US ELECTION 2020: Trump's defiant reaction to Biden speech

Donald Trump is refusing to go quietly as he tweeted defiantly from the White House - doubling down on his election rigging claims - moments after Joe Biden told the nation he would win.  

We are on the cusp of an election result, with Mr Biden taking the lead in the one remaining state he needs to reach 270 electoral votes.

In his late-night speech, he said the votes were telling a "clear and convincing story".

"We don't have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us it is clear, and a clear and convincing story," he said. "We're going to win this race. Just look at what has happened since yesterday.

"24 hours ago, we were behind in Georgia, now we are ahead and we're going to win that 24 hours ago, we were behind in Pennsylvania and we are going to win Pennsylvania."

He also addressed Mr Trump's claims.

"Your vote will be counted. I don't care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen. People will be heard," he said.

Pennsylvania, and its 20 electoral votes, will be enough to win the election for Mr Biden. As things stand, Mr Biden leads by 27,000 votes there, having once trailed by 700,000, before officials started to count the mail-in vote.

Now, with about 100,000 ballots left - many of them from heavily Democratic areas - he seems all but certain to win. We still have to wait and see, though.

Mr Biden has also inched in front in Georgia. He is up by a tiny margin of 4200 votes there, with very few left to count. He is probably going to win the state, but don't expect the TV networks to project it anytime soon, given how close it is. And the state government has already announced there will be a recount.

Three other states remain contested. Mr Biden leads in Nevada and seems all but certain to win it, as most of the outstanding votes are from Democrat-leaning Clark County. The President leads in North Carolina, and should hold on, though we probably won't know for certain until next week.

And then there's Arizona. Fox News and The Associated Press both called it for Mr Biden days ago. Other networks haven't, and the Trump campaign has insisted it will end up winning the state. It's certainly a close contest, and we will keep watching it, though the latest batch of votes suggests Mr Trump is not catching up fast enough to overtake Mr Biden there.

Read on for all the latest election news.

 

Trump defiant in late-night tweet

It's almost midnight in Washington DC and the President has just tweeted, appearing to stand defiant on his election rigging claims.

It came just moments after Joe Biden's speech.

Chief Trump staffer has COVID

Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has the coronavirus.

Bloomberg reports that he informed a close circle of advisers after Tuesday's election.

 

Biden outlines his vision

He ends his speech by outlining his vision for the future of the nation.

"It is time for us to come together as a nation to heal. It is not going to be easy, but we have to try," he said.

"Responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation and I want you to know that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me. That is the job, that is the job.

"It is called the duty of care for all Americans. We have serious problems to deal with. The economy, racial justice, climate change, COVID. We don't have any more time to waste.

"More than that, we have an incredible opportunity to build the future we want for our kids and our grandkids.

"I have said, many, many times that I have never been more optimistic about the future of this nation.

"There is no reason we can't own the 21st century. We just need to remember who we are.

"This is the United States of America. And there has never been anything, anything we have been unable to do, unable to accomplish what we have done it together.

"I hope to be talking to you tomorrow and I want to thank you all and may God bless you and God protect our troops. Good night."

 

'I will not let it happen': Biden's message to Trump

Biden has spoken about Trump's election rigging claims and attempts to stop the votes being counted.

"Your vote will be counted. I don't care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen. People will be heard," he said.

"Our journey is towards a more perfect union and it keeps moving on. In America, we hold strong views, we have strong disagreements and that is OK.

"Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy. Strong disagreements are healthy. They are a sign of a vigorous debate of deeply held views but we have to remember, the purpose of our politics isn't total unrelenting on warfare.

"No, the purpose of our politics, the work of the nation isn't to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems.

"To guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot and improve the lives of our people. We may be opponents but we are not enemies, we are Americans."

 

Biden claims victory in Arizona and Georgia

Biden says he's going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years and the first in Georgia for 28.

He also called for patience as the votes are counted.

