Trump claims early victory despite uncounted votes

(Update 4: Adds detail throughout, alters headline)

Washington, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Republican incumbent Donald Trump claimed victory early Wednesday in the US presidential election even though he trails Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the electoral vote and ballots are still being counted in six states.

“This is a fraud on the American public,” he told supporters at the White House, insisting that he had insurmountable leads in two of those six states.

“I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support,” the president said. “A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise those people and we won’t stand for it.”

The president spent the last few months claiming without evidence that postal voting is vulnerable to fraud and manipulation.

Fox News, a conservative outlet, gives Biden a 238-213 edge over Trump in the electoral vote and says that it is too soon to proclaim a winner in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

A candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes to win.

“We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” Trump said shortly after 2.30 am (07.30 GMT). “We don’t want them finding any ballots at four in the morning and adding them to the list.”

“As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” he said.

The president was ahead in Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which together represent 77 electoral votes.

But 36 percent of the ballots remain to be counted in Pennsylvania and 28 percent of votes in Michigan had yet to be tabulated.

Vice President Mike Pence later tried to smooth over Trump’s comments.

“While the votes continue to be counted, we’re going to remain vigilant,” Trump’s running mate said.

“The right to vote has been at the center of our democracy since the founding of this nation and we’re going to protect the integrity of the vote, but I really believe with all my heart (…) that we are on the road to victory and we will Make America Great Again again,” he added.

Though election officials in Michigan said they would have a result within the next 24 hours, it is expected to be several days before Pennsylvania finishes counting, as several counties in the Keystone State do not plan to even begin counting mail-in votes until the start of business on Wednesday.

In remarks to his supporters around 12:45 am (05.00 GMT) Wednesday, Biden expressed confidence.

“We feel good about where we are,” he told a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware. “We believe we’re on track to win this election.”

He emphasized that it was not his place – or the president’s – to proclaim the winner of the election.

“We’re gonna have to be patient, and it ain’t over till every ballot is counted,” the 77-year-old former vice president said. “We’re feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan. And it’s gonna take time to count the votes, but we’re gonna win Pennsylvania. I’m optimistic about this outcome.”

In a statement, Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillion called Trump’s claims of victory an “outrageous,” “unprecedented” and “incorrect”.

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