US President Donald Trump has been complaining about what he described as “surprise ballot dumps” as ballot counts in the Rust Belt showed his lead shrinking in those states – a claim that was swiftly labeled as “misleading” by Twitter.
Trump’s re-election campaign has now indicated it will go on extensive legal challenges in states where vote margins are currently slim, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” he tweeted. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
Those claims have however been challenged by Democrats and media outlets. Twitter has since flagged the Wednesday morning tweet, about which it said: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. “The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race, and Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin elections commission, applauded the state’s handling of the election in a briefing.
Although Trump has requested a recount, it is unlikely to change the final result in Wisconsin with a margin as high as 20,000. Even Trump’s allies, like former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, have said a recount is unlikely to flip the state.
Trump and top Republicans have raised concerns for months about mail-in ballots and what they allege is the potential for fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, he had said at a news conference that he wants “voting to stop”.
“We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 in the morning and add them to the list,” the president said.
Later Wednesday, after his initial tweet, he also asked: “How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?”
His criticism of the “pollsters” comes after what appears to be a significant miss by a number of polls as to the result of the race — after many had predicted a Biden landslide.