- During President Donald Trump’s late election night remarks, he falsely claimed that he had won the 2020 presidential race and said votes should no longer be counted, incorrectly implying that Democrats were trying to steal the election from him.
- “We were getting ready to win this election, frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said. “We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 am and add them to the list. Okay?”
- Many rebuked the president’s remarks, noting that there is no clear winner yet since millions of mail-in ballots have still not been counted and several key states have not been called.
- Twitter and Facebook also put disclaimers on Trump’s posts that implied he had won or that Democrats were trying to steal the election.
Trump Falsely Declares Victory
President Donald Trump faced backlash after falsely claiming he had won the 2020 presidential election in remarks made late Tuesday evening from the East Wing of the White House.
“This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump said during his speech, even though there is no indiction of fraud in this election thus far. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election, frankly, we did win this election, so our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation.”
The race between Trump and former Vice President is tight and key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia have yet to be called. Still, when Trump took to the mic, he claimed victory in North Carolina and Georgia. He also pushed the fact that he was leading in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that millions of votes still need to be counted.
He also declared himself the victor nationwide and, without merit, claimed that the remaining votes should not be counted because they are an attempt by Democrats to “steal” the election. These remaining votes, however, are legitimate ballots that experts said would take a while to process and are equally as valid as the votes that have already come in. Many of these votes are mail-in votes that were always expected to lean blue, which is why as more states come in, Biden is gaining ground.
“This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on this nation,” Trump continued. “We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 am and add them to the list. Okay?”
Journalists and Celebrities Respond
These blatant lies and calls for votes to not be counted, which would be both unprecedented and undemocratic, prompted outrage. After Trump falsely declared victory, MSNBC cut away from his speech.
“We are reluctant to step in, but duty-bound to point out that when he says, ‘We did win this election, we’ve already won,’ that is not based in the facts at all,” anchor Brian Williams said.
CBS News ended up adding a disclaimer on the lower third of their broadcast to note that there was no winner in the presidential race yet. On CNN, anchor Jake Tapper sounded off against the president.
“What President Trump just said was false, and undemocratic, and premature,” Tapper said.
Journalists were not the only ones calling the president out. Many began using the hashtag #CountEveryVote to call for the full electoral process that the president was trying to disrupt.
“Hang tough all!” Actor Mark Ruffalo wrote. “This is the #RedMirage it’s about to “turn the corner” into a #BlueWall. Take a breath and get centered in yourself for the next coming days. #CountEveryVote”
Biden also spoke late Tuesday, delivering remarks in Delaware that provided a strong contrast to Trump’s speech. He told supporters in his home state to sit tight while votes were counted and results continued to trickle in.
“Look, we feel good about where we are. We really do. I’m here to tell you tonight that we believe we are on track to win this election,” Biden said. “We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and mail-in vote that it’s going to take a while and we’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished.”
“And it ain’t over until every vote is counted. Every ballot is counted,” Biden added.
Social Media Platforms Check President Trump
For some time now, election experts, news outlets, and social media platforms have been worried about how long it would take for key states to be called and the potential for this to lead to misinformation about the results. Companies like Facebook and Twitter pledged to be vigilant when it came to false claims about races, including premature claims of victory. Both appeared to follow through with their promise following Trump’s speech.
Facebook added a disclaimer to Trump’s video of his election night remarks. That note warned that final results may be different from initial counts and that counting might continue for days.
Twitter has flagged a handful of Trump’s tweets, including one where he claimed that Democrats were trying to steal the election and called for voting to stop after polls close. (Voters who arrive at a polling location before its closing time can still vote, even if there is an hours-long line ahead of them.)
“Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” Twitter’s disclaimer said. This same note was also added on a tweet where Trump implied that surprise ballot dumps were ruining his lead.
Trump is not alone in trying to create distrust in the outcome of this election. His campaign manager said on a Wednesday morning press call that the president would win if all “legally cast ballots” were counted, implying that incoming ballots are illegal, which is not true.
