President Donald Trump phoned his lawyer Rudy Giuliani during a hearing-style event purportedly investigating voter fraud to claim ‘we won this election’ and demand that the result ‘has to be turned around’.
He told a group of Republicans gathered in a hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: ‘This was an election that we won easily. We won it by a lot.’
Mr Trump lost the state race to President-elect Joe Biden by about 80,000 votes and the Democratic nominee was certified the winner there on Tuesday. The president also trails Mr Biden in the popular vote by just over six million ballots.
The event was the latest attempt by Mr Trump and his lawyer, former New York City mayor Mr Giuliani, to cast doubt on the election result, even as the formal transition process has now begun for Mr Biden to assume the presidency.
Hastily organised by Republican state lawmakers, it featured all the trappings of an official hearing – including US flags, a gavel and unsworn ‘witnesses’ who ‘testified’ in person or over the phone.
Mr Trump had been expected to attend in person, but instead spoke to the participants by speaker phone for around 11 minutes.
He repeated many of his debunked claims that the election had been stolen and drew cheers from the partisan crowd.
Mr Trump said: ‘I’m in the Oval Office right now. It’s very interesting to see what’s going on. This was an election that we won easily. We won it by a lot.
Rudy Giuliani was participating in the hearing-style event (Picture: AP)
President Donald Trump repeated his claim that the election was ‘rigged’ (Picture: AP)
‘This election was rigged, and we can’t let that happen.
‘We can’t let it happen for our country. And this election has to be turned around, because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all of these swing states by a lot.’
Mr Trump went on: ‘It would be easy for me to say “Oh, worry about four years from now”, no – this election was lost by the Democrats. They cheated. It was a fraudulent election.’
As Mr Giuliani and a number of people gathered behind him broke out into applause, the president continued: ‘They flooded the market, they defrauded everybody on ballots and I just want to thank everybody for being there.
‘We have to turn the election over because there’s no doubt we have all the evidence, we have all the affidavits, we have everything.
‘All we need is to have some judge listen to us properly, without having a political opinion or having another kind of a problem.’
Mr Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, called the Gettysburg event ‘a sideshow’.
State and federal officials have said there is no evidence of the type of large-scale fraud Mr Trump alleges.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro also rejected the claims.
Mr Shapiro, a Democrat, said on Twitter: ‘The sitting president’s remarks today were devoid of reality.
President-elect Joe Biden said ‘our democracy was tested this year’ (Picture: AP)
‘The election is over. Pennsylvania has certified results & declared Joe Biden the winner of our Commonwealth.
‘Lying through a cell phone at a fake hearing changes nothing.’
Without mentioning the president, Mr Biden addressed the messy aftermath of the vote during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
He said: ‘Our democracy was tested this year.
‘In America, we have full and fair and free elections and then we honour the results. The people of this nation and the laws of the land won’t stand for anything else.’
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