- President Donald Trump falsely said that he won the 2020 general election. No winner has been declared.
- "We were getting ready to win this election," Trump said in late-night remarks at the White House. "Frankly, we did win this election."
- The development comes after Trump repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of the election and mail-in ballots as the majority of polls showed him trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
- Trump has also refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, telling reporters in September, "Get rid of the ballots and we'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly, there'll be a continuation."
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President Donald Trump falsely claimed that he won the 2020 general election early Wednesday morning. No winner has been declared.
"We were getting ready to win this election," Trump said in late-night remarks at the White House. "Frankly, we did win this election."
"This is a major fraud on our nation," Trump added, without any evidence to support his assertion.
Trump proclaimed himself the winner despite the fact that the full results were not yet in as of 2:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. He also said he'll go to the Supreme Court, though it's not clear why.
Notably, Vice President Mike Pence did not echo Trump, stating, "We are on the road to victory."
Votes have yet to be counted and certified in multiple states, and legally every state still has time to do so.
In the US, Americans don't directly elect the president. Instead, states appoint a number of electors equal to the number of representatives they have in Congress to the electoral college, a system that was devised in the 18th century by the founders of the United States.
This year, states must certify their results by December 8, also known as the "safe harbour" deadline. On December 14, electors will convene in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to formally cast their votes for president and vice president.
Trump's anti-democratic announcement early on Wednesday came after months of the president casting doubt on the integrity of the election process and claiming without evidence that an increase in mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to widespread voter fraud and a "rigged" election outcome.
The president has also said that the results of the election should be decided on Election Night itself, despite the fact that results are never finalized that way. It's a normal part of the electoral process for ballots to be counted days or even weeks after voters go to the polls.
However, as Business Insider previously reported, it was unlikely that the American public would be left hanging for days on end. Of the 10 main battleground states, seven — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Texas — allow election officials to start processing and counting ballots on or before Election Day.
Florida and North Carolina were widely expected to report out the majority of their results after polls closed on November 3, and Ohio was also expected to report most of its results from early votes and mail-in ballots. Florida and Ohio were called in favor of Trump, and North Carolina has yet to be called.
Trump's move to falsely declare himself the winner of the election is not entirely surprising. He has repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, saying in September, "Well, we'll have to see what happens. Get rid of the ballots and we'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly, there'll be a continuation."
On the weekend before Election Day, Axios reported that Trump planned to declare victory on election night if it appeared that he was "ahead."
But Trump in comments to reporters on Sunday night denied that he would prematurely declare victory, but added: "I think it's a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election. I think it's a terrible thing when states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over."
"I think it's terrible that we can't know the results of an election the night of the election," Trump added, once again ignoring the fact full, finalized results are never available on election night.
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