What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Biden campaign remains confident as Trump escalates false claims

Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Trump in three of the five states yet to be called by the Associated Press. Still, it’s not clear when vote counting will conclude. Meanwhile, Trump lashed out at the voting process in a Thursday news briefing, and his campaign is filing lawsuits to challenge results. Yamiche Alcindor reports and joins John Yang and Judy Woodruff to discuss.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The end is drawing closer in the presidential race tonight, with Democrat Joe Biden on the verge of winning. He is now ahead in Pennsylvania, Nevada and narrowly in Georgia, three of the remaining five states still not called by the AP, as counting continues.

    Our White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, reports.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Just six more Electoral College votes, that's what Joe Biden needed to get to the required the 270 when he took the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press count.

    That put the former vice president even closer to the ultimate prize, the White House. President Trump lost his narrow lead in battleground Pennsylvania as elections officials processed historic amounts of mail-in votes. And there's more history happening. Senator Kamala Harris is even closer to becoming the first woman and the first Black and Asian American to become vice president.

    The vote count continued throughout the day, with both campaigns waiting it out, this after President Trump took to the White House press room last night to make a slew of false claims. He outright rejected the integrity of the election.

  • President Donald Trump:

    If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    There is no evidence of widespread irregularities or fraud, but the attack by the president on the democratic process continued.

  • President Donald Trump:

    They're finding ballots all of a sudden. Oh, we have some mail-in ballots. It's amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided.

    They refused to include any requirement to verify signatures, identities or even determine whether they're eligible or ineligible to vote.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    There is also no evidence of that happening.

    The Trump campaign is also alleging misconduct and pursuing lawsuits in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Judges quickly tossed out cases in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. And the president has made clear he wants the election decided in the courts.

    In a statement today, the campaign said — quote — "This is about the integrity of our entire election process. We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government."

    But again today, state and local election officials assured Americans that votes are being counted fairly, from Georgia.

  • Brad Raffensperger:

    In Georgia, this process is and will remain open and transparent to monitors. We are committed to doing everything and everything to maintaining trust in our elections process for every Georgian, regardless of partisan preference.

    Thank you very much.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    To Nevada.

  • Joe Gloria:

    We're not interested in moving as fast as we can. We want to be accurate. We're confident that the work is being done accurately, and that's what our main goal is.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Meanwhile, the president is getting backup from his allies on Capitol Hill, among them, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Today, he repeated the president's unfounded claims, while also calling for proof.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

    I think you're going to see in the next 48 hours real evidence of systematic voting irregularities. It is incumbent upon the Trump administration to make specific cases of voter irregularity.

    They're looking through the voter files now. Did people vote that were not legal residents of Pennsylvania? Did people vote who were dead? Those type things I think are in the offering, but it has to be specific.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Some Republicans are pushing back on the White House and President Trump and calling for faith in the process. Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania reiterated that the president's rhetoric is wrong.

  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.:

    I saw the president's speech last night. And it was very hard to watch. The president's allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I'm not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    But, for Democrats, the results are clear. This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden's win was imminent. She called Biden the president-elect without waiting for the election to be called in his favor.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

    President-elect Joe Biden. It's a happy day for our country, because Joe Biden is a unifier, because he is determined to bring people together, because he respects all points of view.

    And this has been a life-or-death fight for the fate of our democracy, as he says, the soul of our country.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    In the 2020 election, some partisan lines softened, but many seem cemented.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And Yamiche joins us now from outside the White House, and John Yang is in Wilmington, Delaware.

    So, Yamiche, to you first.

    What exactly are the president's legal arguments now and what are his potential paths now that Joe Biden has drawn ahead in several more states?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, the president spent much of today angrily watching TV, watching his path to reelection get narrower and narrower. And that has made the president tick up his misinformation campaign, as well as push campaign aides and people around him to come up with legal strategies to try true wrestle this back.

    Now, Campaign officials tell me that they really feel like the only way the president can win this is if he tries to get recounts in every single state. Now, the math is not on his side. He would have to run the table, Judy, for him to now be reelected. He would have to win Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina to do this, because he has, at this point, by the AP's count, 214 votes, Electoral College votes.

    Another thing to note, there are really two schools of thought in the White House right now. They're the people who want to fight. That's Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, as well as Mark Meadows, I'm told, the president's chief of staff.

    They are looking — they're now looking at hiring David Bossie to oversee a lot of this legal strategy. He's a conservative who is heading up the Citizens United and worked on the president's 2016 campaign.

    But there are also people who feel deflated, people who feel like this is a White House that's already winding down.

    I talked to Ja'Ron Smith. He's the highest-ranking African-American in the Trump administration. Today was his last day, Judy. He said he was already planning to leave the administration. But there are people who are looking at that and saying, people are already deciding, White House aides, already thinking about the future, seeing this White House as one that is winding down, that is coming to an end.

    The tough thing is, who is going to break the news to President Trump? Because he is not anywhere near wanting to talk about losing at this moment.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, John, over to you.

    How is — Vice President Biden and the people around him, how are they dealing, responding to all this?

  • John Yang:

    Well, Judy, the Biden campaign says they see nothing, they see nothing, no lawsuits, no recounts, nothing that would change the fact, what they say is the fact that, once all the votes are counted, Joe Biden will be the president-elect.

    They — when you ask senior Biden advisers about the razor-thin margins that we're seeing in some states, they just say, a win is a win. They say it's just a matter of time. And, as a matter of fact, they're even making plans for the former vice president to speak to the nation from here at the Chase Center out in Wilmington, Delaware, perhaps as soon as tonight.

    They're still — last time I checked in, they were still debating whether to do it tonight.

    You know, this — at this site Monday, before the election, before the final day of voting, they have set up fireworks, and they would dearly love to use them as soon as possible.

  • Judy Woodruff:


    And, so, Yamiche, back to you.

    What about this disinformation that you laid out in your report a minute ago? I mean, what exactly are they saying? And how are they backing it up?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, as Joe Biden is preparing to really celebrate possibly winning this election, President Trump is leaning in on people to kick up this misinformation campaign.

    Last night, we saw the president deliver what might be his most dishonest speech yet. And I say that objectively, because almost every sentence that the president said was false. He talked about votes being whittled away. He talked about votes magically appearing. He talked about Democrats stealing back and coming in the middle of the night to find votes, and that's why he was losing and losing his lead in critical states.

    We're also seeing the president do something that he did after the "Access Hollywood" tape in 2016. He's taking names and wanting Republicans to come out and support him, especially his family is also saying that people need to go to war. Those were the words used by Donald Trump Jr., the president's son.

    And this is a lot of misinformation, a lot of things that are just simply not true. But the president is really hoping that Republicans get behind it. So, we saw Senator Lindsey Graham, as well as Senator Ted Cruz start to talk about whether or not there were things that looked nefarious in this election.

    But, as we noted, election officials in every single state that the president is trying to say something happened that was not right, they're saying the votes are being counted fairly, that nothing is happening that is seemingly a part of a fraud or part of a campaign against the president.

    So, we will have to watch this space, because the president is continuing to not only say things that are wrong, but requiring other Democrats — I'm sorry — requiring other Republicans to come and back him in this misinformation.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Well, it's fascinating to hear, and such a fast-moving story.

    We thank both of you, Yamiche Alcindor at the White House, John Yang joining us from Wilmington, Delaware. Thank you both.

Listen to this Segment