President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke just before 2:30 a.m. today as some key states hung in the balance. As vote counting continued, Trump made baseless claims of fraud and said he would go to the Supreme Court. It is unclear how exactly that would happen (challenges would begin in lower courts). This is a transcript of their remarks.
President Donald Trump: Well, thank you very much, thank you. Thank you very much. Please sit, thank you. This is, without question, the latest news conference I’ve ever had. [laughter] Thank you. I appreciate it very much, and I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support. Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won’t stand for it. We will not stand for it.
I want to thank the First Lady, my entire family, and Vice-President Pence, Mrs. Pence, for being with us all through this. And we were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything, and all of a sudden it was just called off. The results tonight have been phenomenal, and we are getting ready, I mean literally, we were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was just so beautiful, so good. And such a vote, such a success. The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers, this is a record, there’s never been anything like it, to support our incredible movement.
We won states that we weren’t expected to win. Florida—we didn’t win it, we won it by a lot. And we won the great state of Ohio. We won Texas, we won Texas. We won Texas by 700,000 votes and they don’t even include in the tabulations. It’s also clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5 per cent or 117,00 votes, with only seven per cent left—they’re never gonna catch us, they can’t catch us. Likewise, we’ve clearly won North Carolina. We were up 1.4 per cent or 77,000 votes with only approximately five per cent left—they can’t catch us.
We also, if you look and you see, Arizona, we have a lot of life in that. And somebody said, somebody declared that it was a victory for… and maybe it will be, I mean, that’s possible, but certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get because we’re now just coming into what you call Trump territory, I don’t know what you call it. But these were friendly Trump voters. And that could be overturned. The gentleman that called it, I watched tonight, he said, “Well, we think it’s fairly unlikely that he could catch…” Well, fairly unlikely? And we don’t even need it, we don’t need that. That was just, a state that if we would have gotten it, it would have been nice. Arizona. But there’s a possibility, maybe even a good possibility… in fact, since I saw that originally it’s been changed and the numbers have substantially come down, just in a small amount of votes. So we want that obviously to stay in play.
But most importantly, we’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount of votes. [cheers from audience] We’re up six hundred… think of this, think of this, think of this—we’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 690,000. These aren’t even close, it’s not like, oh, it’s close. With 64 per cent of the vote in, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch and we’re coming into good Pennsylvania areas where they happen to like your president. So we’ll probably expand that. We’re winning Michigan—I’ll tell ya, I looked at the numbers, I said, whoa; I said wow, that’s a lot — by almost 300,000 votes, and 65 percent of the vote is in. And we’re winning Wisconsin, we don’t need all of them. We need, because when you add Texas in which wasn’t added, I spoke with the really wonderful Governor of Texas just a little while ago, Greg Abbott, and he said congratulations, he called me to congratulate me on winning Texas. We won Texas. I don’t think they’ve finished quite the tabulation but there’s no way, and it was almost complete. But he congratulated me and he said by the way, what’s going on? I’ve never seen anything like this. Can I tell you what, nobody has.
So we won by 107,000 votes with 81 percent of the vote, that’s Michigan. So when you take those three states in particular and you take all of the others, I mean we have so many, we had such a big night, you just take a look at all of these states that we’ve won tonight. And then you take a look at the kind of margins that we’ve won by and all of a sudden, it’s not like we’re up 12 votes and we have 60 percent left. We won states and all of a sudden I said what happened to the election? It’s off. And we have all these announcers saying what happened, and then they said: oooh. Because you know what happened? They knew they couldn’t win so they said let’s go to court. And did I predict this, did I say this? I’ve been saying this from the day I heard they were going to send out tens of millions of ballots, I said exactly this. Because either they were going to win, or if they didn’t win, they’ll take us to court.
So Florida was a tremendous victory, 377,000; Texas as we said. Ohio, think of this. Ohio, a tremendous state, a big state, I love Ohio, we won by 8.1 percent, 461,000, think of it, almost 500,000 votes. North Carolina, big victory with North Carolina. And so we won there, we lead by 76,000 votes with almost nothing left. And all of a sudden everything just stopped. This is a fraud on the American public. 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. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll 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 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, okay? It’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this. As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it. So I just want to thank you, I want to thank all of our support, I want to thank all of the people that worked with us, and Mr. Vice President, say a few words please.
Vice President Mike Pence: Thank you Mr. President. I want to join you in thanking more than 60 million Americans who have already cast their vote for four more years for President Donald Trump in the White House. And while the votes continue to be counted, we’re going to remain vigilant, as the President said. The right to vote has been at the centre 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 with the extraordinary margins, Mr. President, that you’ve inspired in the states that you just described. And the way you launched a movement across the country to make America great again, I truly do believe, as you do, that we are on the road to victory, and that we will make America great again, again. Thank you Mr. President.
President Donald Trump: Thank you very much everybody.
Quality journalism is not free. It’s built on the hard work and dedication of professional reporters, editors and production staff. We understand the pandemic is likely taking a financial toll on you and your family, so we do not make this ask lightly. If you are able to afford it, a Maclean’s print subscription costs $6 for the first six months—and in supporting us, you will help fund quality Canadian journalism in this historic moment.