In a 46-minute speech posted to his Facebook page Wednesday, Donald Trump refused to concede the 2020 election, and instead merely repeated his lie that widespread voter fraud has cost him a second term.
Attorney General Bill Barr said on Tuesday that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would influence the outcome of the election. Still, Trump spent nearly an hour Wednesday repeating the conspiracy theories he has devised to deny President-elect Joe Biden’s win: that mail-in ballots from non-citizens and dead people were counted; that glitching voting machines switched votes from Trump to Biden, that the election was the final act in a long con by Democrats—from the Mueller investigation to the impeachment hearings—to strip Trump of power, and that a full audit of the election would reveal Trump as the winner.
“Ultimately, I am prepared to accept any accurate election result,” Trump claimed, falsely, “and I hope that Joe Biden is as well, but we already have the proof. We already have tens of thousands of ballots more than we need to overturn all of these states that we’re talking about.”
To be clear, voter fraud is so rare as to be statistically negligible, and the claims of faulty voting machines were thoroughly debunked. Even before recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin confirmed Biden’s victories in those states, it was clear that the former vice president had won both the popular vote and the Electoral College by considerable margins.
Among Trump’s dubious assertions on Wednesday was the claim that, because Republicans made gains in the House of Representatives and didn’t lose as many seats as they were expected to in the Senate, “It is statistically impossible that the person that led the charge—me—lost.”
Trump also alluded to his fear of prosecution once he’s out of office—a potential motivation for his refusal to accept the election results: “I hear that the same people who failed to get me in Washington have sent every piece of information to New York so that they can try to get me there.”
Because the speech was prerecorded and posted to Facebook, news networks didn’t have an opportunity to cut him off once he began spewing falsehoods. From now on, social media may be this one-term president’s only outlet.