Trump abruptly changes tone: 'I will never give up fighting for you and our nation'

Jeva Lange

President Trump appeared to temper his tone on Friday afternoon, issuing a statement that stood in sharp contrast to his rambling rant on Thursday night and his flurries of all-caps tweets baselessly alleging election fraud on Twitter. Though the statement still insinuated the existence of "illegal ballots" — something both election officials and the president's own campaign aides have failed to identify any evidence of — it lacked the defiance of his earlier addresses, and possibly even left room for his acceptance of a narrowing path to victory.

"We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election," Trump said, adding that "from the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted. … We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation."

Notably absent from the statement was the president's further false insistence that he is winning the election, or ahead in states that had not been called yet. Read the full statement below.

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