Donald Trump Prematurely Declares Victory, Vows Supreme Court Fight
For weeks, President Donald Trump has toyed with throwing a wrench into the electoral process by declaring himself the winner of the presidential race before all the votes are counted.
True to form, early Wednesday morning, that is precisely what Trump did.
Standing in the East Room of the White House, Trump falsely stated that the election “is a fraud on the American public” and “an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump grisled.
The president is hellbent on waging legal battles that he foresees culminating with the Supreme Court stopping the vote count, like it did in 2000 when Florida was contested (no results in 2020 have been officially contested – yet).
“This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump said. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. It’s a very sad moment.”
There is no validity to anything the president is asserting.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow warned viewers on Election Night to not take Trump seriously:
It should be noted that the president telegraphed the fact that he was going to falsely claim victory while there was no responsible way to predict the outcome of the race, while millions of legitimate votes were still being counted. We haven’t heard that explicitly out of the president’s mouth tonight although we’re expecting to hear that because of his tweets. But the president has already made demonstrably false claims about the election, talking about the fact that he was telling his social media followers tonight that ‘he’s up big but the Democrats are trying to steal the election.’
All the votes must be counted:
There are millions of legitimate votes still to be counted. It is a false claim that anybody is trying to steal the election, but the president making those claims tonight is setting the grounds to try to undermine confidence in the count, and the count is not only going to continue tonight, it’s going to likely continue for days beforen we have any projection of what the results are going to be, so, again, this is something that the president telegraphed, that we know was coming, therefore it is not surprising – not being surprised by it doesn’t mean you can’t be shocked by it still.
Where do we go from here?
This is uncharted territory for an American president and for American democracy to have one of the two major party candidates – let alone the incumbent president – saying that the election ought to be over and he ought to be declared the winner and anybody trying to claim otherwise is stealing it from him. We expect this I think because it’s Donald Trump but we do not expect this of our democracy, and we have yet to see how our democracy will handle that kind of a destabilizing, dangerous, antidemocratic, and indeed authoritarian claim from somebody who has a lot of power in terms of his control of the federal government to try to control how this ongoing count is handled in all these states where it remains to be resolved.