AP FACT CHECK: Trump still uses distortion in hopeless quest
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn’t giving up on his false accusations of a rigged election now that his administration is making room for President-elect Joe Biden to proceed with the transition of power.
Trump on Tuesday spread distortions about voting in Wisconsin and suggested that his administration’s decision Monday to let the transition begin should not be taken to mean he’s giving up on trying to engineer another term in the face of his defeat.
In tweets Tuesday:
TRUMP: “Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be.”
THE FACTS: He is correct. The voters determine who the next president will be. Trump has refused to concede that they chose Biden and has tried through extraordinary and hopeless means to undermine that choice.
The General Services Administration is not the authority on who won, as he says. But it delivers a so-called ascertainment of the winner, a step that activates money, access to federal agencies and other resources in the transition to a new president and team.
The agency’s administrator, Emily Murphy, made that determination Monday, citing “recent developments” in court challenges and election certifications in key states as her reasons for acting. Democrats and some Republicans had been pressing with increased urgency for her to override Trump’s agitations and let the delayed transition begin, three weeks after the election.
The election’s results are being certified state by state and will be affirmed when the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 in each state. These steps are normally not controversial but Trump made them so with a flood of court challenges and attempts to manipulate the certification in battleground states he lost. His machinations have not changed the election’s outcome.
Biden won by wide margins both in the Electoral College and popular vote.
TRUMP: “‘In Wisconsin, somebody has to be indefinitely confined in order to vote absentee. In the past there were 20,000 people. This past election there were 120,000...and Republicans were locked out of the vote counting process.’” — tweet quoting a conservative legal commentator.
THE FACTS: This is flat-out wrong. The numbers are off, the characterization of absentee voting is incorrect and the assertion that Republicans were locked out of vote counting is false.
First, anyone in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot and return it by mail or in-person. Absentee voting is not limited to people who are considered indefinitely confined. The only difference is people in that group need not show a photo ID, which other absentee voters must do electronically or in person.
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in the spring that voters can self-determine whether they are indefinitely confined.
In the 2016 election, about 57,000 people voted as indefinitely confined. That jumped to nearly 216,000 this election because of the pandemic and the high interest in mail and other absentee ballots.
As well, Republican observers were permitted to watch at polling places across the state on Election Day, contrary to the assertion spread by Trump. Recounts are being done in Milwaukee and Dane counties and the Trump campaign has a contingent of attorneys and observers at both.
Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.
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