Biden denounces ‘irresponsible’ Trump fight to reverse election

Biden denounces ‘irresponsible’ Trump fight to reverse election
Donald Trump has refused to accept his loss on Nov. 3. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Biden denounces ‘irresponsible’ Trump fight to reverse election

Biden denounces ‘irresponsible’ Trump fight to reverse election
  • Trump was behind “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions”
  • Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes that ultimately decide who takes the White House

WILMINGTON: US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday accused Donald Trump of brazenly damaging democracy, as the incumbent’s campaign to reverse his election loss through fraud claims was dealt another blow with a recount in Georgia.
Trump was behind “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions,” Biden told reporters in his home state of Delaware.
“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks,” said Biden. “I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won, is not going to be able to win and we’re going to be sworn in January 20th.”
Trump has refused to accept his loss on November 3, despite his opponent getting over six million more votes.
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes that ultimately decide who takes the White House by 306 to 232, flipping five states that went to Trump four years ago.
That includes Georgia, where a hand recount of its five million ballots confirmed Thursday that Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the southern state in almost three decades.
The recount showed Biden had won by 12,284 votes, according to figures posted on Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger’s website — slightly fewer than the approximately 14,000 he originally led by.
Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis attacked the outcome and pledged the campaign will “pursue all legal options.”
After initially making baseless claims of widespread fraud, Trump has appeared to shift his strategy to asking states to overrule the will of voters.
In Michigan, Trump placed a telephone call to a Republican on a once-obscure board who wants to withdraw her certification of the election result in a heavily Democratic county that includes majority-Black Detroit.
“He was checking to make sure I was safe after seeing/hearing about the threats and doxxing,” Wayne County Board of Canvassers chairwoman Monica Palmer told the Detroit Free Press, referring to personal information posted about her on social media.
Trump also reportedly invited Michigan Republican lawmakers to the White House, even as his campaign withdrew a federal lawsuit that asked the courts to block final certification of the state’s results.
Biden won Michigan on November 3 by 155,000 votes, a margin of victory more than 10 times higher than Trump’s when he won the state in 2016.
Asked about Trump’s calls with officials there, Biden said it was “another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history.”
Republican senator Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate and frequent Trump critic, accused the president of resorting to “overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.”
“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president,” he said in the statement posted on Twitter late Thursday.

Earlier Thursday Trump had dispatched his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to give a news conference where he read affidavits claiming fraudulent voter activity in multiple states and said the campaign would file a new lawsuit in Georgia.
Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, brazenly accused Democrats of being “crooks” trying “to steal an election from the American people.”
“It changes the results of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County,” said Giuliani, who repeatedly wiped sweat from his brow and at one point had a dark liquid which may have been hair dye snaking down the side of his face.
As Giuliani and other Trump lawyers outlined claims that included charges of communist involvement, the president — apparently watching on television — took to Twitter to applaud them for laying out “an open-and-shut case of voter fraud.”
Chris Krebs, the top US election security official who was fired by Trump after calling the election the most secure ever, wrote on Twitter that the news conference was “the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history” and “possibly the craziest.”

In Georgia, some discrepancies were found in Republican leaning counties, according to Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager who helped monitor the so-called risk-level audit.
“The good part was, the audit did its job. It found those tranches of votes,” he told Fox News.
The issues, which were chalked up to human error and not fraud, included memory cards that were not scanned in Douglas and Walton counties, more than 2,700 missing votes in Fayette County, and 2,600 ballots from Floyd County that were not scanned.
The focus on Georgia is not just because of the recount. The state’s two US Senate races are going to runoffs on January 5 that will determine control of the chamber and the ability of Biden, who celebrates his 78th birthday Friday, to push through his agenda.


LIVE: Donald Trump leaves White House ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 8 min 59 sec ago

LIVE: Donald Trump leaves White House ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania make their way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. (AFP)
  • Joe Biden will be sworn in later on Wednesday afternoon
  • Ceremony will take place amid heightened tensions and a massive security operatio

LONDON: The US is braced for one of the highest profile handovers of the presidency in its history. Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday with First Lady Melania, before attending a military send-off at Joint Base Andrews.

Joe Biden will be sworn in at 5 p.m. GMT (8 p.m. KSA) and take the oath of office alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The ceremony will take place amid heightened tensions and a massive security operation after a deadly riot at the US Capitol earlier this month.

Follow live updates of the inauguration below (all times GMT):

14:00 - Trump said he will be “back in some form” before boarding Air Force One for Florida.

“This has been an incredible four years,” Trump said in brief remarks to staff, supporters and members of his family gathered at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington. “We've accomplished so much together, I will always fight for you. We will be back in some form.”

Trump did not address Biden by name but said he wishs the new administration “great luck and great success.”

13:30 - Trump makes his final speech as President of the United States, saying it had been the greatest honor of his life. Watch it below: