The nation was on pins and needles Wednesday with an election still too close to call and millions of ballots left to be counted in battleground states. With initial Republican leads in Wisconsin and Michigan, President Donald Trump falsely and prematurely declared victory early in the morning.
"We were getting ready to win this election—frankly we did win this election," Trump said to supporters gathered in the East Room of the White House.
Trump also appeared to cast doubt on the vote-counting process, calling counting remaining ballots a “fraud on the American public.” States are legally obligated to count all ballots, which does not amount to fraud.
Joe Biden emerged just before 1 a.m. at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, as loyalists honked their car horns. "We're gonna have to be patient. Until the hard work of tallying the vote is finished, it ain't over until every vote is counted," Biden said.
The president is doubling down on his unsubstantiated claims about the ongoing count, tweeting, "Last night I was leading... Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted."
Twitter flagged some of his tweets as "misleading." The backlash to Trump's comments was swift, with even some Republicans saying he went too far.
"It was ridiculous. You should not have done that," former Ohio Governor John Kasich said.
"The idea that he is using the word fraud by people counting votes is wrong," former Senator Rick Santorum said.
With the Trump campaign already asking for a recount in Wisconsin, experts say to expect a drawn out legal battle. Election officials in the states still counting are vowing to carry on until the last ballot is counted.