"We have rebuilt the blue wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just years ago. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, the heartland of this nation," he said.

"I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow and is as low as it goes, it can be numbing.

"But never forget, the tallies are not just numbers, they represent votes and voters.

"Men and women who exercise their fundamental rights to have their voice heard. And what is becoming clear each hour is that record numbers of Americans of all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same."

 

Joe Biden doesn't declare victory

He's up.

"We don't have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us it is clear, and a clear and convincing story," he said.

"We're going to win this race. Just look at what has happened since yesterday.

"24 hours ago, we were behind in Georgia, now we are ahead and we're going to win that 24 hours ago, we were behind in Pennsylvania and we are going to win Pennsylvania.

"And now we are ahead but we are winning in Arizona, winning in Nevada, and in fact, our leaders just doubled in Nevada. We are on track to have over 300 electoral college votes."

He then looks at the national votes.

"We're going to win this race a clear majority with the nation behind us. We have gotten over 74 million votes. I'm going to repeat that, 74 million votes," he said.

"That is more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America. And the vote total is still growing. We are beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes. That is a margin that is still growing as well."

Biden now 27k ahead in key state

Joe Biden is now 27,000 votes ahead in Pennsylvania after a fresh batch of results.

He trailed by more than 600,000 votes at one point.

If he wins that state, it's likely he'll be declared the winner of the US election.

 

US smashes COVID case record

As we wait for Joe Biden to speak and the votes to be counted, the US has hit a grim new milestone.  

The nation has recorded 122,365 cases in the past 24 hours, which is a new world record for a single-day increase.    

Trump emails Americans demanding money

Donald Trump is swamping voters with emails and texts with urgent demands and even veiled threats to "step up" with money to fight "Democrats' plan to steal the election".  

A Twitter account @TrumpEmail, published in the US media outlet The Daily Beast, reports the president's campaign has flooded subscribers' inboxes with more than a dozen demands via a "Support the Election Defence Fund".  

 

How things stand

There's a bit of a lull in results. Here's where we're at in the key races.

Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes at stake) - Biden is ahead by 27,130.

Georgia (16 electoral votes at stake) - Biden is ahead by 4,395 votes, and the state has declared it will conduct a recount.

Arizona (11 electoral votes at stake)  - Biden is leading by 29,861.

 

Biden preparing for speech

The Democrats have set up a stage for Joe Biden who is preparing to make a speech at some point today in Wilmington, Delaware.  

He was initially expected to speak around now, but the results are still up in the air.  

Those on the ground in Wilmington say he is playing it by ear as to when he will speak, but it's understood he will speak even if we don't have a decision tonight.

 

Arizona could be decided in hours

We're expecting a massive batch of results from Arizona - where Donald Trump has slashed Joe Biden's lead in half in 24 hours - at 1pm today.    

Officials in Maricopa County - which encompasses Phoenix and is state's most populous county - expect to release tens of thousands of newly recorded votes.    

The New York Times reports that those remaining votes will be key to deciding the tight race.  

 

The latest results  

We've just had some results drop in and this is how is stands in the key states.     The big news is that Biden is really pulling away in Pennsylvania and Nevada, where he's closed a gap of about 2000 votes in the past hour in both states.

  • Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes at stake) - Biden is ahead by 16,784 and his lead is growing with each new batch of votes.
  • Georgia (16 electoral votes at stake) - Biden is ahead by fewer than 4,275 votes, and the state has declared it will conduct a recount.
  • Arizona (11 electoral votes at stake)  - Biden is leading by 38,455 votes, and that advantage is shrinking with each update. The state is close.
  • Nevada (6 electoral votes at stake) - Biden's lead has grown to more than 22,657 and he seems all but certain to win the state.

   

No more votes in Nevada today

The Nevada Independent, which knows what it's talking about, says officials in the state are done counting for the day.  

This lines up with our experience from much of this week. Everyone seems to work to a different schedule in Nevada. 

