Trump’s Options of Reversing Election Defeat Narrow as Michigan Backs Biden Win
Donald Trump has had a fresh setback in his bid to overturn his loss in the US election as Michigan lawmakers indicated they would not seek to undo Joe Biden’s projected win in the state.
Two Republican legislators pledged to follow “normal process” in validating the vote after a White House meeting.
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Earlier on Friday, Georgia dealt the US president another blow by certifying Biden’s razor-thin margin of victory.
The Democrat is set to take office on 20 January as the 46th US president.
Biden’s victory in the Electoral College system, which determines who becomes president, is projected to be 306 to 232 – far above the 270 he needs to win. His lead in the public vote overall stands at more than 5.9 million.
Trump, who has had few public appearances since the 3 November vote, on Friday again falsely claimed victory. “I won, by the way,” he said, while making an announcement on drug pricing.
He has made allegations of widespread electoral fraud, without providing any evidence.
His Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused the media and Democrats of hypocrisy.
“While in 2016 President Trump became the duly elected president, many sought to undermine him, discredit him, de-legitimise him and deny his victory. There were no calls for unity, there were no calls for healing,” she said.
“So while every legal vote is counted let us not forget the inexcusable transition, or lack thereof, that President Trump had to endure in 2016 and for years into his presidency.”
After a string of court defeats in his efforts to challenge the election results, Trump’s team is hoping to convince legislatures controlled by his fellow Republicans in key states to ignore the outcome and declare Trump the victor, according to multiple US media outlets.
Trump has also expressed interest in inviting legislators from Pennsylvania, another battleground won by Biden, to the White House, a senior campaign official confirmed to the BBC’s US partner, CBS News.
But he has no such meetings currently listed on his public schedule for this weekend, and counties in the Rust Belt state, along with Michigan, are due to certify their vote totals on Monday.
It is seen as highly unlikely that the president’s team would be able to flip Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Even if they managed to do so, Trump would still need to overturn the result in one other state in order to leap-frog Biden in the Electoral College.
Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield confirmed the long odds of any such strategy after the White House meeting.
The two Republicans for Michigan – ha state that Biden is projected to win by 154,000 votes – said they had focused during the discussion on Covid-19 assistance, not Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results.
The White House said earlier it was “not an advocacy meeting” and simply part of the president’s routine meetings with state lawmakers across the country, although he has conducted very few engagements since the election.
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