His hopes of winning growing dim, Trump looks to halt vote counting in Pennsylvania
As the prospects for President Trump's re-election on Wednesday deteriorated, his campaign launched an aggressive but questionable strategy to deter Joe Biden from winning the state of Pennsylvania.
Trump's election campaign announced Wednesday afternoon that the state would be banned from counting ballots there "to prevent Democratic election officials from hiding ballot counting and processing from our Republican election observers," Associated Press reported.
The Trump campaign also supports a Republican lawsuit filed with the US Supreme Court to prevent legally submitted postal ballot papers that are postmarked by November 3 but received after election day from not counting. So far, the Supreme Court has allowed Pennsylvania officials to keep counting these ballots.
In a tweet released Wednesday afternoon after a hastily convened press conference with campaign surrogates that included Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and President's son Eric, the president said he had wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina " claimed "where the count of the ballot papers go on.
"We have claimed the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which does not allow legal observers), the state of Georgia and the state of North Carolina for election purposes, each of which has a BIG Trump lead," Trump wrote in tweets that were quickly considered controversial on Twitter or misleading election information has been flagged. "In addition, we hereby claim the state of Michigan when, in fact, there were a large number of secret ballots, as has been widely reported!"
There is no evidence to back up Trump's allegations of ballot papers being secretly dumped, and the Associated Press has not yet scheduled races in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina as there are enough outstanding ballots left for either Trump or Biden to win.
With an estimated 83 percent of the ballots counted in Pennsylvania, Trump had a 352,000 vote lead over Biden, but that lead had decreased during the day as more votes were counted. Democrats believe they have enough untold ballot papers to drive Biden over the top in the state, shedding any hopes Trump may have of re-election.
An election worker counting ballots in Philadelphia on Wednesday. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
Knowing their chances of winning are diminishing, Team Trump attempted to stop the clock on Wednesday with a public relations offensive that was immediately flagged as potentially misleading on Twitter.
While the Trump campaign also announced on Wednesday that it would seek a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden was declared the winner, it also suspended the vote count in Michigan, where Biden was counted with more than 98 percent of the vote, Trump is with just over 61,000 votes.
Regarding the legal maneuvers in Pennsylvania, state officials promised to keep counting the ballots.
“Nobody will speed anything up. Nobody will be able to question the underlying validity of the results when they are finalized in Pennsylvania, ”said Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.
It remains to be seen whether the Pennsylvania courts will come to the aid of Trump, but legal experts remain skeptical that a strategy to press for the recount of every vote cast in one state will go hand in hand with attempting to count legally cast ballots in other states to stop .
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