Trump says fight for presidency will continue as legal challenges mount over vote counts

By Dan McCaleb | The Center Square

President Donald Trump Thursday evening said he would continue his fight against what he claimed was voter fraud in a number of battleground states as his race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden remained unsettled two days after polls closed.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they are trying to steal the election from us.”

Former Vice President Biden held a 264-214 electoral vote advantage over Trump Thursday with at least 270 needed to secure the victory. But Biden’s lead includes Arizona’s 11 votes, which was called by The Associated Press and Fox News early Wednesday but which is now tightening as more ballots are counted. The AP said Thursday it was reconsidering its decision to call Arizona for Biden.

Trump said during Thursday’s news conference that he expected to win Arizona.

The Trump administration has filed lawsuits against election officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada over the counting of mail-in ballots in those states, claiming that his campaign officials have been blocked from observing the counts and other irregularities.

“We expect there to be a lot of litigation because we can’t have an election stolen like this,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. Supreme Court likely will need to settle challenges.

Because of pending lawsuits, the election outcome could be weeks from being determined.

The president also called out pre-election pollsters who had Biden winning big in states like Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin. Trump easily won Florida and Ohio, and Wisconsin’s unofficial vote counts show Biden winning by less than 1%. Trump campaign officials are demanding a recount there.

“The pollsters got it knowingly wrong,” Trump said. “They thought there was going to be a big blue wave. There wasn’t.”

He called the incorrect polling numbers “election interference … that was designed to keep our voters at home.”

Trump also noted that he had big leads in states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania late Tuesday, but in the middle of the night the “numbers started whittling away in secret” as mail-in ballots were counted while Trump’s campaign was prevented from observing the counts.

“They’re trying to rig an election,” he said, an allegation that Democrats have said is nonsense.