President Donald Trump called out election "corruption" and attempts to "rig an election" and "manufacture results" in a White House news conference Thursday, setting up a potentially protracted battle in the courts over the counting and the monitoring of ballots.
"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," Trump told reporters in the briefing, which aired on Newsmax TV. "If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."
Trump added a call for Democrat Joe Biden and others to stop calling for all votes to be counted and to specify "legal" ballots.
"I challenge Joe and every Democrat to clarify that they only want legal votes," he said. "Because they talk about votes, and I think they should use the word legal, legal votes. We want every legal vote counted. I want every legal vote counted. We want openness and transparency, no secret chat rooms, no mystery ballots, no illegal votes being cast after election day.
"You have Election Day and the laws are very strong and that you have an Election Day. And they don't want votes cast after election day, and they want the process to be an honest one – so important. We want an honest election; we want an honest count."
Trump added he is trying to defend the integrity of American Democracy and elections.
"Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election," Trump said. "We will not allow this corruption to steal such and important election, or any election for that matter. And we cannot allow anybody to silence our voters and manufacture results."
Trump said he "predicted" this election chaos with his rebuke of mass mail-in voting.
"I have been talking about mail-in voting for a long time," he continued. "It's destroyed our system; it's a corrupt system. And it makes people corrupt, even if they aren't by nature, but they become corrupt.
"It's too easy. They want to find out how many votes they need and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait and then they find them."
In a pair of Trump campaign moves Thursday, election ballot counting improprieties have been claimed in Pennsylvania and Nevada, two states that remain pivotal to the president's path to 270 electoral college votes.
The campaign has filed a federal injunction against Philadelphia blocking "meaningful" monitoring of ballot counting, according to Trump campaign lawyer Pam Bondi and campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski.
"They don't want anybody in there; they don't want anybody watching them as they count the ballots, and I can't imagine why," Trump said. "There's absolutely no legitimate reason why they would not want to have people watching this process, because of it's straight – they would be here should be proud of it – instead they're trying obviously to commit fraud.
"There's no question about that in Philadelphia observers have been kept far away."
Bondi said through a megaphone Thursday in Philadelphia: "They have refused to let us have a meaningful view of the vote count. They have continued to count the votes. Because they have done nothing to help us, they are no letting every legal vote count.
"There is a reason they're suppressing the election results, legal election results, because they will not let us look at the ballots. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you should care about this," she added. "They're trying to suppress our voices now."
Earlier Thursday, Amb. Ric Grenell claimed the "Harry Reid machine" has led to illegal voting in Nevada, including the casting of ballots by voters who are no longer legal residents.
During a press conference in Las Vegas, Grenell and other officials announced their legal action, saying illegal voting practices have occurred in Nevada. Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt noted that "thousands of ballots" have been found "in trash cans in apartment buildings."
"The Harry Reid machine recklessly threw ballots into the mail, and now we cannot check whether or not there are non-residents, [of] which we have evidence, publicly available evidence, that you all in the media should be also looking at," Grenell said.
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