Trump blames media after Arizona recount still says Biden won

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Former US president Donald Trump has raged at media reports following Arizona’s election audit (REUTERS)
Former US president Donald Trump has raged at media reports following Arizona’s election audit (REUTERS)

Donald Trump has once again raged against the news media after a highly controversial recount of ballots in Arizona reportedly failed to find proof of electoral fraud, and in fact resulted in Joe Biden furthering his lead in November 2020’s presidential race.

Issuing a statement through his Save America fundraising PAC, the former US president said on Friday that there were “Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts — just like they did in November!”

His mid-morning fury followed reporting from AZCentral about a leaked version of a report that was to be formally handed to Arizona’s Republican-held Senate on Friday afternoon.

The report will allegedly inform Mr Trump’s allies in the Arizona Senate that Mr Biden’s lead over Mr Trump in Maricopa County had actually widened after a months-long audit of 2.1m ballots. and at a cost of $6m ($4.4m) and Republican infighting.

In his statement, Mr Trump went on to call the report from Arizona’s audit “a major criminal event” that “should be investigated by the Attorney General immediately.”

He added that the final report delivered to the Senate would be “different than that being reported by the Fake News Media,” although it was not immediately clear what that meant.

The Florida-based firm which was paid millions of dollars to carry out the audit of ballots in Maricopa County, Cyber Ninjas, revealed in the leaked version of its report that there were 360 more votes for Mr Biden — taking his lead over Mr Trump to 45,467.

The results, however, have no official bearing on the results confirmed by Arizona’s legislature in January.

"Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors and faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election," Maricopa County officials said on Twitter.

Mr Trump also alleged on Friday that there was evidence of so-called “phantom voters” in the audit, because the leaked version of the report found 23,344 mail-in ballots that were registered to the wrong address.

As The Hill reported, there were as many as 15,000 mail-in ballots from people who had changed address before the deadline to register to vote, so it was not necessarily evidence of voting fraud.

Jack Sellers, the board chairman of Maricopa County, told AZCentral that “the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters.”

The audit was among the final attempts by Mr Trump and his allies to find evidence of election fraud, and led to a rift among Arizona Republicans because Cyber Ninjas is not a certified auditor of ballots.

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