President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would not award the election to Democratic challenger Joe Biden and threatened “unspecified legal challenges,” according to the Associated Press. The election was called for Biden by the AP and networks on Saturday after he won the 20 Pennsylvania electoral college votes, giving him the 270 votes needed to win.
Trump’s refusal to back down comes after a turbulent week of lawsuits claiming, without evidence, widespread voter fraud in key theaters of war. In a conference call this morning, the Trump campaign repeated groundless claims that illegally cast ballots were counted in states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada. Judges in all three states have dismissed complaints that would stop the counting process on the grounds that there is no evidence to support these claims.
There is no law that says that a candidate must give up after the winner is announced, but it is a tradition in the United States to do so. Trump has told his allies that he has no intention of giving in to Biden. It is unclear whether he would do so after a legal battle over the election. He would be the first presidential candidate in modern history not to give in after all the votes have been counted. Trump has also previously refused to agree to a peaceful transfer of power.
After the announcement of a Biden victory on Saturday, Trump issued a statement in which he refused to accept the election results and declared that it was “far from over”.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely claim victory and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to come out,” Trump said. “The simple fact is that this election is far from over.
“Joe Biden has not been confirmed as the winner of any state, let alone the hotly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the final winner,” he said.
Trump went on to highlight the legal challenges in various states, claiming without reason that Biden wanted to count “fake” and “fabricated” ballots even though there was no evidence that illegal ballots were counted in the election. He also said that his campaign would begin on Monday to “pursue our case in court.
He added: “I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote-counting they deserve and democracy demands.
Just an hour before the announcement of Biden’s victory, Trump tweeted that he had won the election “by a wide margin,” adding to the chain of marked tweets and hasty claims that he had won the presidency before all the votes had been counted. He claimed that his clues had been “secretly shredded away” in “key positions” and accused the counties of “magically” finding ballots.
On Thursday, Trump falsely announced that he had specifically won Pennsylvania – the state that had led Biden to victory on Saturday – “by a large margin. Biden won the state with more than 34,000 votes.
Trump has vowed to take his complaints about the counting process to the Supreme Court, including Pennsylvania’s ability to accept ballots after election day. The state was able to accept ballots stamped on election day until 5 p.m. on Friday, which the Republicans have consistently refused to do. Before November 3, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in this matter, but left open the possibility of re-examining the matter. Pennsylvania officials were instructed to discard the ballots received after election day, which the Supreme Court confirmed on Friday.
Trump’s multiple lawsuits in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia have all been unsuccessful to date, but he has stressed that the legal battles will not stop in the near future.