Trump eyes victory, Biden launches White House transition website
Washington — President Donald Trump’s campaign said on Thursday it expected to launch additional legal action in Pennsylvania and Nevada and predicted that the Republican incumbent would emerge victorious in the US election by as early as Friday evening.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters on a conference call that Trump was “alive and well” with regard to the presidential race.
Campaign adviser Jason Miller said he expected legal action in Pennsylvania to ensure visibility on previous ballots that have been counted in that state.
Biden, a 77-year-old former vice president and U.S. senator who has spent a half century in public life, predicted victory on Wednesday and launched a website to begin the transition to a Democratic-controlled White House.
Trump, 74, is seeking a second four years in office after a tumultuous first term in which he has been impeached but acquitted in a Senate trial, put relations with NATO allies under strain and struggled to respond to the coronavirus pandemic which has killed about 230,000 Americans.
Trump’s campaign called for a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden led by roughly 21,000 votes out of 3.3 million cast, a margin slim enough to entitle him to a recount. However elections experts said a recount in Wisconsin was seen as unlikely to alter the result.
His campaign also filed lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania to stop vote counting. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, in charge of elections, called the Trump team’s lawsuit “frivolous.”
Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit in Georgia to require that Chatham County, which includes the city of Savannah, separate and secure late-arriving ballots to ensure they are not counted.
It also asked the US. Supreme Court to allow Trump to join a pending lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Republicans over whether the battleground state should be permitted to accept late-arriving ballots that were mailed by Election Day.
Trump’s campaign said it planned to make a statement in Las Vegas later on Thursday. A source said the campaign would announce a lawsuit that would allege that thousands of people cast ballots who no longer live in the state.
Despite Trump’s allegations of fraud and an unsubstantiated charge that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election, U.S. election experts say fraud in balloting is rare.
With tensions rising, about 200 of Trump’s supporters, some armed with rifles and handguns, gathered outside an election office in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday following unsubstantiated rumors that votes were not being counted.
In Detroit, officials blocked about 30 people, mostly Republicans, from entering a vote-counting facility amid unfounded claims that the vote count in Michigan was fraudulent.
By early on Thursday, Biden had drawn about 3.6 million more votes than Trump nationwide.
Trump defeated Democrat Clinton in 2016 after winning crucial battleground states and securing the Electoral College win even though she won about 3 million more votes nationwide.