Former President Donald Trump said Friday the election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, "has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of fraud."
"Huge findings in Arizona!" he said in a statement Friday. "However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for (Joe) Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November! The audit has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD! Until we know how and why this happened, our Elections will never be secure.
"This is a major criminal event and should be investigated by the Attorney General immediately. The Senate’s final report will be released today at 4:00 PM ET. I have heard it is far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media."
The Arizona Republic reported that the months-long recount of the county’s 2020 voting had confirmed President Biden won. It also confirmed the election was not "stolen" from Trump, according to the outlet.
The paper attributed the information to early versions of a report prepared for the Arizona Senate.
The newspaper noted it had obtained multiple versions of the draft report by Cyber Ninjas, the state Senate’s lead contractor.
The hand count revealed Trump received 45,469 fewer votes than Biden. The county had reported he had lost by 45,109. Still, the draft reports maintained the election results are inconclusive, according to the Republic.
The draft reports reviewed by the Republic focused on issues that raise questions about the election process and voter integrity. But the newspaper noted that election analysts said those findings are misleading.
But Trump, who did not single out any particular media outlet, added, "The Fake News is lying about the Arizona audit report! The leaked report conclusively shows there were enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over.
"The number includes 23,344 mail-in ballots, despite the person no longer living at that address. Phantom voters! The official canvass does not even match who voted, off by 11,592—more than the entire Presidential Election margin.
"In addition, election data appears to have been intentionally deleted, and ballot images were 'corrupt or missing.' This is not even the whole state of Arizona, but only Maricopa County. It would only get worse!
"There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated!"
But CNN, an outlet often targeted by Trump, reported Maricopa County's Republican-led board of supervisors said the draft report underscores the reality that the county vote totals were accurate.
"You don't have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew -- the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General -- did, in fact, win," board chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said in a statement.
In a statement later in the day, Trump had this to say as the back-and-forth continued: "CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, and other Lamestream Media are feeding large-scale misinformation to the public about the Arizona Audit. The Audit was a big win for democracy and a big win for us. Shows how corrupt the Election was. Arizona State Senate hearing going on now and the information about what took place is terrible—a bigger Scam even than anticipated!"
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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