President Donald Trump’s campaign along with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany staged a chaotic press conference Monday where they claimed the election is ‘not over’ and attacked ‘partisan’ election officials but offered no new evidence of the fraud they allege.
The crowded, heated affair was just latest by Trump forces alleging fraud that ended in scraps with the media – including one in Philadelphia where the first witnesses trotted out by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani turned out to be a convicted child sex offender.
The campaing held the event to make its claims while lawyers filed a 105-page, double-spaced lawsuit in Pennsylvania court making its case to throw out more than 600,000 votes.
Plaintiffs were the campaign, former Pennsylvania state Rep. Lawrence Roberts, who is a 78-year old former cosmetologist, and Lancaster County voter David John Henry.
At Monday’s presser, it was McEnany, who was there on personal time from her job as a taxpayer-funded employee, as well as Republican National Committee head Ronna McDaniel laying out the allegations, and taking just a few questions.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany spoke at a chaotic press conference where she accused Democrats of trying to ‘tip the scales’ of the election. She misstated the name of the county where Philadelphia is located and didn’t provide evidence of fraud
‘What we have seen across the country is Democrat officials systematically trying to do an end run around the Constitution to tip the scales of the election in their favor,’ said McEnany, who also lectured reporters, telling them to ask questions of election officials when they questioned her.
‘Isn’t the president just being a sore loser?’ asked a reporter after McEnany abruptly ended the event, held at RNC headquarters in Washington.
‘Our poll watchers were put behind barricades in a massive room. They were many feet from the counting process. And in fact when you look at all the tables, many hundreds of feet in fact from the tables in the back. They were completely in the dark,’ she said.
‘What are Pennsylvania Democrats hiding,’ she asked.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also spoke. Officials didn’t respond to shouted questions about whether Trump was being a ‘sore loser’
Trump Campaign general council Matthew Morgan was also present. He referenced the Pennsylvania suit filed Monday, which did not appear to contain evidence from Rudy Giuliani’s first witness, who turned out to be a convicted child sex offender
Daryl Brooks, who was Rudy Giuliani’s first witness at a press conference alleging voter fraud in Pennsylvania, is a convicted child sex offender
McEnany claimed there were no poll watchers in Philadelphia
Trump campaign general counsel Matt Morgan said Trump allies had filed suit in Pennsylvania, the site of Giuliani’s weekend presser where the first witness brought out by Giuliani was revealed to have served jail time for exposing himself to two girls, ages 7 and 11.
‘The election is not over,’ Morgan said.
McDaniel complained that observers were ‘intimidated and pushed from the process.’
But the group declined to provide evidence when reporters asked for it. Asked if she knew votes were fraudulently cast, McEnany responded: ‘What we are asking for here is patience … We are hearing these reports. We are seeing them come in. We are vetting them.’
McDaniel claimed they had a whistleblower who was an election worker told to back-date ballots.
She rejected a question about a ‘conspiracy’ that somehow allowed House Republicans to prevail while Trump lost key battlegrounds. ‘There’s no conspiracy there,’ she responded.
‘There were 682,479 ballots counted in Philadelphia, in Allegheny County, that there were no poll watchers allowed to watch. ‘It is the job of the media to ask the question why. All we are asking for is truth, transparency and sunlight here. That is all we are asking for, and sadly we are asking the questions many of you should,’ she lectured.
Philadelphia is not in Allegheny County.
Trump’s team has not provided evidence that there were no poll watchers, claiming at other times that observers who were present didn’t have a good enough view or access. Plaintiffs acknowledged that in a Pennsylvania court dispute. Media members who were present inside counting facilities identified and observed poll watchers, which are required by law.
The officials took just two questions before abruptly ending the event.
The backdrop for the press conference was President Trump’s insistence that he ‘won’ the election and would prevail in battlegrounds TV networks have already called for President-elect Joe Biden.
‘Wisconsin is looking very good. Needs a little time statutorily. Will happen soon!’ Trump tweeted Monday. Biden leads there by more than 20,000 votes. He leads by more than 40,000 votes in Pennsylvania.
Foreign leaders have already begun calling Biden to congratulate him. Former Republican President George W. Bush also congratulated Biden and called him president elect, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose wife serves in Trump’s cabinet, is calling for the legal process to play itself out.
According to the lawsuit, which names the Pennsylvania secretary of state an county election boards, ‘Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties alone received and processed 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots without review by the political parties and candidates.’
But the suit seems to confirm there were in fact observers present. It states that ‘Allegheny and Pennsylvania counties conducted the canvassing and tabulation in convention center rooms and placed observers far away from the action.’
It charges that Democratic-run counties engaged in pre-canvassing activities ‘by reviewing received mail-in ballots for deficiencies, such as lacking the inner secrecy envelope or lacking a signature of the elector on the outer declaration envelope.’
Under state law litigated before the election, mail-in votes had to be placed inside a special security sleeve and then placed inside a second envelope to be counted. Election officials are sometimes allowed to help voters ‘cure’ their ballots by contacting them to avoid their vote being trashed.