ATLANTA — President Donald Trump, appearing in the White House briefing room Thursday night, underscored his claim that his opponents are rigging the vote-counting and are trying to steal the election.
He included Georgia in his long list of toss-up states that he believes he won by a large margin.
Trump claimed that elections officials in Georgia and in other states are circumventing the will of the voters, and have been trying to rig and steal the election, to make Biden possibly win, in Georgia and in the national Electoral College.
He cited irregularities during the vote processing and vote counting, specifically mentioning the water-pipe leak in Fulton County Tuesday night that interrupted the absentee vote processing at State Farm Arena.
“In Georgia, a pipe burst in a faraway location, totally unrelated to the location of what was happening,” he said. “And they stopped counting for four hours. And a lot of things happened.”
According to Fulton County, and 11Alive’s reporter on the scene, the leak came from a room directly above the vote tabulators, not from a faraway location, and that the tabulating was delayed briefly during the repairs, less than two hours.
The president also questioned why his big lead in Georgia dwindled after Tuesday.
“In Georgia, I won by a lot, a lot, with a lead of over—getting close to—300,000 votes on election night in Georgia, and, by the way, (it) got whittled down.”
11Alive looked again at the vote totals from Tuesday night as they were beginning to come in from across the state, and, in fact, President Trump was leading for a time in Georgia, in those early returns, by some 300,000 votes.
However, his lead dwindled when votes from more populous areas of historically Democrat voters were counted.
Neither he nor Biden had won Georgia as of Thursday evening. The President also said that he is losing in states where he should be winning-- because of Democrats, including in Georgia.
“The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats,” he said.
Georgia’s Secretary of State who is in charge of elections is a Republican, Brad Raffensperger. Raffensperger is not an appointed Secretary of State, he is a constitutional officer who first won the statewide election to the office in 2018.
His three immediate predecessors going back to 2007 were Republicans, including Brian Kemp, who is now Georgia’s Governor and a close ally of President Trump. Raffensperger also chairs the bi-partisan state elections board, as Kemp did before him.
And local election officials are hired by county governments that are led by a mix of Republicans and Democrats.
President Trump said again Thursday night that he will pursue relief in the courts, with proof, he said. He did not say whether he would continue to target Georgia in any litigation.