In a brief statement from the White House East Room, Trump attacked legitimate vote-counting efforts, calling it an unwarranted “fraud”. The President later declared he “won” the election, despite the millions of votes that have yet to be counted.
All major networks had Trump’s addresses from the start, but NBC News and MSNBC cut in there to note that he sold counterfeit goods.
“We are hearing the President speak at the White House, but we have to get our hands on this because there have been some blunt statements that are not true,” said NBC News host Savannah Guthrie as the network net left Trump comment.
On MSNBC, Brian Williams told online viewers “reluctantly” to interrupt the President’s speech, but said Trump’s remarks were “based on no facts at all.”
Other major networks posted the full range of Trump’s speech, but aired strong reality checks after the conclusion.
“This is an extremely flammable situation and the President just needs to throw a match in it,” noted Fox News spokesman Chris Wallace. “He hasn’t won these statuses.”
On ABC News, reporter Terry Moran did not interrupt.
“This is not the law, this is not politics, this is the theater,” Moran said. “And let’s put it bluntly: it’s the theater of dictatorship.”
CBS News host Norah O’Donnell said that Trump committed the crime of “casting the truth about the election results.”
Trump for months pushed conspiracy theories and erroneously claimed that elections would be rigged or stolen by Democrats.
The President pays special attention to the large volume of mail ballots used by the large number of voters because of the coronavirus pandemic.