“We did win this election,” Trump said in an extraordinary speech from the ceremonial East Room of the White House. “This is a fraud on the American public.”
He appeared to mean stopping the counting of mail-in ballots which can be legally accepted by state election boards after Tuesday’s election, provided they were sent in time.
The issue could become crucial in the states still tabulating votes in a very tight contest.
Trump began with a sometimes rambling statement expressing disappointment that he had believed he was on a road to certain victory but that results then stopped coming in and the Republican-friendly state of Arizona was called for Biden.
“We were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off,” Trump said without fully explaining what he meant.
Trump said “we will be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”
There was immediate backlash from Trump’s own Republican backers.
“It’s a bad strategic decision. It’s a bad political decision,” Chris Christie, a Trump advisor said of the middle-of-the-night speech.