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US election results – live updates: Trump lashes out at Biden as Nevada and Pennsylvania counts near end

Taking to Twitter, the current president said “tens of thousands of votes were illegally received after 8pm on Tuesday, Election Day” which, he says, makes their eligibility invalid. 

He went on to say vote-counting had been hidden by tractors in Pennsylvania who, according to the president, “blocked doors & windows [which] were covered with thick cardboard so that observers could not see into the count rooms”.  Mr Trump added: “BAD THINGS HAPPENED INSIDE. CHANGES TOOK PLACE!” 

There remains no evidence to substantiate the claims of voter fraud being made by Mr Trump, which he began circulating on Wednesday morning when his lead in key states against the Democrats started to narrow. 

Critics immediately suggested any accusation of fraud should be investigated, but that Mr Trump’s claims of votes being changed at such a widespread scale were unlikely to hold up. 

Representatives of both Mr Trump and Mr Biden’s camps are said to have been present in vote-counting rooms at all times in states such as Pennsylvania, where the president is claiming ballots were altered. 

As it stands, Mr Biden leads Mr Trump in Pennsylvania by more than 28,800. The state has now counted roughly 99 per cent of its votes – a win here by Mr Biden would take him over the required 270 electoral votes and see him named the next president. The Democrat is also winning in Georgia and Nevada

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Trump announces ‘lawyers press conference’ in Philadelphia 

Donald Trump has announced there will be a “big press conference” in Philadelphia at 11.30am EST (4.30pm GMT) via his Twitter account.

In three confusing tweets, one of which was deleted, the president told his followers: “Lawyer’s Press Conference at Four Season’s Landscaping, Philadelphia. Enjoy!” 

No further information has been provided by the Trump campaign about the event yet. 

Sam Hancock7 November 2020 14:53

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Political historian ranks Trump worst president ever

A leading political historian has ranked Donald Trump the worst president in US history over his failings in handling the coronavirus crisis. 

Professor Alan Litchman, who correctly guessed every state’s election result in both 2016 and this year, so far, made the comments on Sky News. 

Probed to rank Mr Trump among his predecessors, Mr Litchman said: “Last, definitely. His mishandling of this pandemic has seen thousands – possible over 100,000 – of people needlessly lose their lives. And millions of needless infections.”

Mr Litchman added: “I’ve also never seen a president – and I’ve studied them all the way back to George Washington – who has so relentlessly undermined our democracy.”

Sam Hancock7 November 2020 14:44

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The Independent’s Conrad Duncan has more on Donald Trump’s latest tweets here:

Sam Hancock7 November 2020 14:30

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Without evidence, Trump continues to push voter fraud allegations

Donald Trump has started his day on Twitter by continuing to push unfounded allegations of voter fraud, claiming “tens of thousands of votes were illegally received” in Pennsylvania.

There is no evidence at this time that vote counts in any states were manipulated and ballots are routinely counted after election day in US presidential elections.

Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 13:33

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Here is what we know about the vote counts in the four key swing-states left, as of Saturday morning (US time):

Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 13:27

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Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 13:16

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Attacks on mail-in ballots ‘one of the dumbest political decisions of all time’

The decision by the Trump campaign to criticise mail-in ballots ahead of the US presidential election will go down as “one of the dumbest political decisions of all time”, according to Politico’s Jake Sherman.

Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 13:10

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Fears Trump may refuse to leave White House after defeat

As Joe Biden closes in on victory in the presidential election, there are fears that Donald Trump may refuse to leave the White House following defeat.

There are conflicting reports going round today about whether Mr Trump will soon accept defeat or fight a series of long and bitter legal battles in the hope of overturning the result.

One report by Vanity Fair last night suggested that the Trump campaign had not seriously considered the chance of losing the election.

The magazine’s Bess Levin writes:

“It is a possibility the president did not consider in a serious way during the election, despite polls showing him with only a narrow path to victory, believing that looking past Election Day was bad luck. The delicate matter of a loss—and a potential postpresidential life—was not discussed widely among his team and was not raised often with the president, who believed adamantly he would win.

“Now people around Trump are working to identify who might be able to communicate to him the stark reality. There has been talk of potentially Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump, though their willingness to lead a difficult intervention wasn’t clear.”

Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 12:59

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Spanish-language misinformation flourishes online in days around election

Social media posts in Spanish from online celebrities, radio commentators and others repeatedly questioned the reliability of mail-in voting and falsely described Joe Biden as a socialist, according to disinformation experts and posts seen by Reuters.

Other posts pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory, the experts added.

Social media companies introduced new rules to crack down on election-related misinformation through labeling content, restricting its reach or removing it, but enforcement has been uneven.

Although Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc all took action against some false or misleading Spanish-language posts, many more remain online and have continued to spread, Reuters found.

€œOn Facebook and other platforms it took longer to flag and take action against posts when they were in Spanish rather than English,€ Daniel Acosta Ramos, an investigative researcher with First Draft, said.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the matter but said the company had taken multiple steps to combat misinformation in Spanish, including adding two new Spanish-language fact-checking partners before the election.

Conrad Duncan7 November 2020 12:42

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Biden victory could help UK-EU trade deal move forward, says Irish minister

Joe Biden being sworn in as the new US president could inject fresh momentum into the agreement of a trade deal between the EU and UK by the end of the year, a senior Irish minister has said.

Mr Biden has previously warned Boris Johnson against destabilising the Northern Irish peace process by reneging on his promise of new checks on goods from the British mainland.

The UK has dismissed suggestions that Mr Johnson is keeping negotiations with Brussels on hold until the outcome of the US election is clear, amid speculation that a Biden victory would effectively take the option of no-deal Brexit off the table.

Asked if a Biden victory would create a “new dynamic” in the negotiations, Mr Byrne said: “It’s certainly possible.”

The Independent’s political editor, Andrew Woodcock, reports:

Sam Hancock7 November 2020 12:10