Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET
Though all evidence points to the contrary, President Trump’s campaign is insisting that Trump has a path to reelection victory and that it will pursue legal challenges to results in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. To date, the campaign has lost more than two dozen challenges filed since the Nov. 3 election in which Joe Biden has been declared the decisive winner.
But the president has repeatedly and falsely said the election was riddled with fraud, and in a lengthy, conspiracy-filled news conference in Washington, D.C., his attorneys, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, claimed they had hundreds of affidavits from voters and election workers that would prove Trump won the election.
Giuliani alleged that cheating in Democratic-controlled cities, such as Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee, was part of a “nationwide” voter fraud conspiracy. He said they “made significant mistakes, like all crooks do, and we caught them” — although he backed up the allegations with vague assertions and theories that have yet to be argued in a court of law.
The campaign’s continued push to question the results comes as states are in the process of certifying votes and as almost every top election official in the country — both Republican and Democratic — insists the election ran smoothly with no signs of widespread fraud.
The recently fired federal cybersecurity official Chris Krebs called the Giuliani press conference “the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history” on his personal Twitter account. Krebs led efforts against disinformation around voter fraud, including baseless information promoted by Trump.
Michigan counties completed a canvas of their results — in which Biden is some 154,000 votes ahead — after two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, home of Detroit, agreed Tuesday night to reverse an earlier position and certify the count. They had refused to do so earlier in the day, citing some discrepancies in the vote tallies.
Then on Wednesday evening, the two canvassers reversed themselves again, signing affidavits saying they wanted to rescind their votes, with at least one canvasser saying she had received a call from Trump. The state said it was too late to change the vote, but the Trump campaign insisted it meant the Wayne County tally was no longer certified.
The campaign has made no secret it hopes to delay and challenge the results enough in Michigan and other states in the hope of getting GOP-controlled state legislatures to override the popular vote totals and appoint the electors instead. It’s a far-fetched scenario, and Republican legislative leaders have signaled for the most part they want no part of such an effort.
However, several news outlets reported that Trump has asked the Republican leaders of the Michigan Legislature to fly to Washington to meet with him on Friday.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Biden said Trump’s refusal to concede shows “incredible irresponsibility.”