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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice celebrates his reelection at The Greenbrier Resort, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Justice and his staff are being tested for the coronavirus after a staffer in the capitol building tested positive on Friday, Nov. 6. Justice says he was tested minutes before a noon press conference where he announced a record 540 new coronavirus cases in the past day. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump praised ally and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday for not acknowledging Joe Biden as the president-elect.

Trump tweeted approvingly of Justice a day after the governor said he did not view the election as over. The president has made baseless claims about voter fraud costing him reelection.

"Big Jim is the greatest!" Trump wrote, using a nickname for the Republican governor and billionaire businessman.

Speaking on MSNBC, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin pleaded with the governor to "just say the facts" and accept that Biden beat Trump. The former vice president was declared the winner of the presidential race on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"It puts us in a very bad light," Manchin said of Justice's position.

Justice vowed to "celebrate and support" Biden if legal challenges and any potential recounts do not change the outcome of the race call. He said that could take "weeks."

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.

West Virginia overwhelmingly backed Trump's reelection bid with about 69% of the vote and Justice won a second and final term with about 65% support.

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