Trump prematurely 'hereby claims' all remaining states despite uncounted ballots

Twitter flags president’s tweets as content that is ‘disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process’

Rudy Giuliani leads wild attack on US democracy, promising wave of lawsuits to stop Biden
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Donald Trump continued prematurely claiming victory in the 2020 US presidential election on Wednesady, trafficking in misinformation about uncounted ballots in key swing states that have yet to report their final results.

The president’s tweets claiming victory — which have been flagged by Twitter for containing content that is “disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process” — are part of a broad effort by the Trump campaign to stop election officials from counting legally cast ballots in states where he is still ahead.

“We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead,” the president wrote on Wednesday, defying state officials who have been explicit that they have not completed counting ballots.

“Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact, there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” Mr Trump tweeted.

There have been no substantiated reports of voter fraud or “dumped ballots” in Michigan, which Democratic nominee Joe Biden was carrying by Wednesday evening by several thousand votes.

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The Associated Press has called Michigan and Wisconsin for Mr Biden, but thousands of mail-in absentee ballots are still trickling in in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada.

Mr Biden would only need to hold onto his current leads in Arizona and Nevada to clinch 270 electoral college votes and the presidency.

The Democratic former vice president, who has pitched himself as a unifier who would govern as a “president for all Americans,” expressed confidence on Wednesday that he would end up with enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Paying tribute to his supporters and the 150m people who cast votes, the former vice president declared: “Yesterday proved democracy is the heartbeat of this nation.”

In a brief but notably determined statement on Wednesday, delivered alongside running mate Kamala Harris, Mr Biden made clear he was not yet claiming victory.

He added that he may have more to say later on Wednesday depending on how the results shake out the rest of the day.

As the race currently stands, Mr Biden has 253 electoral votes, while Mr Trump has 214. The president has launched two legal challenges to the vote counts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and another in Arizona.

At the centre of the Trump campaign’s misinformation strategy to challenge the results of the election is the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City.

Speaking at a campaign press conference in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Mr Giuliani called for a “national lawsuit,” as he falsely suggested there had been rampant voter fraud among mail-in ballots.

Mr Giuliani claimed there had been “a concerted effort of the crooks that run the Democratic Party” to steal the election, because the Trump campaign “never got a chance to look at a single” mail-in-ballot.

“We’re gonna win this election," he said, adding, falsely, “We’ve actually won it.”

Mr Biden, on the other hand, did not claim an outright victory but expressed a cool confidence he would be victorious.

After a long night of counting, “it’s clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency,” he said.

He added: “I'm not here to declare that we've won. But I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”

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