Trump calls election a fraud, demands Supreme Court action, declares victory

In a 2:30 a.m. press event at the White House, Donald Trump said that the presidential election was a fraud, declared victory in it all the same, and said he would go to the Supreme Court, implying a call for the vote-count be stopped.

The statements came during a rambling, frustrated speech about the unfolding election count, which remains a toss-up.

"We were winning everything," he claimed, inaccurately, tallying several states he had indeed won according to early network projections and at least one that he hadn't. "… and then all of a sudden it was called off."

He later added: "and then it all goes away. This is a fraud … Frankly, we did win this election."

Trump claimed to "have won" in Georgia and to be "winning" in Pennsylvania, despite the former state being too close to call and the latter having only so far counted about two thirds of its ballots.

"As far as I'm concerned, we've already won," Trump said—falsely, at the time he said it.

As of the hour, the nail-biter presidential election in fact remained in the balance, with both candidates racking up about 230 electoral votes and outstanding states unlikely to finish their counts by sunrise.

Trump was most obviously angered by Fox News calling Arizona for rival Joe Biden—if he loses there it would be a major blow—early in the night. Other networks have not yet followed suit there.

In social media posts before his speech, Trump claimed, falsely, that the election was being "STOLEN"—a claim quickly flagged by both Twitter and Facebook as misleading.

About an hour earlier, Biden gave his own pep speech to supporters, saying he thought it was likely that he would win once the remaining votes were tallied.

Election forecasting was vastly complicated this year by the Covid pandemic and the overwhelming volume of mail-in ballots that resulted. By the early hours, it appeared that most opinions polls were at least as wrong as they were in 2016, with Trump again the beneficiary, but perhaps not enough to overcome Biden's more substantial lead.