President Trump tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!” on Thursday morning, at a time when doing so would end in his defeat.
If the counting of ballots were stopped Thursday morning, Democrat Joseph R. Biden would win the electoral votes in the states where he’s leading — which would be enough to crest 270 Electoral College votes and win the presidency.
The president also tweeted about an hour later, “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!”
“All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud,” the president said on Twitter. “Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!”
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon by his campaign, the president said in all capital letters: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win the election! If you count the illegal and late votes, they can steal the election from us!”
Mr. Biden’s current electoral-vote total is 264, with Mr. Trump at 214. The Trump campaign has filed a series of lawsuits in several states this week, seeking to halt counting temporarily, provide better access to monitor vote-counting, and demand a recount in Wisconsin.
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said the president’s tweet about stopping the count was pointing out that “states and localities should not be counting ballots that were mailed in or magically appeared in a sack of ballots after Election Day.”
Mr. Miller said if ballots are clearly postmarked and have signature matches, “then obviously all legal ballots should be counted.” But he said any other ballots should be set aside.
“We should not be counting ballots that clearly came in after the election as being completely legitimate until we’ve had time to go through and do the challenges and be on top of this,” Mr. Miller said.