US President, Donald Trump, has denied reports he plans to declare victory on Tuesday night November 3, once it looks like he’s ahead, even though it might take days or even weeks before battleground states like Pennsylvania finally count their votes.
According to a report by Axios on Sunday night November 1, Trump told confidants he’ll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he’s “ahead,” according to three sources familiar with his private comments.
The report states that Trump has privately talked through this scenario in some detail in the last few weeks, describing plans to walk up to a podium on election night and declare he has won.
For this to happen, Trump’s team expect he would need to either win or have heavy leads in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia.
The hugely significant US presidential election between Trump and Democrat, Joe Biden starts on Tuesday and will be decided by who wins the electoral vote.
Trump and Republicans believe allowing the votes to be counted days or even weeks after the election night could leave to massive voter fraud in states like Pennsylvania controlled by Democrats, but Democrats have rubbished those claims.
Trump has now denied Axios report that he would declare victory prematurely.
“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.” Trump said.
He continued: “I think it’s terrible that we can’t know the results of an election the night of the election. … We’re going to go in the night of, as soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers.”
“We don’t want to have Pennsylvania, where you have a political governor, a very partisan guy. … We don’t want to be in a position where he’s allowed, every day, to watch ballots come in. See if we can only find 10,000 more ballots.”
When asked to comment on the report, the Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh said, “This is nothing but people trying to create doubt about a Trump victory. When he wins, he’s going to say so.”
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller predicted that Trump “will be re-elected handily and no amount of post-election Democratic thievery will be able to change the results.”
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Monday, November 2, that there could be 10 times as many mail ballots this year than in 2016, “so, yes, it will take longer” to count.
“I expect that the overwhelming majority of ballots in Pennsylvania, that’s mail-in and absentee ballots, as well as in-person ballots, will be counted within a matter of days,” Boockvar said.