Trump supporters argue their points with demonstrators from the organization Code Pink outside the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump supporters argue their points with demonstrators from the organization Code Pink outside the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump tweets his outrage in all caps as votes are counted

Trump has not been seen in public since his premature declaration of victory in the wee hours of Wednesday morning

President Donald Trump spent a second day in the White House on Thursday stewing over election results that suggested a path to victory was slipping from his grasp, even as his campaign projected confidence.

Trump has not been seen in public since his premature declaration of victory in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but the White House said that he would deliver “remarks” Thursday evening, The flurry of pronouncements flowing out of the White House ahead of the election has slowed to a trickle. And in the West Wing, some aides were eyeing returns warily and losing confidence that outstanding states would break Trump’s way.

Trump was monitoring the results and calling allies from the White House residence and the Oval Office. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona’s Doug Ducey were among those fielding his calls.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president was “working” but declined to elaborate. Trump’s preoccupation with the election results was evident from his tweets.

“STOP THE COUNT!” he proclaimed. But the president has no authority over election counting and halting the count at that moment would have resulted in a swift victory for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

“ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” he later wrote. That seemed to advocate tossing out untold legally cast votes, including those from service members stationed overseas. Many states accept mail-in ballots after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Trump’s all-caps declarations had the tone of a last stand from a man who abhors losing. They mirrored a last-ditch legal effort waged by his campaign in several key undecided battlegrounds that was largely dismissed by experts as superficial and unlikely to shift the outcome in any meaningful way.

With just a handful of states yet to be decided, Biden had a clear advantage over Trump in the still-developing election results, but the president did still have a narrow path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win reelection. To prevail, Trump would have to win all four remaining battleground states; Biden would have to win one.

Trump’s team outwardly expressed optimism.

“Donald Trump is alive and well,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a call with reporters Thursday morning. He predicted Trump would win Pennsylvania and other states that were too early to call.

White House and campaign staff were engaged in the same waiting game as the rest of the nation, somberly glued to television screens and watching results trickle in. In the West Wing, some aides have been eyeing returns warily, losing confidence that outstanding states will break Trump’s way. Some are all but resigned to the idea of a Trump loss and have been discussing future employment prospects even as others continue to make unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Those have been echoed by Trump, who has falsely claimed victory in several key states while amplifying unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about expected Democratic gains as legally cast absentee ballots and early votes were tabulated.

Trump had no events on his schedule Thursday and made no reference to the surging coronavirus. Confirmed new positive cases climbed to an all-time high of more than 86,000 per day on average, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are also setting records and deaths are on the rise, up 15% to an average of 846 deaths every day.

Biden received a private briefing on the virus on Thursday afternoon, before emerging to tell the American public to be patient in awaiting the election results.

It was a very different tone from Trump, whose campaign released an all-caps statement from the president to rile up his base.

“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!” he said. Officials are currently counting legal ballots and there is no evidence of any kind of widespread or decision-altering fraud.

Trump’s campaign was nonetheless dispatching loyalists like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former director of national intelligence Ric Grenell to hold press conferences in states where they are mounting legal challenges. And as they tried to sow public doubt about a potential Trump loss, they announced they would be creating a website and reopening a phone line to collect accounts of alleged fraud.

The campaign also bombarded supporters with fundraising messages warning of unsubstantiated Democratic efforts to “steal” the outcome. The effort had raised well over $10 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss it publicly. At least some of the money was earmarked for paying down general election debt.

Meanwhile, allies of the president, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., used Twitter to call out what he labeled, “The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls.’”

“They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead,” he wrote, adding: “Don’t worry @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual!”

Several of those who have been discussed as possible 2024 Republican candidates quickly chimed in, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a conservative firebrand.

Trump Jr., who has also been discussed as a potential future candidate, made clear the family has no interest in calmly waiting for votes to be counted.

“The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long,” he wrote. “It’s time to clean up this mess & stop looking like a banana republic!”

Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Donald TrumpU.S. election

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trinity Kettyls and Mackenzie Rigg start their 5.4km loop in Gordon Head on Sunday cheered on by members of the Vikes soccer team. Theirs was the last lap of the 270km relay that raised over $67,000 towards the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. (Armando Tura Photo)
Vikes Kick Cancer fundraiser in Saanich surpasses $67,000

Around the world, athletes virtually join Gordon Head relay

Brody Greer, 33, was reported missing by his family on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police looking for high-risk missing man

Brody Greer, 33, last seen by police Nov. 5

Ellen Connor says the decision to not allow sparring since they re-opened in June lost a few customers, but was worth keeping the safety of the rest of her team from a potential COVID outbreak. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Strict ‘no sparring’ rule keeps boxers safe during pandemic

Sooke Boxing Club keeps pace with new health regulations

Island Health reported an exposure of COVID-19 at Sir James Douglas Elementary on Nov. 23. Those with high-risk exposures have been contacted directly, the health authority says. (Google maps)
Victoria elementary school added to list of COVID-19 exposures

Fairfield school is region’s third school listed with an exposure this month

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Most Read