Nov 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's last stand against the truth

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is pinning his hopes — and presidency — on a wild, relentless war against reality and truth, falsely claiming several states are stealing the election by adhering to their laws, rules, and long precedents. 

Why it matters: Trump fears the election will be called today, perhaps first by Fox News, and that his effort to get the Supreme Court to intervene will fail, officials tell Axios. 

  • Trump and his eldest son, Don Jr., are demanding Republicans support his campaign to paint the election as fraudulent and stolen.  

Important to note: It is not at all unusual, much less fraudulent, to count mail-in votes after Election Day — and for the results to change as new tallies come in. 

  • Each state sets its rules well in advance of the election. 

A Trump tweet at 3:10 a.m., which was labeled as "misleading" by Twitter, captures perfectly his war on truth:

  • "I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!"

Reality check:

  1. There's no evidence of widespread illegal votes in any state, much less the several he would need to flip to "easily win."
  2. Trump is trying, in several ways, to make it appear that observers — a normal part of the vote-counting process — are being shut out to cover up "illegal" votes. This is simply false. 
  3. The Supreme Court only steps into elections in exceptionally rare instances. Even lawyers sympathetic to Trump struggle to find legal rationale for the current state-specific disputes to rise to the highest court.  

The bottom line: The election could be called as soon as today. Trump can demand recounts and court cases — so be patient and allow the political and legal process to play out, as designed.

  • Truth is, the system, imperfect as it might be, works. 
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