Anyway, if this changes we'll let you know. But certainly don't expect Nevada to be called tonight.

 

Trump trolled in the streets

As America tensely waits for an outcome of the presidential election, some have taken to the streets to say exactly how they feel.

Shared by journalist Hugh Riminton, the driver of one truck wove through Washington DC with a sullen looking picture of Donald Trump and the word 'Loser' emblazoned across his vehicle.

"I heard there was almost a riot as people fought for the driver's seat," commented one Twitter user.

"How much is the driver paid, probably not enough," joked another.

The standard of Trump memes during this last week has been phenomenal, garnering hundreds of likes across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Physical demonstrations have also taken place across the US, as voters make it clear that the President's term is up.

A temporary security fence erected outside the White House has been covered in signs, with many calling President Donald Trump a 'loser' and demanding he leave the Oval Office.

Signs plastered with the words "Stop killing us" and "Trump is over" covered the temporary fencing.

Some even went so far as to call Trump a "Fascist clown", among other signs that declared "Trump is guilty".

The demonstrations comes as Joe Biden sits on the cusp of winning the US election, after overtaking Donald Trump in the key state of Pennsylvania.

Mr Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania on Friday morning, US time.

The state is worth 20 electoral votes, which is enough to push the Democrat above the 270-vote threshold he needs for victory.

He is also ahead, albeit narrowly, in the state of Georgia, which has not voted for a Democrat since 1992.

The state is close enough that it will proceed to a recount in the coming days.

The Associated Press and Fox News have the current Electoral College tally at 264 for Biden and 214 for Trump.

 

Vote count slows to a crawl

I really can't emphasise enough how much the vote count has slowed in the last 12 hours.

A few hours after this blog started today, it seemed as though Pennsylvania in particular was on the cusp of being called.    

Alas, no. We have just got another small influx of votes from Nevada, with Joe Biden's lead growing to about 22,500 again.

 

Trump says Biden shouldn't 'wrongfully' claim presidency

There's been another tweet from the President.

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning," Donald Trump tweeted a short time ago.

It's an interesting stance from the guy who wrongly claimed he had "already won" the election four days ago.  

President Donald Trump says Joe Biden should not claim victory in the US election.

This is despite Mr Biden commanding an almost unassailable lead in the key battleground states and Mr Trump himself claiming victory.

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!" Mr Trump posted on Twitter.

The latest projections show Mr Biden has 264 electoral college votes while Mr Trump has just 214. The first candidate to get 270 will become the next president.

Mr Biden has the lead in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia. Mr Trump is expected to win North Carolina.

Mr Biden was expected to address the public today but that could be on hold.

 

The President has also been copping it on social media after an old tweet about "losing with dignity" resurfaced.

"Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.' So true!" Mr Trump wrote in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Earlier the defiant Donald Trump unleashed on Twitter in the middle of the night US time.

At almost 2.30am local time, the President posted a string of tweets which again slammed the electoral system.

"I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!" he posted.

Mr Trump is yet to present any credible evidence of widespread election fraud.

 

 

 

 

Mr Trump's Senate allies Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz have echoed the President's allegations of electoral fraud.

Speaking on Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham said he planned to donate $US500,000 towards legal action regarding election procedures in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.

"Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake. Why are they shutting people out? Because they don't want people to see what they're doing," Mr Graham said.

Senator Ted Cruz also sided with Mr Trump and demanded access to the vote counting.

"I'll tell you the president is angry and I'm angry and the voters ought to be angry," he said.

"We need to get in there now."

There has been no evidence of election fraud in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada or elsewhere in the 2020 election.

AP has fact-checked a string of allegations made by Donald Trump on Thursday - and shut down some of his biggest arguments.

Most notably, the organisation insists the President had failed to produce any evidence of fraud so far, despite claiming his rivals were trying to "steal" the election from him.

 

 

 

Biden's lead doubles in Georgia:

Joe Biden's lead in Georgia has just jumped from about 1500 to 4200. Still close enough for a recount, so don't get too excited.   But it is pretty clear he will finish with more votes when they've all been counted the first time.

