President Trump early Wednesday said he was going to the Supreme Court to block potential voter fraud during the delayed tally of the election.
Mr. Trump questioned how he could be leading by huge margins in states such as Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan when suddenly the vote tabulation was halted.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country,” he said.
“We were getting ready to win this election and, frankly, we did win this.”
Mr. Trump made the remarks to supporters in the East Room of the White House at about 2 a.m. EST.
He warned that Democrats had been planning to rig the election for months and that new ballots would begin turning up in battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania.
The increased use of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic was expected to slow the vote counting, with Pennsylvania and North Carolina fighting in court to allow the ballots to be counted for several days after the Tuesday election.
Officials in a handful of states that will decide the election announced late Tuesday that the vote tally updates would be delayed until at least Wednesday morning.
“This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning.”
Earlier, Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden said he was confident he would win and that Americans should “keep the faith” and patiently wait for the final results, which could be announced Wednesday or later in the week.
He said that neither he nor Mr. Trump could decide who won because that decision rests “with the American people.”
“Look, we feel good about where we are, we really do,” he said at a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware, shortly before 1 a.m. EST. “I am here to tell you tonight we believe we are on track to win this election.”
Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden said they expected to win in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and other states where results were delayed because of mail-in ballots.
Mr. Trump has long warned that mail-in voting and extended deadlines for ballots to be accepted were a recipe for election fraud.
So far, he racked up a series of wins in states he needed to retrace his path to the White House from 2016, including Florida and Ohio.
With the delayed results, however, the presidency in 2021 remained up for grabs.
• Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.