President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory over Democratic rival Joe Biden on Wednesday (November 4) with millions of votes still uncounted in a White House race that will not be decided until a handful of states complete vote-counting over the next hours or days.
Shortly after Biden said he was confident of winning the contest once the votes are counted, Trump appeared at the White House to declare victory and said his lawyers would be taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, without specifying what they would claim.
“We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said to an audience of supporters, among them members of his family.
“This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” Trump added.
First lady Melania Trump stood by his side during the speech and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka sat in the front row among others.
“It’s a very sad, it’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment,” said Trump.
Polls have closed and voting has stopped across the country, but election laws in U.S. states require all votes to be counted, and many states routinely take days to finish counting legal ballots. More votes stood to be counted this year than in the past as people voted early by mail and in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier in the evening, Trump won the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas, dashing Biden’s hopes for a decisive early victory, but Biden said he was confident he was on track to winning the White House by taking three key Rust Belt states.
Trump has repeatedly and without evidence suggested an increase in mail-in voting will lead to an increase in fraud, although election experts say that fraud is rare and mail-in ballots are a long-standing feature of American elections.