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Shortly after the Associated Press and other TV networks call Pennsylvania and the entire race for Joe Biden, President Trump’s lawyers lay out their plans for a long legal fight over the results. NewsHour’s Dan Bush joins from Philadelphia to discuss the moment Biden’s victory was called and the Trump campaign's plan of action.
NewsHour's Daniel Bush is in Philadelphia and has more on the moment the race was called and what the president's lawyers say they are planning next.
Dan Bush, you're in Pennsylvania, about the time that the Associated Press called the election for Joe Biden, you were getting ready for a press conference from the Trump campaign. What did they have to say?
Hari, it was a little bit of a chaotic scene here.
The Trump campaign scheduled a press conference just around the time the Associated Press first called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, which put him over the 270 threshold for victory. Then they called the entire race for Joe Biden. Shortly after that, Rudy Giuliani, a close associate of President Trump's, as well as Corey Lewandowski and some others came out here and Rudy Giuliani ran through a litany of claims or allegations around what he is claiming or is suspicious activity related to the election.
Rudy Giuliani said that this is outrageous. He said that mail-in ballots were "highly suspicious." He said that no Republican got a chance to inspect ballots — that is not true. He said that there was zero security around this vote counting process — that is not true as well as for that security as well as the rest of the press did with our own eyes when we took tours of the facilities where they're counting these ballots.
I should also note as well, there is no widespread evidence of voter fraud, either here in Pennsylvania or anywhere else in the country. But even after the election was called, there was Rudy Giuliani making that legal argument. The Trump campaign has already filed several suits around the country. Rudy Giuliani said more are coming, so you can see the Trump campaign digging in its heels here for what they think could be a long legal fight.
What is the likelihood of the votes being recounted in Pennsylvania? And is that likely to prove the type of result that Rudy Giuliani wants?
That is the critical question, Hari.
Under Pennsylvania law, the secretary of state is required to order a recount if the margin is within 0.5 percent, half of one percent. As of today, Joe Biden was up by roughly 30,000 votes — that number may have already gone up since the last time that we looked at it closely. That is because as more mail-in and absentee ballots are counted, those are breaking at up to 75 percent in Joe Biden's favor.
Right now, he's roughly on that bubble of what would be a 0.5 percent margin. But again, as these numbers come in, he's going to go up, the expectation is he will exceed and that the margin will not be within the amount that Pennsylvania would have to proceed with a recount.
Rudy Giuliani was asked about a possibility of a recount today. He just said, stand by, more lawsuits are coming. So we are following these final numbers very closely for that very reason.
Dan, were there any specific groups that helped Joe Biden cross that line in Pennsylvania?
Hari, Joe Biden coming into this election in the final weeks, made a very strong pitch to a couple of key groups, Black voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, other parts of the state, as well as suburban voters, those same voters that President Trump went after in the final weeks with his law and order message. Those suburban voters told me that message did not resonate with them. For the most part, Trump did get support in the suburbs, but it wasn't enough to hold off a big turnout for Joe Biden in cities, in suburbs. And in the end, that get-out-the-vote operation got him over the top.
All right. Dan Bush joining us from Philadelphia. Thanks so much.
Thank you, Hari.
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