WASHINGTON – President Trump released a 46-minute video speech Wednesday denouncing a “rigged” election and full of lies the day after his own attorney general joined electoral officials across the country to confirm his defeat.
Mr. Trump recorded what he called “perhaps the most important speech I have ever given” in the diplomatic room of the White House and delivered it behind a lectern with the President’s seal on it. He then posted a two-minute version on Twitter with a link to the full version on his Facebook page.
The president again refused to concede a re-election defeat almost a month after election day. He reiterated a long list of false claims of electoral fraud and accused the Democrats of a conspiracy to steal the presidency.
Twitter quickly described the post as “controversial”. Facebook added that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who received nearly 81 million votes and 306 electoral votes, is the planned election winner.
The video, which a White House official said was taped last week, was the personal embodiment of Mr. Trump’s staccato tweets for the past three weeks: one lie after lie about voting irregularities in swing states, attacks on State officials and signature checks and false accusations against Democrats.
The president’s sweeping claims in the video were drastically undercut on Tuesday when Attorney General William P. Barr told The Associated Press that despite inquiries from the Justice Department and the FBI, “we have not yet seen any fraud on the scale that could have done this got a different result in the elections. “
On the same day, a Republican election official in Georgia accused him of instigating violence and a wave of death threats.
“Mr. President, you have not condemned these acts or language,” said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia Voting Systems manager. “Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”
At the end of the video, Mr Trump described himself unlikely as a defender of the American electoral system and said he had been told that the most important achievement of his presidency was to protect the integrity of the electoral system.
It was unclear why Mr Trump waited until Wednesday for the video to be released. But he made it public after a series of reprimands from members of his own party who increasingly abandoned him when he refused to acknowledge the election results.
The president’s legal team, led by his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, has lost dozens of trials in courts across the country, making wild allegations without evidence.
Some of the president’s key Republican allies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere have urged him to move on in the past few days. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who has been conspicuously silent about Mr. Trump’s allegations, finally referred this week to the “new administration” that would take over next year, a clear signal to Mr. Trump that his time in the office was on over.
However, he retains the support of a core group of voters who were quick to respond to his recent election attack. In a matter of hours, his tweet was “liked” by nearly 134,000 Twitter users, and his Facebook video was shared 93,000 times.