Officials blast Trump as he continues to falsely claim election fraud

President Trump walks toward a lectern with the presidential seal in the White House briefing room
President Trump arrives at the White House briefing room Thursday evening. His remarks included a series of election-related falsehoods that prompted some television networks to cut away.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Some Republicans joined other officials in swiftly condemning President Trump’s latest false claims late Thursday that he is being robbed of a reelection victory by fraudulent votes in decisive states where Joe Biden appears to be winning.

“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, tweeted shortly after Trump spoke from the White House briefing room. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”

In televised remarks to reporters, Trump said, without providing any evidence of wrongdoing: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”


Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the Republican 2012 presidential nominee, also tweeted a response to counter the president’s messages over the past two days that states should cease counting votes.

“The votes will be counted,” Romney said. “If there are irregularities alleged, they will be investigated and ultimately resolved in the courts. Have faith in our democracy, in our Constitution, and in the American people.”

A Democratic congresswoman and former CIA analyst from Michigan, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, wrote on Twitter that it was time for elected officials from the local level to Trump’s cabinet to choose between “fealty to President Trump, or democracy.” Senior Republican officials need to speak out against the president, she said, “to make clear they will not participate in attempts to thwart the will of the voters.”

Photos: Election day voting is over but the counting continues.

“History is presenting a real test for the people who have downplayed the president’s anti-democratic words and deeds,” Slotkin said. “Leaders can no longer dodge their responsibilities to our democracy. These responsibilities are bigger than one man or any one party.”

Daniel Dale of CNN, who has a large social media following after years of fact-checking Trump, tweeted, “I’ve read or watched all of Trump’s speeches since 2016. This is the most dishonest speech he has ever given.”

Ellen Weintraub, chair of the Federal Election Commission and a Democrat, urged the president to stop making false claims.

“Enough, Mr. President. Enough. Spewing conspiracy theories regarding this election will not change the results,” she tweeted. “Your lies undermine our democracy and harm our country. Just stop.”