Jason Miller, a senior campaign advisor to Trump also told The Washington Post that they were working to make sure “illegally cast ballots are not counted.” Currently, there is no evidence of voter fraud in this election.
See what others are saying: (Washington Post) (New York Times) (CNN)
Biden Calls on Congress To Extend Eviction Moratorium
The move comes just two days before the federal ban is set to expire.
Eviction Freeze Set To Expire
President Joe Biden asked Congress on Thursday to extend the federal eviction moratorium for another month just two days before the ban was set to expire.
The request follows a Supreme Court decision last month, where the justices ruled the evictions freeze could stay in place until it expired on July 31. That decision was made after a group of landlords sued, arguing that the moratorium was illegal under the public health law the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had relied on to implement it.
While the court did not provide reasons for its ruling, Justice Brett Kavanaugh issued a short concurring opinion explaining that although he thought the CDC “exceeded its existing statutory authority,” he voted not to end the program because it was already set to expire in a month.
In a statement Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited the Supreme Court decision, as well as the recent surge in COVID cases, as reasons for the decision to call on Congress.
“Given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”
Delays in Relief Distribution
The move comes as the administration has struggled to distribute the nearly $47 billion in rental relief funds approved as part of two coronavirus relief packages passed in December and March, respectively.
Nearly seven months after the first round of funding was approved, the Treasury Department has only allocated $3 billion of the reserves, and just 600,000 tenants have been helped under the program.
A total of 7.4 million households are behind on rent according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau. An estimated 3.6 million of those households could face eviction in the next two months if the moratorium expires.
The distribution problems largely stem from the fact that many states and cities tasked with allocating the fund had no infrastructure to do so, causing the aid to be held up by delays, confusion, and red tape.
Some states opened portals that were immediately overwhelmed, prompting them to close off applications, while others have faced technical glitches.
According to The Washington Post, just 36 out of more than 400 states, counties, and cities that reported data to the Treasury Department were able to spend even half of the money allotted them by the end of June. Another 49 — including New York — had not spent any funds at all.
Slim Chances in Congress
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) urged her colleagues to approve an extension for the freeze Thursday night, calling it “a moral imperative” and arguing that “families must not pay the price” for the slow distribution of aid.
However, Biden’s last-minute call for Congress to act before members leave for their August recess is all but ensured to fail.
While the House Rules Committee took up a measure Thursday night that would extend the moratorium until the end of this year, the only way it could pass in the Senate would be through a procedure called unanimous consent, which can be blocked by a single dissenting vote.
Some Senate Republicans have already rejected the idea.
“There’s no way I’m going to support this. It was a bad idea in the first place,” Senator Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) told reporters. “Owners have the right to action. They need to have recourse for the nonpayment of rent.”
With the hands of the CDC tied and Congressional action seemingly impossible, the U.S. could be facing an unprecedented evictions crisis Saturday, even though millions of Americans who will now risk losing their homes should have already received rental assistance to avert this exact situation.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Associated Press)
Mississippi Asks Supreme Court To Overturn Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court’s decision to consider Mississippi’s restrictive abortion ban already has sweeping implications for the precedents set under the landmark reproductive rights ruling, but now the state is asking the high court to go even further.
Mississippi’s Abortion Case
Mississippi filed a brief Thursday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade when it hears the state’s 15-week abortion ban this fall.
After months of deliberation, the high court agreed in May to hear what will be the first abortion case the 6-to-3 conservative majority will decide.
Both a district judge and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit had ruled that Mississippi could not enforce the 2018 law that banned nearly all abortions at 15 weeks with exceptions for only “severe fetal abnormality,” but not rape and incest.
If the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi law, it would undo decades of precedent set under Roe in 1973 and upheld under Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, where the court respectively ruled and reaffirmed that states could not ban abortion before the fetus is “viable” and can live outside the womb, which is generally around 24 to 28 weeks.
