Vote count: Christie says ‘no basis’ to Trump’s complaints
As Joe Biden picks up Wisconsin and Michigan, adding to his growing Electoral College tally, Trump advisory and former Gov. Chris Christie is breaking again with the president over his comments about vote counting.
Christie said Trump may be undercutting potential legal challenges by speaking prematurely.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Biden had 248 electoral votes to Trump's 214 of the needed 270. Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia were still in play as votes continued to be counted.
The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden on Wednesday after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional ballots.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Trump would formally ask for a recount, citing "irregularities in several Wisconsin counties." The campaign filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt counting of ballots because the campaign contended it wasn't given “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process
The president's campaign also says it’s suing to stop Pennsylvania's vote count over lack of "transparency," and seeks to intervene in a Supreme Court case that allowed ballots to be accepted up to three days after the election.
New Jersey was among many states that encouraged mail-in votes during the coronavirus pandemic. Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted even if they arrive after Election Day. Trump in an early morning news conference on Wednesday claimed victory despite not all votes being counted and several states still in play.
"Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won't stand for it. We will not stand for it," Trump said.
Trump said he wanted "all voting to stop" and would go to the U.S. Supreme Court although polls were closed when Trump made his comments at 2:30 a.m.
During ABC News' election coverage, Christie said that as a former U.S. attorney, he didn't understand Trump statements.
Christie said all the votes that are in have to be counted and used Pennsylvania's deadline for accepting ballots as a reason to wait before starting to argue about votes.
"Tonight this was not the time to make this argument," Christie said.
While admitting that Trump was probably setting up for a legal battle, Christie said that there comes a point where the process has to be allowed to play out before judging it to be flawed.
"I think by prematurely doing this, if there is a flaw in it later, he has undercut his credibility in calling attention to that flaw. I think it's a bad strategic decision, it's a bad political decision and it's not the kind of decision you'd expect one to make tonight who holds the position he holds," Christie said.
After spending a week in Morristown Medical Center being treated for COVID-19 Christie, became an advocate for wearing masks and called not wearing one while at the White House a "serious failure."
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