Electoral College stamps Trump’s historic victory
Protests continue over decisive vote
The Electoral College officially voted to select Donald Trump as the 45th president as noisy anti-Trump protests across the country fizzled, and Democrats ended up with an even worse black eye in the results.
Mr. Trump defied predictions that he would lose “dozens” of GOP electors in a historic show of discontent. Instead, only two Republicans defected — fewer than the four who abandoned Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The president-elect called his 304 votes — significantly more than the 270 needed for victory — “a historic electoral landslide,” said it was bigger than anyone in the media expected and again vowed to be a unifying force in the White House.
“This election represents a movement that millions of hard working men and women all across the country stood behind and made possible,” he said in a statement. “I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans.”
His assurances, however, have done little to quell unrest among his opponents, underscoring both the fears he himself stoked during his unorthodox campaign and the efforts Democrats are already making to try to dent his legitimacy as president.
In the immediate aftermath of the Nov. 8 vote, activists demanded recounts in states where the margin of victory was close. When that failed, activists launched a campaign to pressure electors, demanding they abandon their candidate and either back Mrs. Clinton or vote for a third person, throwing the election to the House of Representatives to decide next year.
They were less than gracious in their defeat Monday.
“You just sold us out of this world,” screamed one woman protesting against the electors in Wisconsin. “We’re all going to go to war and die because of you people. You have no right.”
“Every one of you, you’re pathetic,” another Wisconsin protester shouted, as officers hustled her out of the room where the vote was held. “This is not America.”
The complaints were fed by the Obama administration, which says Russian-backed hackers attempted to sway the election against Mrs. Clinton by releasing embarrassing emails in the weeks ahead of the election.
Anti-Trump activists seized on that news, begging for the electoral vote to be delayed until all the details were made public. They hoped Russian influence would scare some electors into defecting from Mr. Trump in the vote.
“Our democracy is founded on the principle that these elections are fair elections. When that ideal is threatened, whether through intentional voter suppression or by direct interference from foreign actors … our entire nation suffers,” said Lauren Beth Gash, an elector in Illinois who voted for Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Trump, in a Twitter post ahead of the vote, said the intense opposition to his victory has been unseemly — and hypocritical.
“If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned & called terrible names!” he said.
Mrs. Clinton won the national popular vote by some 2.6 million votes but lost the Electoral College by a significant margin. Her backers were unbowed in defeat.
“We stood on the right side of history,” insisted Susan Johnston Rowland, one of Mrs. Clinton’s electors in Virginia, which the former first lady carried.
In Minnesota an elector tried to vote for Sen. Bernard Sanders, but state law prohibits defectors. He was replaced by an alternate, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and all 10 of the state’s votes went to Mrs. Clinton.