Trump shifts strategy to hold power, deny Biden

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on November 20, 2020 - Duration: 02:54s

Trump shifts strategy to hold power, deny Biden

[NFA] With legal efforts to overturn his loss in the U.S. presidential election flailing, President Donald Trump's campaign is trying to persuade Republican state legislators to intervene in battleground states won by Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Lisa Bernhard produced this report.

Trump shifts strategy to hold power, deny Biden

"It's outrageous what he's doing." U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, facing unprecedented stonewalling from the Trump White House as he tries to prepare his team to govern, blasted the President on Thursday, calling his failure to concede and his relentless questioning of the election results "irresponsible." "It sends a horrible message about who we are as a country." As Trump's legal challenges make little headway, Reuters has learned there is a change in strategy.

Sources say Trump's team is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to do what voters did not and declare him the winner.

Three people familiar with the effort told Reuters that Trump's lawyers are seeking to enlist fellow Republicans who control legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania - battleground states that went for Biden - to intervene on his behalf with a long-shot maneuver that would see them potentially hand their state's electoral college votes to Trump.

Trump faces an uphill battle.

Officials have said repeatedly there is no evidence of widespread voting irregularities, and Michigan's Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield - despite agreeing to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday - has said the state's 16 electoral votes would go to Biden, who leads Trump by more than 150,000 votes in the state.

But none of that stopped the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani from holding a press conference full of conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated allegations, as what appeared to be hair dye dripped down his face.

Trump's former top election security official Chris Krebs - who Trump fired this week after he strongly refuted the president's claims of election fraud - tweeted that Guiliani's press conference was "the most dangerous 1 hr and 45 minutes of television in American history.

And possibly the craziest." Legislators in Michigan and Pennsylvania have sought not to become involved with Trump's team.

Several leading Republicans in Michigan privately expressed dismay to Reuters at the extent to which Trump has tried to game the election results, believing it will irreversibly tarnish the party's image in the state for years to come.

As things stand, Biden has captured 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory.

Were the combined 36 electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania to go to Trump, he would still trail by two electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to flip at least one more state to retain the White House.

Asked Thursday if he was going to challenge Trump's maneuvers with lawsuits of his own, Biden said he wouldn't rule anything out, but that he was confident he would be sworn in on January 20th.

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