President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that he will continue to fight despite races in several key states showing that his path to victory is getting narrower.
“If you count the legal votes I easily win,” he said at around 6:45 p.m. ET. “If you count the illegal votes,” then the race will go to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, he added.
Trump added that he will “defend the integrity of this election,” citing its importance. “They’re trying to rig an election,” he said, arguing that Detroit and Philadelphia Democrats are trying to “engineer the outcome of a presidential race.”
“We want openness and transparency, no mystery ballots, no illegal ballots being cast after Election Day,” he said. “We think we will win the election easily” because his team has “so much evidence, so much proof.”
Trump noted that he’s won in Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida despite “historic interference from big media, big money, and big tech” as well as “suppression polls.” He cited polls from agencies that showed him 17 points behind Biden in Wisconsin. So far, data shows Biden ahead by only about 20,000 votes.
The president said that his campaign observers were not allowed in several key areas, adding that his vote-count “whittled away” after Tuesday night. He said that “mail-in voting” is a “corrupt system” and “makes people corrupt.”
“Mail-in ballots are a disaster,” he said. “We can’t be disgraced by having something like this.”
Trump also hailed “a big red wave” for the House of Representatives, “and it’s been properly acknowledged by the media,” while noting that the Senate was able to keep its GOP majority.
Trump was last seen publicly early in the morning Wednesday at the White House, where he delivered a speech and said some voting should be stopped, while alleging voter fraud.
Earlier on Thursday, Democratic challenger Biden told reporters from Delaware, his home state, that his campaign believes he’ll be the winner after votes are counted.
“We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners,” Biden said. “So, I ask everyone to stay calm, all people stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we’ll know very soon.”
He again stressed “each ballot must be counted,” adding that “democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well.”
As of Thursday, vote-counting still was ongoing in Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Alaska.
No news organizations have called the race in favor of either candidate in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Alaska, or North Carolina, although Fox News and The Associated Press called the race for Arizona on Tuesday night. Some pollsters said the call for Arizona appeared to be early.
Trump’s 2020 campaign filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan to stop vote counting and to gain better access to the counting process.