America. Those debates continue.
Trump claimed the popular vote majority was “a fraud” that included ballots from undocumented aliens. He appointed a presidential commission to “investigate the fraud” and spent millions of taxpayer money on the effort.
The conclusion? No evidence of voter fraud was found.
Fact Checkers Thursday night said Trump’s claims in this election were outright lies.
“President Trump’s statement in the White House briefing room on Thursday evening was a litany of falsehoods and grievances, with some baseless conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure,” says Glenn Kessler.
For example: Trump said: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
Utterly false. Trump is losing the election, both in the electoral college and significantly in the popular vote. The votes that are still being counted were legally cast on or before Election Day.
When the major news networks cut Trump off Thursday evening, NBC anchor told viewers: “We have to interrupt here, because the president made a number of false statements, including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting. “There has been no evidence of that.”
“There’s a lot to unpack here and fact-check,” said ABC anchor David Muir.
At CBS, correspondent Nancy Cordes listed several of Trump’s lies after Norah O’Donnell shut him down.
Federal judges have thrown out Trump campaign lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Georgia but more legal actions are promised.
“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” Gov. Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland, wrote on Twitter. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”
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