As votes in this barnburner of a 2020 election continue to be tallied, President Donald Trump on Thursday evening made a televised statement in which he rattled off numerous unfounded claims of voting fraud in the 2020 election. And cable news hosts by and large weren’t having any of it.
“What a sad night for the United States of America, to hear the president… falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper, coming right out of Trump’s appearance. “It’s not true, it’s ugly, it’s frankly pathetic.”
Jake Tapper after Trump press conference. pic.twitter.com/uQJTnXlGP7
— Ⓜ️arcusD ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) November 6, 2020
At the time of his statement, Trump was trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden, 213 electoral votes to 253, with several, deciding battleground states still in play as mail-in ballots continue to be counted. The margins in each of those races are razor-thin, and fluctuating with each reporting of new counts.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper in turn likened President Trump’s aggressive attempt to steer the Election
Night Week narrative — by using a mish-mash of allegations, insinuations and threatened legal actions — to “an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.”
"An obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over." pic.twitter.com/AL76HSRbtZ
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) November 6, 2020
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MSNBC actually cut away from Trump’s brief statement before it was done, “because it was simply not rooted in reality,” Brian Williams explained.
Williams later stated that cutting away “was not done as a stunt, or out of theatrics. We just can’t have it. It was not rooted in reality, and at this point in where our country is, it’s dangerous.”
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace commended the decision, saying, “I’m proud to work at a network that didn’t contribute to what Trump just did… a speech that represents one of the most dangerous acts that Donald Trump has undertaken as President.”
Fox News, which tends to be a bit more acquiescent to Trump’s style of leadership, also raised an eyebrow or two at the president’s statement, with Bret Baier acknowledging “we have not seen hard evidence” of any election fraud, while White House Correspondent John Roberts observed, “What we saw there is a President who doesn’t think this [election] will go his way.”