President Donald Trump canceled a planned trip to a hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a Republican-organized hearing about purported voter fraud after a campaign adviser tested positive for coronavirus, pool reports said.
The president was expected to join his personal defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who attended the event despite also being exposed to COVID-19 after his son, Andrew, tested positive.
The Gettysburg event is said to be the first of several in battleground states designed to undermine President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the election.
Pennsylvania officially certified Biden's win in the state on Tuesday.
Trump called in to the event after canceling his in-person appearance and floated debunked conspiracy theories about dead people voting, said the election results were a "disgrace," and asked, "Why wouldn't they overturn the election?"
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President Donald Trump canceled a scheduled trip to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to attend a Republican-organized hearing about purported voter fraud after a campaign adviser tested positive for coronavirus, press pool reports said.
Trump was expected to travel to a hotel in Gettysburg to address the event amid his campaign's ongoing effort to overturn the 2020 election results, Axios and CNN reported. However, on Wednesday morning, Bloomberg News reported that Trump's adviser, Boris Epshteyn, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Epshteyn did not attend the Gettysburg event, but he was in contact with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, last week at a news conference at the Republican National Convention. Giuliani was also separately exposed to the virus after his son, Andrew, tested positive. The former New York mayor attended Wednesday's event at Gettysburg and was seen speaking indoors without a mask in a tightly-packed room.
If Trump had attended the Gettysburg event, it would have been his first trip outside the Washington, DC, area since losing the general election. Sources told Axios and CNN that Trump was initially expected to join Giuliani at the Wyndham hotel and meet with the state's Republican-led Senate Majority Policy Committee to discuss alleged "election issues and irregularities."
State Sen. Doug Mastriano requested the meeting take place amid the Trump campaign's refusal to give up its court challenges against Pennsylvania's election results. The battleground state officially certified its results on Tuesday and confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's victory, securing him the state's 20 electoral votes.
The Gettysburg event is said to be the first of several planned in battleground states designed to undermine Biden's victory in the election, CNN reported.
Jenna Ellis, an attorney working on the Trump campaign, said the outgoing president's legal team would not "back down," even though multiple states, including Michigan and Georgia, have certified Biden's win.
"It's in everyone's interest to have a full vetting of election irregularities and fraud," Giuliani said in a statement reported by Bloomberg. "And the only way to do this is with public hearings, complete with witnesses, videos, pictures and other evidence of illegalities from the November 3rd election."
Trump and his campaign continue to insist, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud led to his defeat earlier this month, and Pennsylvania has been at the center of their baseless claims.
In fact, the president called in to the GOP's event on Wednesday afternoon to float debunked conspiracy theories about dead people voting, said the election was a "disgrace," and asked, "Why wouldn't they overturn the election?"
Speaking after Pennsylvania certified its election result, the Biden campaign advisor Bob Bauer said: "It's readily apparent to everyone besides Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis that this election is over and that Joe Biden won resoundingly."
He added: "Trump did everything he could to disenfranchise voters and stop the results from being certified in Pennsylvania, including filing over 15 unsuccessful lawsuits -- most recently producing one of the more embarrassing courtroom performances of all time, with the judge in the case ruling that their arguments were 'without merit' and 'unsupported by evidence.'
"Trump did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not succeed anywhere else."
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