WASHINGTON (AP) – At his first post-election rally, President Donald Trump offered a succession of discredited conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods, claiming victory in an election he clearly lost on Saturday.
Here is an analysis of some of his statements in Valdosta, Georgia:
TRUMP: “If I had lost, I would have been a very polite loser.”RELATED
THE FACTS: There is no “yes.” The president lost, refuses to admit it, has not congratulated the winner and reiterates statements about electoral irregularities that courts and officials in all disputed states and in Washington have considered baseless.
TRUMP, trying to challenge the more than 80 million votes received by President-elect Joe Biden: “When he gave his Thanksgiving speech online, they say he had less than a thousand (viewers). How do you have 80 million votes if you have less than 1,000 people?
THE FACTS: That estimate is far from the truth and is an example of how Trump bases claims on very strange arguments. Millions of people saw Biden’s Thanksgiving message.
The false claim that fewer than a thousand people viewed the speech appears to come from a screenshot someone shared on Twitter, showing the number of viewers logged in at any given time to one of the speech broadcasts. But the speech, delivered the day before the holiday, was broadcast live through the platforms of several major media, each with its corresponding audience, and garnered more than a million views in the first days, a figure based only on data from some websites.
The video of the speech shared on Biden’s official Facebook page racked up more than 540,000 views, and the sum of views on NBC and ABC YouTube channels was even higher.
Biden released a shorter video after the holiday, which recorded more than 5 million views on Twitter a day later.
TRUMP, suggesting that ballots were found in questionable locations. “When the numbers come out of the ceiling and out of leather bags, you start to wonder what’s going on.”
THE FACTS: Nothing out of the ordinary happened. That claim is part of a false theory that has spread, about suitcases full of votes found under a table covered by a tablecloth and that were counted without supervision.
A video distributed on social media and shared by Trump showed surveillance footage from a vote processing center in Atlanta on election night. It showed ordinary vote containers on wheels, not suitcases, and the presence of a state investigator and an independent observer monitoring the counting of those votes until work was completed that night, according to state and county officials.
Courts and electoral authorities in contested states across the country have consistently dismissed Trump’s persistent allegations that the election was marked by fraud.
TRUMP, on the elections already decided: “We are winning these elections.”
THE FACTS: No, the scrutiny is over and Biden defeated him.
When California certified the elections in his state on Friday, Biden led the Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270-vote threshold required to win the presidency. He got 279 votes and seems set to finish with 306, compared to 232 for Trump, once other states certify his results.
Voters will meet on December 14 in their states to formalize the national result.
TRUMP: “We won Georgia, so you understand.”
THE FACTS: No, he didn’t win.
Trump lost Georgia, and the state has certified Biden’s victory. Republican election officials affirmed that the voting and counting were done fairly. No credible allegations of fraud or systematic errors have been made.
Georgia’s Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger, initiated an audit that led to a full hand-count, confirming Biden’s victory in the state. The governor, fellow Republican Brian Kemp, rejected Trump’s request on Saturday to convene a special legislative session to try to change the outcome.