Trump insists he won the 2020 election and rants about 'phony polls' as he trails Biden in the race for the White House

Trump insists he won the 2020 election and rants about 'phony polls' as he trails Biden in the race for the White House
  • President Donald Trump took to the White House podium on Thursday to air a grievance-filled rant insisting he won the 2020 election even though he trails the Democratic nominee Joe Biden in electoral votes and hundreds of thousands of outstanding ballots have not been processed.
  • He also complained about "phony polls" and "suppression polls" that he said were manipulated by "big media" to hurt Republicans, and repeated a lie that he had an early lead in some states before it "miraculously" got "whittled away in secret."
  • Trump's campaign has signaled its intent to contest the election results and mounted legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia, though some have already been tossed out.

President Donald Trump aired a grievance-filled rant from the White House podium on Thursday in which he insisted he won the 2020 election, even though he is trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the number of electoral votes and hundreds of thousands of ballots have not yet been processed.

He also suggested, without evidence, that a substantial number of "illegal votes" were cast in this election.

There is no evidence of widespread voter or election fraud, and experts say that this year's election was among the safest and most secure because of the use of paper ballots and voting machines with verifiable paper trails.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," the president said. "If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we're looking at them very strongly. But a lot of votes came in late."

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"I've already decisively won many critical states including massive victories in Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, to name just a few," he added. "We won these and many other victories despite historic election interference by big media, big money, and big tech."

The president went on to repeat a lie that he had an early lead in some states before it "miraculously" got "whittled away in secret." He also said that "legally permissible observers" representing his interests were not allowed to watch the ballot-counting process in some facilities, even though the opposite is true. In Pennsylvania, for instance, a federal judge allowed Trump campaign observers to watch poll workers up close after Trump's team complained.

Later in the news conference, Trump reiterated another false claim about mail-in voting, saying it's "corrupt" and "destroyed our system," even though it's a normal and legal part of the electoral process that Trump and many of his own staffers and family members have taken advantage of.

He also cast doubt on the ballot-counting process, saying, "We were ahead in North Carolina by a lot ... We were up by nearly 700,000 in Pennsylvania, I won Pennsylvania by a lot and that gets whittled down ... Likewise in Georgia, I won by a lot with a lead of over, getting close to 300,000 votes on election night ... and by the way, got whittled down and now it's getting to be to a point where I'll go from winning by a lot to perhaps being even down a little bit."

Trump did not win in any of those states since the ballots have not all been counted yet. And as Business Insider has previously reported, it was widely expected that in states that started counting and tabulating votes on Election Day, Trump would have an early lead because ballots cast on November 3 would favor him, while mail-in ballots — which would be processed as the night went on — would favor Biden. For that reason, election experts anticipated a "blue shift" in some states and a "red shift" in others that allowed officials to start processing mail ballots before Election Day.


The president also claimed he "won" or did "fantastically well" in Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which were called for Biden on Wednesday. And he said his campaign is "on track to win Arizona," even though Biden's campaign has a narrow lead over Trump's in the state.

"Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election, we will not allow the corruption to steal such an important election, or any election for that matter," he said, adding that "we can't allow ... anybody to silence our voters and manufacture results. They're trying to steal an election, they're trying to rig an election, and we can't let that happen. They're trying, obviously, to commit fraud, there's no question about that."

Trump's abrupt news conference from the White House podium comes as Biden leads the race to win the White House. Biden currently has 253 electoral college votes compared to Trump's 214, and he has gained ground on the president in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, which carries 20 electoral votes, according to Decision Desk HQ.

Trump's campaign and Republicans have already signaled their intent to contest the election's results as it becomes increasingly likely that Biden will be the projected winner. The president's campaign has already mounted legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Georgia, though some have since been struck down or dismissed.

Now, faced with the prospect of losing to a man he spent months hammering as corrupt, doddering, and mentally deficient, Trump's messaging strategy has disintegrated.


In the weeks leading up to November 3, Trump insisted that the winner be declared on election night, even though the victor is never finalized on election night, regardless of what news networks project, and it's routine for ballots to be tabulated in the days after Election Day. Early on November 4, Trump prematurely and falsely declared himself the winner of the race, even though there were millions of ballots across the country that hadn't yet been counted.

Since then, the president has amplified unfounded conspiracy theories alleging widespread voter and election fraud; demanded that some states stop counting ballots, which he can't do, and that others continue counting — which they were doing anyway; and reflected a fundamental misunderstanding of how the US electoral process works.