Trump Campaign Declares Victory in Pennsylvania, Files Lawsuit

Trump Campaign Declares Victory in Pennsylvania, Files Lawsuit
President Donald Trump gestures to Vice President Mike Pence on election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington in the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Bill Stepien, in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, declared victory in Pennsylvania as the state continues to count outstanding ballots.

“We are declaring victory in Pennsylvania," Stepien said in a conference call with reporters, adding that they have a "high degree of confidence" for a path to victory for Trump. Stepien said that the data and numbers show it.

“We are confident on our pathway. We are confident on our math,” he added, accusing Democratic opponents of seeking to count ineligible ballots.

“We know the Democrats are pushing to count late ballots,” he said. “Why are they pushing to count late ballots? Because we know and they know if we count all legal ballots, we win, the president wins.”

The campaign, before the call, said in a statement that "bad things are happening" now in Pennsylvania. Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit to stop ballot counting in the Keystone State.

"Democrats are scheming to disenfranchise and dilute Republican votes. President Trump and his team are fighting to put a stop to it," they said.

"In addition to the Trump Campaign’s motion to intervene in Pennsylvania Republican Party v. Boockvar, we are taking two additional critical legal actions today to ensure the integrity of Pennsylvania’s election," the campaign said. "We are suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers—observers whose only job is to make sure every valid ballot is counted, and counted once. The eyes of the country are on Pennsylvania."

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has condemned the lawsuit from the Trump campaign. In a statement, he asserted that "In Philadelphia, officials are administering the election with the highest degree of transparency. There has been a livestream of the ballot-counting process available throughout the count, and all parties have canvass observers."

He characterized the lawsuit from the Trump campaign as an attempt to "subvert the democratic process" and called it "disgraceful."

"Pennsylvania is going to count every vote and make sure that everyone has their voice heard. Pennsylvania is going to fight every single attempt to disenfranchise voters and continue to administer a free and fair election. Our election officials at the state and local level should be free to do their jobs without intimidation or attacks," he said.

"Pennsylvania will fight every attempt to undermine the election. We will count every vote."

The Trump campaign believes that by Friday, it will be clear that Trump has won, Stepien said. He also predicted that Arizona will eventually go to Trump and The Associated Press and Fox News will retract their call that the state will go to Joe Biden.

"Soon as Friday President Trump will be declared the winner," Trump adviser Jason Miller proclaimed in the conference call on Wednesday. "We call on Fox News and the Associated Press to immediately withdraw" their calls for Arizona, he added.

Earlier in the day, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs warned against early calls to declare the state for Biden.

“I was 44,000 votes down and now I’m secretary of state. That took 10 days,” Hobbs, a Democrat, told KTAR. “I don’t have the job of calling races … but there are still hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count in Arizona, primarily in Maricopa County, so I think that I would advise caution in terms of celebrating victories right now,” Hobbs added.

On Wednesday, Ducey said that the "results have shifted greatly hour by hour, and from last night until today," adding: "With hundreds of thousands of votes still outstanding, it’s important that we be patient before declaring any races up or down the ballot.”

About 250,000 ballots are outstanding in Maricopa County, the officials said.

Ivan Pentchoukov and Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.