President Donald Trump gave a speech from the White House in the very early hours of November 4 to discuss his thoughts on the impending 2020 presidential election results. “This is without question the latest news conference I’ve ever had,” Trump said as he took the stage at 2:21 a.m. Eastern time.
“We were getting ready for a big celebration,” Trump said. “We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off.”
He also said that “a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise” his supporters. CNN’s Daniel Dale fact-checked this statement on Twitter, saying that Democrats are simply trying to get all the votes counted.
LIVE: President Donald J Trump https://t.co/J7hhaUPUf0
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) November 4, 2020
“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump claimed. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. It’s a very sad moment. … We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned we already have won.”
After Trump’s speech concluded, Dale tweeted, “Given the circumstances, those right there might be the most egregious lies Trump has ever told.”
Ongoing thread here, but just wanted to add that almost everything the president is saying is false or misleading. https://t.co/MRt3hPMkY9
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 4, 2020
Based on the national map below, which is automatically updated via Decision Desk HQ, it’s clear that numerous states are still counting ballots that have already been cast.
At the time of Trump’s speech, Biden had racked up 227 Electoral College votes by winning California, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Virginia and more. Trump had earned 213 electoral votes through his wins in Florida, Texas, Utah, Ohio, Iowa and others.
A number of key states remain up in the air. Due to coronavirus, a record number of people voted through early mail-in ballots, which take longer to tabulate than regular in-person voting. States that don’t start counting votes until Election Day, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, may take days to deliver their final results.
After Trump announced his plans to go to the Supreme Court to contest the election results, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted, “Donald Trump’s premature claims of victory are illegitimate, dangerous, and authoritarian. Count the votes. Respect the results.”
Trump’s Tweets About People Trying to ‘Steal’ the Election Were Flagged by Twitter
Before Trump gave his early morning speech following Election Day, the president gave a heads-up to his followers on Twitter by announcing, “I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN!”
Trump’s next tweet was flagged by Twitter because “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” The tweet read, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”
Contrary to what the president tweeted, votes were not being cast after the polls closed, but votes already cast were still being counted.
Rick Santorum: "I was very distressed by what I heard POTUS say … the idea of using the word 'fraud' being committed by people counting votes is wrong … they are not stopping counting because they are trying to fix anything or create any sort of fraud." pic.twitter.com/z69YVsFSqm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 4, 2020
Former Republican U.S. Senator Rick Santorum responded to Trump’s speech on CNN. “The idea of using the word ‘fraud’ being committed by people counting votes is wrong,” Santorum said. “He sees votes being shifted around in some places. … They are not stopping counting because they are trying to fix anything or create any sort of fraud.”
Biden Gave a Brief Late-Night Speech to Announce ‘We’re Feeling Good About Where We Are’
Before Trump gave his speech from the White House, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gave an extremely brief speech from his home state of Delaware. He said, “We knew this was going to go long,” acknowledging the frustration voters may feel waiting possibly days before knowing the election results. “But we’re feeling good about where we are. We really do.”
“We can know the results as early as tomorrow morning … [but] it’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who won this election. That’s the decision of the American people,” Biden added.
“I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election,” Biden said. “I’m optimistic about this outcome.”