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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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In a moment unprecedented in US history, a president of the United States came before the American people to declare that the counting of votes stop in the midst of his own election–and falsely declared himself to be the winner of a second term.

Donald Trump emerged to speak before a televised audience at the White House shortly after 2 am EST on Wednesday morning, even before key states had yet to be called or before he or Democrat Joe Biden reached the required 270 electoral votes to be declared a winner.

In expected Trump fashion, he falsely cast the matter as political opponents trying to steal the election from him–despite the fact that there’s no evidence of such a thing.

“This is without question the latest news conference I have ever had. I appreciate this very much and I want to think the American people for their tremendous support. A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people. We won’t stand for this,” he said. “I want to think the first lady and my family. We were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off.”

The truth is that there was never anything immediately after the election to “call off,” given that Trump has not hit the so-called “magic number” of 270 electoral votes.

“The results tonight have been phenomenal and we are getting ready, I mean, we were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was so beautiful and so good. Such a successful vote the citizens of this country have come out in record numbers. This is a record and there’s never anything like this. We’ve won states we weren’t expected to win. We won Florida by a lot. We won the great state of Ohio. We won Texas. It’s also clear we have one Georgia we are up by 2.5 percent. Likewise we’ve clearly won North Carolina. We were up 1.4 percent. If you look and you see Arizona we have a lot of life. And somebody said they declared, there were a lot of votes out there that we can get. We are just now coming into Trump territory. …

“We obviously want that to stay in place but most importantly we are winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount. We are up 600,000 votes in Pennsylvania. With 64 percent of the vote in its going to be almost impossible to catch me,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments about Pennsylvania were most dangerously false, as the votes tabulated there immediately were day-of voters. Pennsylvania officials had said that by state law that mail-in ballots would not start being counted until perhaps the next day.

So the results that Trump was claiming were certainly false.

As he has long threatened, Trump once again said that he planned to take election cases to the US Supreme Court.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to the country. We were getting ready to win this election and frankly we have won this election,” he said. “The goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation and this is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on the nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. We are going to be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”

It’s not immediately clear what sort of standing Trump would have to bring such cases to the high court so quickly.

The fact is that all voting has stopped. What’s going on now is the counting of votes, and it seems as though that’s what Trump’s interested in stopping.

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