Donald Trump has reiterated unproven claims that widespread voter fraud marred the United States presidential election, which remains too close to call as ballot counting continues in several key states.
In a Thursday evening address at the White House, the US president struck a typically defiant tone, accusing pollsters of interfering in the election process and Democrats of engaging in fraud – an unproven claim he has repeated throughout the week.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” said Trump, adding that if “illegal votes” are counted, “they can try to steal the election from us”.
The Republican leader did not provide any evidence to back up any of his claims. It was the first time he addressed the nation since election night.
People across the US continue to wait for a projected winner in the divisive presidential contest, which pitted Trump against Democratic challenger Joe Biden and saw a historic voter turnout.
Trump is currently projected to have won 214 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press news agency, compared with 264 electoral votes for Biden.The Trump campaign filed lawsuits this week demanding ballot counting be suspended in several states that are key to winning the White House, while also signalling its intent to demand a recount in Wisconsin.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two duelling rallies of Biden and Trump supporters were held on Thursday afternoon outside a conference centre where election officials were counting ballots.
Echoing the candidates themselves, Trump’s backers want the count to be stopped, while Biden supporters are demanding that every vote be counted.
Earlier on Thursday, Biden urged people to remain calm as the ballot tabulation continues. “Each ballot must be counted,” the former vice president said from Delaware.