Trump sues to stop vote counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania and declares premature victory in Keystone state
Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, on Wednesday said that he was 'declaring victory in Pennsylvania' with less than 80 percent of the vote being counted
President Donald Trump's campaign, in an unsual move, declared victory in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, November 4, at a time when a large number of votes remained uncounted. The campaign has also vowed to sue the state and Michigan, calling for a stop in counting citing lack of transparency, reports state.
Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, on Wednesday said that he was "declaring victory in Pennsylvania” with less than 80 percent of the vote being counted. His announcement was followed by a similar one from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the president's younger son Eric Trump. The premature announcement of the state victory appeared to be a coordinated attempt to disrupt the counting of legitimate ballots in the state where Trump's lead is dramatically narrowing.
The Trump campaign, in a statement, also stated that it was suing to stop vote count in Michigan and Pennsylvania and cited lack of "transparency" in the count process as their reason. Trump’s deputy campaign manager, Justin Clark, said that the president's campaign is "suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers." Clark added that the Trump campaign wants to "temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law."
The president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is scheduled to hold a press conference alongside Trump outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Centre in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, took to Twitter to express that there was "massive cheating" happening in the vote count. Giuliani, however, did not provide any evidence to back his claims.
The campaign's move comes just hours after President Trump falsely claimed victory in the presidential polls despite millions of votes yet to be counted. Trump addressed the nation post-Election Day, on Wednesday early morning, attacking legitimate vote-counting efforts, saying: "Millions and millions of people voted for us. A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people." Trump, who gave his speech from the White House, insisted that the states where vote tallies currently show him leading should be called in his favor despite significant votes yet to be counted. "We were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything. And all of a sudden it was just called off," he said, and claimed fraud without any evidence. "This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country," Trump claimed. "Frankly we did win this election," he said.
The president also stated that he would move the US Supreme Court to stop "all voting." He said: "We'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at 4 in the morning and add them to the list... as far as I'm concerned, we've already won." Within minutes of his speech, several people took to social media to denounce the president's attempt to disenfranchise voters who voted by mail, and many saw the speech as "a call to action" to his base to not accept the outcome of the current election.