The Philippine Star

Trump delivers diatribe on ‘rigged’ election


WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump on Wednesday released a 46-minute videotaped speech that denounced a “rigged” election and was filled with lies the day after his own attorney general joined election officials across the country in attesting to his defeat.

Trump recorded what he said “may be the most important speech I’ve ever made” in the Diplomatic Room of the White House and delivered it behind a lectern bearing the presidenti­al seal. He then posted a twominute version on Twitter, with a link to the full version on his Facebook page.

The president once again refused to concede defeat in his bid for reelection almost a month after Election Day, repeating a long list of false assertions about voter fraud and accusing Democrats of a conspiracy to steal the presidency.

Twitter quickly labelled the post “disputed.” Facebook added a note that President-elect Joe

Biden, who received almost 81 million votes and 306 electoral votes, is the projected winner of the election.

The video, which a White House official said was recorded last week, was the in- person embodiment of Trump’s staccato tweets over the past three weeks: one falsehood after another about voting irregulari­ties in swing states, attacks on state officials and signature verificati­ons, and false accusation­s against Democrats.

The president’s rambling assertions in the video were drasticall­y undercut on Tuesday, when Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press that despite inquiries by the Justice Department and the FBI, “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

The same day, a Republican election official in Georgia blamed him for inciting violence and a wave of death threats.

”Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language,” said Gabriel Sterling, a voting systems manager in Georgia. “Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”

At the end of the video, Trump improbably described himself as the defender of America’s election system, saying he had been told that the single most important accomplish­ment of his presidency would be protecting the integrity of the voting system.

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