President Donald Trump is reportedly considering holding a “victory rally” this weekend to raise the spirits of his supporters as all indicators reveal that rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden has more than enough electoral votes to be declared the winner of the 2020 presidential elections, according to the New York Times.
The news comes as the Trump campaign continues to insist that the election is “not over,” even as Biden has swung into the lead in crucial battleground states like Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Trump’s advisers reportedly remain divided over the next steps he should take as the vote count draws to a close at a glacial pace.
Discussions at the White House included Trump holding a rally this weekend, according to one person close to the talks.
However, a number of advisers were reportedly crestfallen over his narrow chance to eke out a victory after he gave a rambling, 17-minute speech on Thursday filled with baseless claims of fraud.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said while sounding tired and unusually passive. “This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election … They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen.”
“We’re hearing stories that are horror stories,” he added. “We think there is going to be a lot of litigation because we have so much evidence and so much proof.”
The speech dismayed even some members of his own team, as well as his supporters and surrogates like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“I talk tonight now not as a former governor but as a former U.S. attorney — there’s just no basis to make that argument tonight,” Christie said on ABC News. “There just isn’t.”
The president is said to have not accepted that he may be a one-term president, and has shown no sign that he plans to concede his defeat in the hotly-contested election.
The president’s subordinates, including as chief of staff Mark Meadows, have reportedly not attempted to convince him to accept the encroaching defeat and have instead backed his claim that the election is being stolen from him through a vast conspiracy involving big tech, local government officials, and the mainstream media.
Some of his most fervent support has come from his two sons, Don Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who have been frantically speaking at press conferences in a bid to keep morale high in Trump’s base and signaled that they will wage a bitter fight to cling to the White House by any means.
Trump’s public appearances since Election Day have stood in sharp contrast to those of Biden, who has been urging his supporters to remain calm while expressing cautious optimism about how the electoral process will play out.
A number of Republican officials – including Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey, and the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump – have either failed to endorse the president’s fabricated assertions, or have condemned them. This has left Trump’s sons, his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and a number of MAGA activists alone to do the heavy lifting of defending the president’s claims.
The president’s sons have both expressed dismay over Republicans’ attempts to distance themselves from their father’s claims, accusing them of being “RINOs” (Republican in name only) and cowards.
“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Don Trump Jr. tweeted. “They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead.”
“Where are Republicans!” Eric Trump later tweeted. “Have some backbone. Fight against this fraud. Our voters will never forget you if your sheep!”
Associated Press and Fox News currently have Biden with 264 electoral college votes (other outlets have him at 253) versus Trump’s 214. If Biden reaches the 270 mark, he will be declared president-elect. Other media outlets that have endorsed Biden still have his count at 253 as Arizona’s continues to tally in the remaining ballots.
Business Insider has declared Joe Biden the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election with 273 electoral votes, noting that he had over 4 million more popular votes than Trump as of Friday and had already flipped Pennsylvania.
For months, Biden led Trump in polling on the statewide and national levels, but the polls in many key states exaggerated his lead and the possibility of a Democratic “Blue Wave” sweeping across the electorate.
President Trump has reportedly recognized in private that the electoral math simply doesn’t favor his chances, according to people close to the Oval Office, but he is still hoping that a protracted legal battle and the continued spread of unsubstantiated rumors and claims of fraud would give him the space to challenge the results.
However, the thin lead that Biden has in Wisconsin and Georgia will likely give Trump’s team the ability to request a recount.
The Trump campaign and Republican officials have also filed legal challenges in a number of states, with very mixed results.
The Biden campaign has announced that the 77-year-old former vice president will give a speech on Friday evening, but have given no indication about what he plans to say.
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