Donald Trump spent Friday evening tweeting furiously to air a series of fraud conspiracies, while his rival Joe Biden addressed the nation to call for calm and reassure voters that their ballots would be counted.
As the sun set on Friday, and as yet more results showed the race turning for Biden in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona, Trump, 74, was threatening legal action.
‘Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President,’ he said.
‘I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!’
Donald Trump, pictured on Thursday night, spent Friday evening tweeting in anger
The president then spent the next few hours ranting about the results trickling in from key state Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia – giving Biden a lead over him.
‘I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by,’ he said.
‘Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!’ he concluded, hopefully.
Several hours later Trump was watching Fox Business, and tweeting some of his favorite lines from the pundits.
‘“We need an explanation as to how these numbers have been running up for the last two or three days.” Matthew Whitaker. @EveningEdit,’ he tweeted.
He was particularly impressed by Jim Jordan, the Ohio congressman who was re-elected on Tuesday.
Jordan told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that it was ‘worse than we thought’.
He said people in Pennsylvania were ‘allowing votes to come in after the day’ – something which the courts ruled could happen, provided the ballots were postmarked by election day.
He also railed at ‘the transparency issue’, claiming – without evidence – that election monitors like Dave Bossie were being asked to leave.
‘This is the first time in history that you have a party systematically set out to win the election after the election, and it has to be stopped.’
Trump tweeted: ‘Incredibly stated Jim!’
When Jordan then tweeted news of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s ruling that county election boards in Pennsylvania comply with a state directive to separate mail-in ballots received after Election Day from other ballots – a ruling reinforcing a procedure that they were supposed to already be doing – he said: First win for election integrity!’
Trump retweeted his remarks.
While Biden gave a late-night speech in Wilmington, Delaware, where he said the American people had given him a ‘mandate’, the president tweeted links to stories retweeted by conservative activist Dan Bongino, saying: The Polls Were More Wrong in 2020 Than in 2016′.
He also retweeted multiple tweets from commentator Paul Sperry, who asked: ‘Why was there such a disproportionately large share of singular Biden-only ballots?’
He also asked: ‘How many people who requested and mailed in ballots near or on Election Day also showed up at the polls on Election Day and cast ballots in Philly, Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Vegas?’
The president then retweeted a story from Newsmax, owned by his friend Chris Ruddy, with the headline: ‘True Electoral Count Shows Trump Winning’
Trump also retweeted remarks by Tom Bevan, co-founder of Real Clear Politics, who criticized the decision by Fox News on Tuesday night to call Arizona for Biden – a decision which Vanity Fair said led Trump to call Rupert Murdoch and demand a retraction.
‘It doesn’t matter if Fox’s call of AZ ends up being correct in the end,’ said Bevan.
‘It was totally unnecessary to call it as early as they did.
‘And the fact they jumped to call it, after waiting hours to call FL when 97% was in and Trump up 3+points is an awful double standard.’
He concluded his flurry by retweeting conservative radio host Buck Sexton, who asked: ‘Does anyone even try to make an argument why there is a good faith reason to block GOP poll watchers, or are we just supposed to ignore how highly suspicious that seems?’
There is no evidence that legitimate Republican poll monitors have been blocked from observing ballots being counted.