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning," Trump has tweeted this morning.

Biden's margin could be same as Trump's in 2016 : 

As things stand, it's possible bordering on probably that Joe Biden will win Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. That would take him to 306 electoral votes.  

Does that number sound familiar? It's the same number of electoral votes Donald Trump won in 2016.  

For kicks, this is how Mr Trump has described his winning margin in the years since.  

"We had a tremendous landslide, Electoral College victory, like people haven't seen in a long time.

"Not only did we win the election, we had an Electoral College landslide. OK? It was a landslide.

"They lost an election and they lost it big. It was really a landslide.

"It got bigger and bigger, and wider and wider, and then we won by a lot.

"Don't forget, it was 306-223. That's a lot.

This was an excuse for the Democrats, who lost an election. Who actually got their asses kicked, 306-223.

"That's a pretty good shellacking."  

In that last quote, he was referring to the Russia investigation.  

Anyway, awkward. And remember, Mr Trump lost the popular vote four years ago, whereas Mr Biden is winning it comfortably.

Hilary Clinton during her US election run in 2016.
Hilary Clinton during her US election run in 2016.

 

Trump told to 'put his big boy pants on':

Speaking to the media earlier, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had some incredibly harsh words for the President.    

"The votes will continue to be counted until every ballot - mail-in ballot, absentee ballot, and provisional ballot - is counted," Mr Kenney said.    

"So while some, including the President, continue to spew baseless claims, our founding fathers who conceived this system just a 15-minute walk down the street, I know would be proud.    

"I think what the President needs to do is, frankly, put his big boy pants on. He needs to acknowledge the fact that he lost and he needs to congratulate the winner, just as Jimmy Carter did, just as George H.W. Bush did, and frankly, just as Al Gore did.    

"Stop this and let us move forward as a country."

 

Biden's lead grows, he will address nation soon:

Not much of an update here, but Joe Biden's advantage in Pennsylvania has inched up again and now stands at about 12,000 votes.

At a press conference a short time ago, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the Trump campaign had "not produced one iota of evidence" to back up its claims of fraud.

One other thing - we're hearing Mr Biden plans to address the American people during primetime tonight.

That's still a fair few hours away, so the election might be called before he speaks.  

 

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Joe Biden and Donald Trump

 

Georgia confirms a recount is coming:

  Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, just gave a brief statement to the media, confirming the state was heading towards a recount.  

"With a margin this small, there will be likely a recount in Georgia," Mr Raffensperger said.  

"The final tally in Georgia has huge implications for the entire country. The stakes are high and the emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work.  

"We will get it right, and we will defend the integrity of our elections.  

"This process is and will remain open and transparent to monitors. If any member of the public raises legitimate concerns, we'll investigate those."  

The word "legitimate" is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

Mr Raffensperger, incidentally, is a Republican.  

The media conference also addressed those outstanding overseas and military ballots Donald Trump suggested were "missing" earlier.  

Again, they are not missing.

There are currently 8410 of these ballots that will be accepted and counted if they are received by the deadline at close of business today.   Sometimes people request absentee ballots and don't end up returning them. It's not a sign of foul play.

 

Hours until more results from Nevada:

We'll be waiting a fair while for more results from Nevada. According to NBC News, the next batch from Clark County (where most of the remaining votes are) will be released at 7pm my time. That's about four hours away.  

 

Trump releases a new statement:

The Trump campaign has released a written statement from the President.

"We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process," he says.

"From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn.

"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation."

So, this is considerably more measured in tone than what we heard from Donald Trump at the White House last night. It's a little loose with the facts though.

There has not been resistance to the "basic principle" that illegal ballots should not be counted.

There has been an insistence that the campaign provide evidence to support its claims that illegal ballots are being counted. As things stand, it has presented no such evidence.  

Originally published as No fly zone set up over Biden's house



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