Trump’s Desperate Conspiracy Theories Won’t Save His Presidency, but They Might Save His Ego
When Donald Trump claimed he would have won the popular vote in 2016 if it weren’t for “the millions of people who voted illegally,” he was only trying to magnify his victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Now that he seems to be losing a presidential election, his desperate scramble for explanations has produced conspiracy theories that make his 2016 fantasy pale by comparison. Here are a few of the things the president seems to believe, judging from his remarks at the White House last night.
Joe Biden can win only with “illegal votes.”
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking to them very strongly, but a lot of votes came in late.”
This is a testable claim. Trump is saying that Biden can win the election only if mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day, which he deems “illegal,” are counted. Yet in Pennsylvania, whose 20 electoral votes would clinch Biden’s victory, the former vice president has pulled ahead of Trump even without including late-arriving ballots. “The votes being counted in Pennsylvania do not include any mail ballots arriving after Nov. 3,” New York Times reporter Nick Corasaniti notes. “Those are being kept segregated. This count is for votes in by Election Day.”
Election officials in states run by Democrats are manufacturing votes for Biden.
“They’re trying to steal an election,” Trump said. “They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen….The voting apparatus of those states [is] run in all cases by Democrats. We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret….They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait, and then they find them, and you see that on Election Night.”
Trump’s only evidence of the massive, orchestrated fraud he describes is that election results shifted as more votes were counted. But that is a common election phenomenon, and this year it has been magnified by Trump’s attacks on voting by mail
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