When the justices decided to hear the case, they said they would specifically examine the question of whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
Depending on the scope of their decision on the Mississippi law, the court’s ruling could allow other states to pass much more restrictive abortion bans without the risk of lower courts striking down those laws.
As a result, legal experts have said the case will represent the most significant ruling on reproductive rights since Casey nearly three decades ago, and the Thursday brief raises the stakes even more.
When Mississippi asked the justices to take up its case last June, the state’s attorney general, Lynn Fitch (R), explicitly stated that the petition’s questions “do not require the Court to overturn Roe or Casey.”
But that was before the court’s conservatives solidified their supermajority with the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett — who personally opposes abortion — following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
New Filing Takes Aim at Roe
With the new filing, it appears that Fitch views the high court’s altered makeup as an opportunity to undermine the constitutional framework that has been in place for the better part of the last century.
“The Constitution’s text says nothing about abortion,” Fitch wrote in the brief, arguing that American society has changed so much that the previous rulings need to be reheard.
“Today, adoption is accessible and on a wide scale women attain both professional success and a rich family life, contraceptives are more available and effective, and scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability,” she added, claiming the power should be left to state lawmakers.
“Roe and Casey shackle states to a view of the facts that is decades out of date,” she continued. “The national fever on abortion can break only when this Court returns abortion policy to the states.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents Mississippi’s sole abortion provider in the suit against the state’s law, painted Fitch’s effort as one that will have a chilling effect on abortion rights nationwide.
“Mississippi has stunningly asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe and every other abortion rights decision in the last five decades,” Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the group said in a statement Thursday. “Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country.”
The Supreme Court has not yet said exactly when during its fall term it will hear oral arguments on the Mississippi case, but a decision is expected to come down by next June or July, as is standard.
An anticipated ruling just months before the 2022 midterms will almost certainly position abortion as a top issue at the ballot box.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (The Washington Post) (Politico)
Republicans Boycott Jan. 6 Committee After Pelosi Rejects Two of McCarthy’s Picks
The House Minority Leader said that unless House Speaker Pelosi reinstated the two members, Republicans will launch their own investigation into the insurrection.
Pelosi Vetoes Republicans
Republicans are boycotting the select committee to investigate the insurrection after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) rejected two of the five GOP members Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) picked to serve on the panel Wednesday.
In a statement, Pelosi cited the “statements and actions” of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) and Jim Banks (R-In.), whose nominations she said she was opposing “with respect for the integrity of the investigation.”
Jordan and Banks — both staunch allies of former President Donald Trump — have helped propagate the previous leader’s false election claims, opposed efforts to investigate the insurrection, and voted not to certify the election for President Joe Biden.
A senior Democratic aide also specifically told The Washington Post that Democrats did not want Jordan on the panel because he reportedly helped Trump strategized how to overturn the election and due to the fact he spoke to the then-president on Jan. 6, meaning there is a possibility he could be called to testify before the very same committee.
The aide also said that Democrats opposed Banks’ selection because of a statement he issued after McCarthy chose him.
In the statement, the representative compared the insurrection to the racial justice protests last summer, implied that the rioters were just normal American’s expressing their political views, and claimed the committee was a political ploy “to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda.”
Notably, Pelosi did say she would accept McCarthy’s three other nominees — including Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Wi.), who also voted against certifying Biden’s win.
McCarthy Threatens Separate Investigation
McCarthy, however, refused to select new members, and instead opted to remove all his appointees from the would-be bipartisan committee.
In a statement condemning the move, the minority leader said that Pelosi’s action “represents an egregious abuse of power.”
“Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth,” he said.
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”
Pelosi defended her decision during a press conference Thursday, where she said that Banks and Jordan were “ridiculous” choices for the panel.
“When statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of, ‘You must be kidding,’ there’s no way that they’re going to be on the committee,” she added.