Donald Trump tried to undermine faith in American democracy as he saw his chances of re-election crumble.
In a rambling statement in the White House Briefing Room, the President insisted he would “easily win” if only the “legal votes” were counted.
He blamed his plummeting poll leads on postal vote “fraud” and dishonest counting practices, making repeated claims of irregularity in various states without showing any evidence.
And he falsely claimed his lead had been “whittled away in secret” – because ‘observers’ had not been given access to voting count centres. They have.
The President did not take questions.
He announced he was to speak shortly after frontrunner Joe Biden gave an address from his Delaware HQ, urging calm and patience from the public while votes are counted.
Apparently spurred on by this – and fearing Biden would run away with the story – the President hastily arranged a press conference at the White House.
It was his first public appearance since a similarly rambling statement at 2.30am on Wedensday – where he falsely claimed victory in the election.
Speaking today, the President falsely claimed: “We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret.”
Referring to legally permissible observers, he falsely claimed that when observers arrived, they were told to be “100 feet away” from the count.
And on the postal vote system, Mr Trump added: “I’ve been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It’s really destroyed our system, it’s a corrupt system.”
Postal voting has been in use in most US states for many years. There is no evidence of widespread fraud or corruption in the system.
He went on to accuse pollsters of deliberately predicting the result of the election wrong, in a bid to stop his supporters voting.
He said: “The pollsters got it knowingly wrong.
“There was no blue wave that they predicted, they thought there was going to be a big blue wave – that was false, it was done for suppression reasons.
“But instead there was a big red wave and it has been properly acknowledged by the media, they were, I think, very impressed but that’s after the fact.”
Mr Trump said his party thought they would win the election “very easily” but that there would be “a lot of litigation” involved.
“We have so much evidence, so much proof and it’s going to end up, perhaps, at the highest court in the land”, he said.
The President did not provide any of the evidence.
“We think there will be a lot of litigation because we can’t have an election stolen like this.”
The president reminded reporters in the White House press briefing room that he had been saying “for months” that mail-in ballots would be a “disaster”.