By Susana Samhan
Washington, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Lame duck President Donald Trump on Sunday admitted that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election, but he claimed – once again providing no evidence and in contrast to numerous election officials’ statements – that the former vice president won only due to election fraud and then almost immediately clarified his remark saying that he was not acknowledging his defeat.
Biden “won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!” wrote Trump on his Twitter account.
That tweet was marked by the social network in the following way: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Trump accompanied his tweet with an excerpt from an interview on Fox News of conservative political commentator Jesse Watters in which the pundit said – again without providing any evidence – that Biden won due to election fraud.
On Nov. 7, the main US media outlets projected that Biden would win the presidential vote, but Trump still has not acknowledged his defeat and has devoted his time and energy to spreading conspiracy theories about supposed election fraud, all the while failing to provide any proof or evidence to support those claims.
Meanwhile, according to the vote count in the states around the country so far, Biden has accumulated 306 electoral votes, above the 270 total required to win the presidency in the Electoral College.
In a later tweet, the president insisted that he was not recognizing his defeat, saying that Biden “only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
So far, Trump and his campaign team have filed a number of lawsuits in various courts alleging election fraud but most of them have been thrown out, as in two courts in Pennsylvania on Friday where six suits filed by the campaign were disallowed.
In his tweet, Trump appeared to be echoing a theory being promoted by the QAnon movement, which is claiming without any proof that election fraud occurred linked to the Dominion Voting Systems firm, which manufactures vote counting machines.
On Thursday, Trump posted another Twitter message in which he mentioned that conspiracy theory, which contends that Dominion eliminated millions of votes that had been cast for him, citing a link to the ultrarightist One America News Network, which evidently had originally broached it.
The non-governmental Advance Democracy organization, which investigates cases of online disinformation, found that since Nov. 5 one in every seven Twitter messages identified with the hashtag Dominion originated in QAnon accounts.
QAnon is an Internet phenomenon that promotes baseless theories such as that the world is controlled by an organization made up of Satanic pedophiles who, among other things, are conspiring to defeat Trump or that the wildfires that are devastating the Western US were set by Black Lives Matter activists.
These conspiracy theories and allegations of electoral fraud, which Trump, too, is promoting, seem to be making an impression among his base.
On Saturday, thousands of the president’s supporters staged a march in downtown Washington to protest against alleged election fraud, a protest that resulted in fistfights and other altercations with Trump’s detractors during the evening.
And to top it all off, on Sunday Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, touted in an interview with Fox Business a bizarre hypothesis – again without providing any evidence – that Dominion was linked with Venezuela’s deceased president, Hugo Chavez; the multinational Smartmatic, which makes voting machines for Venezuela; China; the decentralized anarchist Antifa “movement” and Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros.
When asked about any proof he might have to back up his allegations, Giuliani said that he had witnesses to what he claimed and that he could prove that election fraud had been committed in Michigan’s vote counting, although he offered no further specifics.
Even if Michigan’s 16 electoral votes were to be allocated to Trump, instead of to Biden, who the vote count shows won there, that still would not give Trump the 270 electoral votes he would need to win the election.
Although he was active on Twitter on Sunday, Trump had no official events scheduled and later went to his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, to play a round, while Biden attended Mass at a church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives.