President Trump declared victory in multiple key battleground states early Wednesday, even though it remained unclear who had the votes to win, as Trump hinted the White House would push the Supreme Court to rule over disputed ballots, warning that a “very sad group of people” was trying to “disenfranchise” voters.
The president, speaking from the East Room of the White House, alongside first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence, thanked his supporters and touted “record” turnout.
“I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support. Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we will not stand for it,” Trump said. “We won't stand for it.”
Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden's campaign manager, said in a statement that Trump "does not decide the outcome of this election. Joe Biden does not decide the outcome of this election. The American people decide the outcome of this election. And the democratic process must and will continue until its conclusion."
The president was able to declare victory late Tuesday in battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, and was able to clinch a big electoral win in traditionally red Texas, among other states, Fox News projected.
But, a number of key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina, were too close to call.
“We won states we weren’t expecting to win,” Trump said. “Florida, we didn’t win it, we won it by a lot.”
“We won the great state of Ohio, we won Texas…It is also clear that we have won Georgia,” Trump said, despite that race not yet being called. “They’re never gonna catch us. They can’t catch us.”
The president said the same of North Carolina, saying he has “clearly won,” and again, that “they can’t catch us,” despite that race, too, not yet being called.
The president, and his campaign throughout the night, complained about the race in Arizona, which Fox News called for his rival, Democrat Joe Biden. The campaign, and the governor of Arizona, argued that some Election Day votes still needed to be counted.
“Arizona, we have a lot of life in that,” Trump said. “Somebody declared victory, and maybe it will be, but certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get. We’re now just getting into Trump territory and that could be overturned.”
The president shifted to Pennsylvania, and said he was “winning” in the state “by a tremendous amount of votes,” despite votes still being counted there.
“All of a sudden, I said, what happened to the election? It’s off,” Trump said. “You know what happened. They knew they couldn’t win, so they said, let’s go to court.”
Trump added that he predicted a legal battle, and said he has “been saying this since the day I heard there would be tens of millions of ballots sent,” referring to the unprecedented scale of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment on our country,” Trump said, referring to the votes not being called in key states.
“We were getting ready to win the election, frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said, adding that he wanted to “ensure the integrity” of the vote, and ensure the law is “used in a proper manner.”
“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump said. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list.”
He added: “It’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment, and we will win this.”
“As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” Trump said.
Biden, speaking earlier in Wilmington, Del., said just after midnight that he was “on track to win this election.”
“Be patient,” Biden told supporters. “It ain’t over until every vote is counted—every ballot is counted.”
He added: “But we’re feeling good, we’re feeling good about where we are.”
Biden thanked supporters for their “patience,” and urged them to “keep the faith, guys.”
“We’re gonna win this,” Biden said.