Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Trump insists he 'won' election and repeats ballot fraud claims in first tweet since loss
7 November 2020, 22:57
President Donald Trump has insisted he won the US election in his first tweet since losing to Joe Biden, repeating claims of mail-in ballot fraud and saying "bad things happened" in counting rooms.
After a long and bitter battle with Mr Trump in the race to the White House, Mr Biden was declared to have passed the threshold needed to become President-elect after a tumultuous closing period in the contest.
Mr Biden was declared to have won Pennsylvania by major US networks, meaning his lead was insurmountable.
Following his loss, Mr Trump said in a statement he considers the election "far from over" as he vowed to press ahead with legal actions.
In his first tweet since the election was called for his opponent, Mr Trump claimed "bad things happened" in election counting rooms.
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
He wrote: "THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS.
"I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES.
"BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!"
The message had a warning added to it by Twitter, who wrote: "This claim about election fraud is disputed."
In another tweet, he added: "71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!"
Mr Trump, who has complained for weeks about mail-in ballots, escalated his allegations late on Thursday, saying at the White House that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt.
He did not back up his claims with any details or evidence, and state and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
In a longer statement after the result was declared, Mr Trump said: "We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.
"Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
"In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media."
Mr Trump added: "Beginning (on) Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
"The American people are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots and not counting any illegal ballots.
"This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election.
"It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured or cast by ineligible or deceased voters.
"Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room - and then fight in court to block their access.
"So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that democracy demands."
Shortly after his victory was declared, Mr Biden issued a statement: "I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris.
"In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.
"With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
"It's time for America to unite. And to heal.
"We are the United States of America. And there's nothing we can't do, if we do it together."