On Thursday night, after a series of incendiary tweets questioning the credibility of the Nov. 3 election outcomes– a number of which were flagged by Twitter for their inaccuracy– the president required to the White House soon after 6: 30 p.m., in the nick of time for the network news programs to carry him live, to declare his own victory in the 2020 presidential election.
No matter that the latest tallies in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada showed Joe Biden closing in on 270 Electoral College votes, with the previous vice president having a practical chance of clinching the presidency by night’s end. Donald Trump was having none of it: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” the president incorrectly claimed. “If you count the prohibited votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” Promoting about 20 minutes in an emotionless monotone and offering no evidence for his accusations, Trump said that the Democrats were “attempting to steal an election, they’re attempting to rig an election, and we can’t let that occur.”
It took the major networks simply a few minutes to recognize that the president was going off the rails, with all three cutting away from the White