Trump begins fifth day after election blaming fraud with Twitter rant – despite top advisers telling him to concede

President has not signalled any plan to accept result despite nationwide celebrations of his defeat

Andrew Naughtie
Sunday 08 November 2020 14:41
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Rudy Giuliani questions legitimacy of Joe Biden election win
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A day after networks and news agencies declared his defeat in the presidential election, Donald Trump has continued to rage against supposed fraud and election meddling in swing states that he claims cost him his victory – quoting former house speaker Newt Gingrich and an expert who cited the US’s “history of election problems”.

“We believe these people are thieves," read the tweet citing Mr Gingrich. "The big city machines are corrupt. This was a stolen election. Best pollster in Britain wrote this morning that this clearly was a stolen election, that it’s impossible to imagine that Biden outran Obama in some of these states.

“Where it mattered, they stole what they had to steal."

The Trump campaign has so far provided no definitive evidence of any voting irregularities that could have flipped states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Mr Biden’s margin has grown as late-arriving votes were tallied.

Mr Trump also threaded together an extended quote from attorney and academic Jonathan Turley, in which the legal analyst says that allegations of impropriety at vote-counting facilities and in ballot authentication, particularly in Philadelphia and Detroit.

Mr Turley, however, only yesterday wrote that the Trump campaign’s legal effort to challenge the results “has not been impressive”.

While the networks called the election for Mr Biden on Saturday morning and exuberant celebrations across the US, Mr Trump was on a golf course, having almost entirely stayed out of public view since a widely condemned speech from the White House on Thursday evening. 

Follow live: US election updates - Biden vows to ‘heal America

Mr Trump’s legal team, fronted by former New York mayor Rudi Giuliani, have meanwhile been announcing a steady stream of legal challenges to tallies in various cities and states that went for Mr Biden, levelling assorted allegations including outright vote-tampering and improper discarding of Trump ballots.

However, their efforts have been met with ridicule from the other side, especially after the bizarre decision to hold a press conference outside a landscape gardening business in Philadelphia. The legal assault is also increasingly being openly dismissed among conservatives and Republicans who see no plausible basis on which to challenge or overturn the results.

Meanwhile, reports from the White House indicate that some in Trump’s inner circle are discussing how to go frame a concession, and how to elicit one from a president known for his disgust for “losers”.

There is no indication that the president will concede any time soon, and Sunday morning’s tweets – coming after a definitive victory address by Kamala Harris and Joe Biden – indicate he is so far doubling down.

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