Trump Attacks Credibility of Election With Unfounded Claims of Illegal Votes

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President Donald Trump questioned the credibility of the U.S. election, complaining that public polls had overstated Joe Biden’s lead in many battleground states and that the ongoing count of mail-in votes was eroding his lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said Thursday in a statement to reporters at the White House.

There is no evidence of widespread illegal voting in the election. Trump’s remarks drew condemnation from at least one Republican, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland.

“There is no defense for the president’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” Hogansaid in a tweet.

Public polls that showed leads for Biden in states such as Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio had created “the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminished the Republican Party’s ability to raise funds,” Trump also said.

Before the president’s remarks, his son Donald Trump Jr.challenged Republicans with aspirations to run for president in 2024 to publicly defend his father’s disinformation campaign against the election. Some appeared to respond, including Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who subsequently issued tweets supportive of Trump.

Trump Jr. also called for his father to “go to total war over this election” in a tweet that was hidden by Twitter with a notice asserting it was misleading.

Earlier, Biden asked the country to be patient while states finish counting votes.

“Democracy’s sometimes messy,” he said in Wilmington, Delaware. “It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded.”

He reiterated that he’s confident he’ll win the presidency.

Biden is poised to claim victory after winning enough states to amass 264 of the 270 Electoral College votes required, according to the Associated Press and Fox News.

But Trump’s team is challenging vote counts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan and has asked for a recount in Wisconsin. The president is meanwhile banking on an ongoing count of mail-in votes in Arizona to deliver him a win after Fox News and the AP called the state for Biden.

Trump’s team has called for the news organizations to reverse those calls.

— With assistance by Steven T. Dennis

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