US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday accused Donald Trump of brazenly damaging democracy, as the incumbent’s campaign to reverse his election loss through fraud claims was dealt another blow with a recount in Georgia.
Trump was behind “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions,” Biden told reporters in his home state of Delaware.
“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks,” said Biden. “I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won, is not going to be able to win and we’re going to be sworn in January 20th.”
Trump has refused to accept his loss on November 3, despite his opponent getting over six million more votes.
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes that ultimately decide who takes the White House by 306 to 232, flipping five states that went to Trump four years ago.
That includes Georgia, where a hand recount of its five million ballots confirmed Thursday that Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the southern state in almost three decades.
The recount showed Biden had won by 12,284 votes, according to figures posted on Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger’s website — slightly fewer than the approximately 14,000 he originally led by.
Trump campaign legal advisor Jenna Ellis attacked the outcome and pledged the campaign will “pursue all legal options.”
After initially making baseless claims of widespread fraud, Trump has appeared to shift his strategy to asking states to overrule the will of voters.
In Michigan, Trump placed a telephone call to a Republican on a once-obscure board who wants to withdraw her certification of the election result in a heavily Democratic county that includes majority-Black Detroit.
“He was checking to make sure I was safe after seeing/hearing about the threats and doxxing,” Wayne County Board of Canvassers chairwoman Monica Palmer told the Detroit Free Press, referring to personal information posted about her on social media.
Trump also reportedly invited Michigan Republican lawmakers to the White House, even as his campaign withdrew a federal lawsuit that asked the courts to block final certification of the state’s results.
Biden won Michigan on November 3 by 155,000 votes, a margin of victory more than 10 times higher than Trump’s when he won the state in 2016.
Asked about Trump’s calls with officials there, Biden said it was “another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history.”
Republican senator Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate and frequent Trump critic, accused the president of resorting to “overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.”
“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American president,” he said in the statement posted on Twitter late Thursday.