US President Donald Trump invited lawmakers from Michigan to the White House Thursday, according to reports in various US media outlets. It is the latest move in a bid to overturn the result of the presidential election.
It comes just hours after Michigan’s largest county said it could not revoke its certification of election results, as the two Republicans on the electoral commission who approved Biden’s local victory wanted to revert to their initial stance of refusing to recognize the vote tally.
Trump invited Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. Both men agreed to go, according to a state official.
Trump has yet to concede the presidential election, which was held more than two weeks ago. Former vice president and Democratic candidate Joe Biden is the projected winner.
Trump lawyers push fraud claims
Also on Thursday, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani continued to make claims of voter fraud in swing states that the president lost.
Giuliani said the recount in Georgia would “tell us nothing because these fraudulent ballots will just be counted again.”
He made a claim that 15,000 people in the west Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh, which supported Biden, voted early and tried to vote again at the polling booth.
He said Republican election watchers were kept too far away to watch the process, referencing a scene from the movie My Cousin Vinny.
What has Trump said about the election?
Trump maintained his Twitter presence following the election, calling several state races into question, with the social networking service Twitter flagging several of his tweets as “disputed.”
In Wisconsin, which Biden won, Trump tweeted, “a day AFTER the election, Biden receives a dump of 143,379 votes at 3:42 AM, when they learned he was losing badly.”
Trump claimed “votes being far greater than the number of people who voted, cannot certify the election. The Democrats cheated big time, and got caught” in Michigan, which Twitter flagged as “disputed.” Biden was projected to win the state.
Trump called the Georgia recount a “joke and is being done UNDER PROTEST” in a tweet. Biden was projected to win the state before the recount began. Twitter said the president’s claim was also disputed.
While retweeting the New York Times daily newspaper, which reported the president received more than 10 million more votes across the country than in 2016, Trump said, “…AND I WON THE ELECTION” claiming “VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!” That claim was flagged by Twitter, saying “multiple sources called this election differently.”
US election officials said Monday they had found no proof of compromised voting systems and no evidence of “deleted or lost votes.”
What are the legal challenges?
The Trump campaign launched several lawsuits in the swing states where the president was projected to lose. The majority of them were unsuccessful.
The Trump campaign filed several lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan, claiming voter fraud in several left-leaning counties. In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign claimed that mail-in votes received soon after election day should not count, and that their election watchers were not allowed close enough to ballot counting.
In Michigan, the Trump campaign said there was voter fraud in Wayne County, which includes the city of Detroit. However, Trump’s reelection campaign said Thursday it was withdrawing its lawsuit.
“This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted,” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement.
The president has not yet given up in Wisconsin. The state Election Commission ordered a recount of more than 800,000 ballots in two liberal Wisconsin counties on Thursday. The president paid $3 million (€2.5 million) for the recount.
What are the official results so far?
While votes are still being counted, it is expected that Biden won the popular vote by several million votes. He is projected to secure at least 290 electoral college votes, more than the 270 required. That is according to several American media outlets.
The electoral college, which decides the presidency, will vote on December 14. The tally will be formally counted by Congress in January. Whoever has at least 270 electoral college votes will become president on January 20, 2021.
Biden won several swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. A manual recount is underway in Georgia, a state that Biden narrowly won according to early projections. That state has 16 electoral votes. If Biden secures the state, he is expected to receive 306 electoral votes.