Once again showing complete disdain for the democratic process as Florida, Arizona, and Georgia continue to tally votes from last week’s midterm elections, President Donald Trump fired off a conspiracy-filled and fact-free tweet on Monday claiming without evidence that Florida ballots have been “massively infected” by fraud and demanding an end to the state’s legally required recounts.
“The Florida election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged,” Trump declared, referring to the state’s GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates, respectively. “An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected. Must go with election night!”
The president’s tweet comes as Florida is holding recounts for its Senate, gubernatorial, and agriculture commissioner races after all three were deemed too close to officially call. Trump endorsed both Scott and DeSantis, so unsurprisingly he said they should be declared the winners even with many ballots left to count.
The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum—who conceded the race to DeSantis last week but withdrew that concession on Saturday as his Republican opponent’s lead quickly evaporated—responded to Trump’s tweet with a simple jab: “You sound nervous.”
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 12, 2018
As Common Dreams reported, Trump’s Justice Department sent election “monitors” to 35 voting locations in 19 states the day before the midterm elections in a move civil rights groups argued was a blatant attempt to intimidate voters and suppress turnout.
Trump’s call on Monday for Florida to halt its recounts fits with a pattern of GOP attempts to stop vote tallying efforts when the results appear to be headed in an unfavorable direction.
Responding to Trump’s demand on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter that the president’s call further shows that he “is an authoritarian leader who does not believe in democracy.”
“The election officials in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona must ignore the rantings of this president and count every vote,” Sanders concluded.
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