Election still too close to call: President Trump says he wins "easily" if only "legal votes" counted


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — President Donald Trump on Thursday evening falsely declared victory again, claiming, “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”

President Trump, as of early Friday morning, has 214 electoral votes while former Vice President Joe Biden has 253 — a candidate requires 270 electoral votes to win the race.

Biden’s count includes Wisconsin, where ABC News is characterizing him as the apparent winner because the vote is very close and has not yet been certified.

However, President Trump baselessly made claims of “historic election interference from big media, big money, and big tech.”

The president also slammed mail-in voting, calling it “a corrupt system.”

“It’s really destroyed our system,” President Trump said. “They want to find out how many votes they need and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait and then they find them and you see that on election night.”

More Democrats have voted by mail. Many mail-in ballots are still being counted so they are added to totals after election night.

“It’s amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided,” the president remarked, refusing to take any questions during his 17-minute speech. “They are trying to steal an election. They are trying to rig an election and we can’t let that happen.”

His repeated claims of widespread voter fraud are unsubstantiated, experts have said.

Several moderate Republicans quickly responded to the president’s remarks after his Thursday briefing.

Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger called for the president to stop spreading misinformation, saying “this is getting insane.”

Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who has said he did not vote for President Trump, tweeted that there was “no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process.”

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, the only Senate Republican who voted to convict President Trump during his impeachment trial, did not mention the president by name but said, “have faith in our Democracy, in our Constitution, and in the American people.”

Still, the president has rallied support from other members of the GOP, such as Georgia State Congressman Vernon Jones, who decried, “We need to know now. … How the hell you can send a man to the moon, but you can’t get results in 24 hours? Something’s wrong with that.”

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted “all votes that are *legally* cast should be counted.”

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley also tweeted in support, saying, “The American people, whatever their party, deserve total transparency in the election vote. Allow poll watchers to be present as ballots counted. Full accounting of all ballots. Ban ballot harvesting.”

The candidates are still neck-and-neck in many states still tabulating ballots.  In Georgia, President Trump and Biden are at 49.4% to 49.4% — as the president leads slightly with 2,447,337 votes to Biden’s 2,445,540.

There were about 16,000 outstanding ballots as of 8:40 p.m. Thursday, according to the Georgia secretary of state.  As of that time, the president leads Georgia by 1,797 votes.

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