President Trump, trying tirelessly to cast doubt on the 2020 election, stepped to a microphone late last week and did what he does best: lie, misguide and show his ignorance.
With props to The Washington Post's fact checker, we bring you a small sampling:
* Trump: "If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. ... A lot of votes came too late. I've already decisively won many critical states, including massive victories in Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio ... We were winning in all the key locations ..., and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret."
Unequivocally false. Trump was at that time in key states losing both the Electoral College and the popular vote. The votes counted were legally cast on or before Election Day. But Trump apparently thinks that votes not counted on Election Day should not count.
The reality is that some key swing states, like Pennsylvania, could not — by rules set by GOP lawmakers — start counting the millions of received mail or absentee ballots until Election Day. And during the COVID-19 pandemic millions of Americans — especially very motivated Democrats hoping to rid us of Donald Trump — cautiously chose to vote early or by absentee ballot. Counters were overwhelmed.
What's more, in many states, the first votes reported were the in-person votes, and they leaned GOP because Trump discouraged his supporters from mail-in voting. The mail-in and early votes leaned heavily Democratic because these very motivated voters feared both the novel coronavirus and reported mail slowdowns caused by Trump's defunding of the Postal Service, even dismantling mail-sorting machinery.
* Trump: "There are now only a few states yet to be decided in the presidential race. The voting apparatus of those states are run in all cases by Democrats."
Don't tell Georgia that. Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State in Georgia, is a Republican who supports Trump and was endorsed by Trump. What's more, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, is the former secretary of state, and he helped shape much of Georgia's polling and election infrastructure. It's almost enough to make one feel sorry for Raffensperger and Kemp, who aren't even remembered by their president for whom they've worked so hard.
* Trump: "This is a case where they're trying to steal an election, they're trying to rig an election, and we can't let that happen."
The only "they" trying to steal an election — again — is Donald Trump and his cult.
How dangerous is this?
Trump's unhinged inability to accept reality — let alone speak it — is dangerous for our country.
Police in Philadelphia arrested two men on firearms charges Thursday night after receiving a tip that an armed group from out of state was headed to the city's vote-counting center in a silver Hummer truck.
Officers at 10:20 p.m. found the Hummer with no one inside, but shortly after spotted two men carrying guns. The men acknowledged the Hummer was theirs. Neither had no valid Pennsylvania permit to carry the guns. Police arrested them.
Philadelphia Inquirer photographer Jessica Griffin snapped shots of a Hummer near the convention center with a Virginia license plate as well as a hat inside bearing an insignia for the far-right conspiracy group QAnon. Stay tuned.
Where are honest GOP leaders?
Trump loyalists — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and Sens. Lindsey O. Graham, R-South Carolina, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas — echoed Trump's false fraud claims.
"President Trump won this election," McCarthy claimed to Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Later, he tweeted: "Republicans will not be silenced. We demand transparency. We demand accuracy. And we demand that the legal votes be protected."
"Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake," Graham told Fox's Sean Hannity. "Why are they shutting people out? Because they don't want people to see what they're doing."
Not only are election officials not shutting out observers, they are transparently live-streaming continuous views of their large counting rooms on the internet.
There have been a handful of sane Republican voices.
"A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon. Every American should have his or her vote counted," tweeted Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denounced Trump's premature victory claim early Wednesday, and on Thursday said on ABC, "Show us the evidence. We heard nothing today about any evidence. ... This kind of thing — all it does is inflame without informing."
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania termed Trump's claims "disturbing," and told CBS: "There's simply no evidence anyone has shown me of any widespread corruption or fraud."
Illinois GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the president's lying "is getting insane" and pleaded with his party to "STOP Spreading debunked misinformation."
Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator to vote to impeach the president, tweeted that Trump is within his rights to request recounts, investigations and legal remedies, but: "He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen. Doing so damages the cause of freedom ... and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions."