Washington: Clinging to notions of widespread vote rigging that his own attorney general has disputed, President Donald Trump repeated a litany of baseless assertions Wednesday of political corruption, machine tampering and mysterious votes appearing out of nowhere that allowed Joe Biden to steal the election.
“This election is about great voter fraud, fraud that has never been seen like this before,” Trump said in a 46-minute address posted on social media. “
It’s about poll watchers who were not allowed to watch. So illegal. It’s about ballots that poured in and nobody but a few knew where they came from. … It’s about machinery that was defective, machinery that was stopped.” None of those assertions are true.
A look at the claims and reality:
TRUMP: “You can’t let another person steal that election from you.”
THE FACTS: To be clear, no election was stolen from Trump.
One month after the Nov 3 election and as states begin certifying their votes, Trump is clinging to false notions of voter fraud that Attorney General William Barr disputed as unsubstantiated and not significant enough to overturn Biden’s margin of victory.
Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, the same margin that Trump had when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, which he repeatedly described as a “landslide.” (Trump ended up with 304 electoral votes because two electors defected.) Biden achieved victory by prevailing in key states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia.
Trump’s allegations of massive voting fraud have been refuted by a variety of judges, state election officials and an arm of his own administration’s Homeland Security Department. Many of his campaign’s lawsuits across the country have been thrown out of court. And his administration has already agreed to allow the formal transition of power to Biden to begin.
Tuesday, Barr told The Associated Press that no proof of widespread voter fraud has been uncovered. “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” he said.
No case has established irregularities of a scale that would change the outcome. Lawsuits that remain do not contain evidence that would flip the result.
TRUMP: “I go from winning by a lot to losing a tight race. It’s corrupt.”
TRUMP: “It’s about big leads on election night, tremendous leads, leads where I was being congratulated for a decisive, easy victory, and all of a sudden by morning or a couple of days later, those leads rapidly evaporated.”
THE FACTS: No mass corruption happened. Trump is actually describing a legitimate vote counting process, not a sudden surge of malfeasance that no one has seen before.
Indeed, news organizations and officials had warned in the days and weeks leading up to the election that the results would likely come in just as they did: In-person votes, which tend to be counted more quickly, would likely favor the president, who had spent months warning his supporters to avoid mail-in voting and to vote in person either early or on Election Day.
And mail-in ballots, which take longer to count since they must be removed from envelopes and verified before they are counted, would favor Biden. That pattern was exacerbated by the fact that many states prohibited early counting of mail-in votes that arrived before Election Day.
In addition, big cities are often slower to report their numbers, and those votes tend to skew Democratic. Likewise, many states tend to count mail-in ballots at the end of the process.