‘There’s no reason to play games’: Trump signals he won’t try to declare victory prematurely

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  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would declare himself the winner of the 2020 election “only when there’s victory,” acknowledging that “there’s no reason to play games.”

The remarks from the president came in the morning hours of Election Day in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” during which he was asked when exactly he planned on declaring victory over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“When there’s victory. If there’s victory,” Trump responded. “I think we’ll have victory. I think the polls are, you know, suppression polls. And I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. I mean, you know, there’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory.”

Democrats have warned in recent weeks that Trump could seek to distort the results of the election and take advantage of delays in the reporting of vote counts, which are expected to take longer to process due to the expansion of mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Axios reported Sunday that Trump had told confidants he planned to declare victory prematurely on election night if early results showed him ahead, even if all the votes were not yet counted. The White House has denied that report.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, mirrored the Axios report in an interview Sunday with ABC News’ “This Week,” saying that the president “will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electoral [votes], somewhere in that range, and then they’re going to try to steal it back after the election.”

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