Trump says Biden should not ‘wrongfully’ claim victory in presidential race

President Trump on Friday warned Democratic nominee Joe Biden against “wrongfully” claiming to be president elect, as the former vice president appeared on the cusp of winning the race for the White House.

“Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” Trump tweeted Friday evening, hours before Biden was expected to deliver remarks.

Trump himself claimed premature victory in an address from the White House early Wednesday morning. He is expected to mount a legal effort to challenge results in several states. Lawsuits filed by his campaign in Michigan and Georgia over ballot counting have already been tossed out.

Biden on Friday eclipsed Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia and expanded his lead in Nevada as officials continued to count ballots, and the contest narrowed in Arizona. The race remains too close to call, however, in a number of battlegrounds, including Pennsylvania, which alone would clinch the White House for Biden.

Biden is expected to deliver a prime-time address alongside Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Friday evening. It is unclear whether there could be a definitive call in the race before their remarks.

Trump’s path to reelection has been significantly narrowed as Biden made gains Friday. Biden currently leads Trump in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. Trump would need to win three of these states in order to secure a second term.

Fox News and The Associated Press have already declared Biden the winner in Arizona, though the Trump campaign has insisted he has a path to victory as ballots continue to be counted from Maricopa County and the race has tightened.

In a news conference at the White House on Thursday evening, Trump claimed without evidence that Democrats were working to steal the election from him and promised future legal challenges. His comments have been rebuked by members of his own party.

The News York Times reported Friday that David Bossie, one of Trump’s political advisers and a former chair of the conservative group Citizens United, had been tapped to challenge election results in several states.

Sources told The Hill on Friday, however, that some White House aides have discussed how and when to approach Trump about the reality of a looming defeat. Sources close to the administration suggested Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, first lady Melania Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were among those best suited to do so.

Brett Samuels contributed. 

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Joe Biden Melania Trump Mitch McConnell

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