Donald Trump has posted a video of a 46-minute speech which he described as maybe “the most important speech I've ever made”.
Filmed at the White House, the president’s speech was a laundry list of debunked claims and falsehoods as he rattled off a greatest hits of election conspiracies.
Trump said the purpose of the speech was to “provide an update” on his efforts to overturn the election result, erroneously claiming counts in previous elections were tabulated on the day.
“Now we have election days, weeks and months,” he said. “And lots of bad things happened during this ridiculous period of time.”
The president said the country’s election system was under “coordinated assault and siege”, ironically echoing language used hours before by Wisconsin state lawyers when describing Trump’s legal efforts to undermine the state’s vote count.
Trump continued to spread lies about mail-in ballots, prompting Facebook to add a warning about the disputed claims and links to information about the “long history of trustworthiness” of both postal and in person voting.
Trump then began a bizarre dive into the timing of the vote tally in battleground states insisting it was “all very strange” and pointing to a spike in votes for Biden from heavily Democratic counties.
The president held up graphs showing when votes were officially tabulated, lamenting a “dump” in Wisconsin which was uploaded early in the morning and put Biden ahead, calling it a “terrible thing”.
In filings to the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier, a lawyer for Democratic Governor Tony Evers described Trump’s attempt to toss out ballots only from the state’s two most heavily Democratic counties as an “assault on democracy.”
After a litany of legal fails, the president’s lawyers are seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump by a 2-to-1 margin in those counties on his way to a 20,682-vote win statewide.
Trump is not challenging any ballots in the state’s other 70 counties, the majority of which Trump won.
Trump alludes to post-presidency legal woes
The president alluded to potential legal troubles after he leaves the White House next month.
“I hear that the same people who failed to get me in Washington have sent every piece of information to New York so that they can try to get me there,” he said in the address.
Once Trump loses the de facto immunity from prosecution that the presidency affords, he could face charges stemming from a federal prosecution against his onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to a range of crimes including arranging illegal hush money for extramarital affairs during the 2016 campaign.
Continuing to position himself as a martyr to his loyal supporters, Trump tried to bring them into the fight.
“They want to take not me, but us down,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to Trump’s latest offering at the bully pulpit was met with widespread derision from most in the media.
“Really leaning into being the sorest loser in American political history,” remarked veteran CNN journalist Jake Tapper, who complained the speech was “chock full of lie after lie after lie.”
Really leaning into being the sorest loser in American political history — the full video is 46 minutes long and chock full of lie after lie after lie https://t.co/WpJWtKfKl9
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 2, 2020
Pres Trump in this 46 minute video he just released says this might be the most important speech he has ever given.
What's clear is that it might be one of his most dishonest speeches he's ever given. He's making baseless claims that courts, the AG & DHS have said didn't happen.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) December 2, 2020
Trump appears to confirm 2024 run
Amid multiple reports that Trump is readying a second tilt at the White House, the president teased the notion as he hosted a holiday reception at the White House.
“It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump told the crowd, which included many Republican National Committee members.
“We’re trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”
The video of Trump’s appearance Tuesday (local time) was streamed live on Facebook by one attendee, Pam Pollard, who is national committeewoman for the Oklahoma GOP.
Despite the White House being home to previous coronavirus super spreader events, the footage showed dozens of people crammed into the broad Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together.
The Trumps began hosting holiday receptions this week, intent on celebrating a final season before departing the White House.
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