President Donald Trump realized the fears of many political observers Tuesday night by falsely claiming a “big win” in the U.S. presidential election despite many millions of votes yet to be counted and no clear victor even remotely in sight.
“He doesn’t decide … we the people do. Forget his nonsense. We will ensure every vote is counted.” —MoveOn.org
With the battle over crucial electoral college votes still potentially days or even weeks away—and just after Democratic nominee Joe Biden spoke to the nation in a televised address to urge patience for official results—Trump, just before 1:00 am ET, tweeted he would be “making a statement tonight” and then called it “a big WIN!”
Moments later, Trump falsely stated “We are up BIG”—even though at the time both the Associated Press and New York Times election desks had Biden up 213 to 174 in their electoral college projections. Trump then unleashed another lie, stating that the Democrats “are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”
Twitter immediately slapped a message on the Trump tweets warning that they contained overt misinformation, stating: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” In order for viewers to see the tweets, they would have to click through the warning.”
Firing back against Trump’s brazen misinformation, Biden himself tweeted: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election. It’s the voters’ place.”
In his earlier speech, Biden urged the nation to remain “patient” as all the votes are counted, but added that he was “optimistic about the outcome.”
“We believe we are on track to win this election,” Biden told supporters from his home city of Wilmington, Delaware. “It ain’t over until every vote is counted,” he said.
George Goehl, direcot of the progressive advocacy group People’s Action, was among the issuing immediate rebuke to any effort by Trump or the Republican Party to steal the election or misinform the American people before the tally of every vote is complete.
“Count every vote, no matter how long it takes,” said Goehl. “Democracy includes us all. Anyone running for office can say whatever they want to, but it’s the will of the voters that decides. Donald Trump and Republicans know they’re losing and like any cowards would, are doing everything they can to try and steal this election and block our votes and voices. The voters will decide our next president. And once every single vote is counted, the will of the people will be overwhelmingly clear.”
While progressives and pro-democracy watchdogs for weeks have warned that Trump would try pull such shenanigans on Election Night, in the end it played out much as many reported and predicted it might,
The original piece was published in commondreams.org