Donald Trump breaks days of silence at White House to deny New Yorkers breakthrough COVID vaccine because Andrew Cuomo called president’s involvement ‘bad news’ – and says ‘time will tell’ if he can hold on to power (then leaves without taking questions)
- Donald Trump speaks in public for first time since day after the election at event in White House Rose Garden
- He last spoke on Wednesday November 4 in a tirade which was cut off by most TV networks
- Since then he has repeatedly tweeted that he ‘won’ the election but Biden is now projected to have 306 Electoral College votes – the same as Trump did in 2016 when he claimed he had a ‘landslide’
- Trump’s legal strategy of overturning hundreds of thousands of votes appeared to be in tatters
- His team has abandoned litigation in Arizona, been thrown out of court in Michigan and Republicans lost again in Pennsylvania in a case which would have helped Trump – and one of his law firms quit
- Top CEOs have been revealed to have held secret talks about how they could force him out if he will not accept the results
- And raging COVID infections have now hit another record of 153,000 a day, with 67,000 people in hospitals nationwide and mounting fears for the economy
- 130 White House Secret Service officers have either tested positive or quarantined after going to either his largely-maskless rallies or an Election night superspreader held by Trump
- Outside the White House rival pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators were already gathering ahead of a ‘million MAGA march’ planned for Saturday which Trump said he might attend
Published: 16:34 EST, 13 November 2020 | Updated: 17:06 EST, 13 November 2020
He’s back: Donald Trump emerged from hiding in the White House to dismiss a wave of COVID as the result of testing
President Donald Trump appeared publicly for the first time in eight days Friday for an event billed as an update on ‘Operation Warp Speed’ – and used it to say he was still refusing to admit he is defeated and then refuse to send a new COVID vaccine to millions of Americans because of a political feud with its Democratic governor.
The president came out into the Rose Garden, 26 minutes late, and called his coronavirus response the ‘single greatest mobilization in U.S. history.’ The number of people in hospital from COVID as he spoke was estimated to be 67,000; 153,000 people were diagnosed with it Thursday.
He claimed Pfizer, which announced a promising coronavirus vaccine on Monday, made an ‘unfortunate mistake’ and an ‘unfortunate misrepresentation’ for saying the company wasn’t part of the Trump administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ It was not.
Then in an astonishing move, Trump said a COVID vaccine would be available to the general public – except for New York, where he is feuding with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
‘As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exceptions of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say “I don’t think it’s good politically. I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint.” He wants to take his time with the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,’ Trump said.
He was referring to Cuomo’s comments on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Monday when he called the news of Pfizer’s breakthrough on a potential vaccine ‘good news, bad news.’
‘The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,’ Cuomo said.
Trump said it was too bad the governor, who became a national star based on his handling of the pandemic in his state, ‘doesn’t trust’ his White House.
‘He doesn’t trust the fact that it is this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say,’ the president said.
‘Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he is ready for it. Otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t to be giving it to its people immediately. And I know many — I know the people of New York very well. I know they wanted, so the governor will let us now,’ he added.
New York has a population of 19.5 million people. The move is almost certain to end up in court – if Trump follows through with it.
Trump, again, railed against lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But that rant bumped into the reality that he had lost the election, something he has yet to publicly concede.
‘Ideally we won’t go to a lockdown,’ Trump said.
‘I will not go – this administration will not be going to a lockdown.’
After saying he administration ‘won’t go to a lockdown,’ Trump came the closest yet to acknowledging that his policies on the virus might not be in place for the long term.
‘Whatever happens in the future – who knows which administration it will be, time will tell,’ Trump said.
His statement appeared to acknowledge the potential that Joe Biden might be the president in a few months – with his own power to at least shape policy on lockdowns.
Trump has not made a statement conceding the race to Biden in any way, despite Biden being on track to win 306 electoral votes.
Trump spoke as:
- Georgia was called for Joe Biden and North Carolina for Trump, ending 10 days of waiting for projected results across the country and putting Biden on 306 Electoral College votes – what Trump who got same in 2016 called a ‘landslide’;
- His legal strategy to stop vote results being certified appeared in tatters with his campaign abandoning litigation in Arizona, being thrown out of court and their evidence called ‘not accurate’ in Michigan;
- In Pennsylvania one of the two major legal firms suing on his behalf quit amid a staff rebellion and a federal appeals court dismissed Republican attempts to stop late ballots being counted;
- Trump himself told Geraldo Rivera he would ‘do the right thing’ but demanded the veteran journalist ‘look into’ an entirely debunked conspiracy theory that an election software company changed the results in Biden’s favor;
- Two top aides launched a denial tour of Fox programs with Peter Navarro telling Maria Bartiromo there would be a second Trump term and Kayleigh McEnany saying he would be at ‘his second inauguration’;
- 130 Secret Service officers dedicated to protecting him and his family were revealed to be quarantined after testing positive or being exposed to COVID while at the White House or guarding his rallies;
- Pro-Trump demonstrators including the Proud Boys began to descend on Washington D.C. for a ‘Million MAGA March’ on Saturday which Trump tweeted he might go to – but which anarchist groups said they would target;
- Top CEOs were revealed to have plans to speak out if he tries to cling to power and will threaten corporate relocations if Republican legislatures try to overturn the popular vote in states which went to Biden.
After Trump spoke, Mike Pence spoke to essentially admit that states are running out of PPE and admitted that cases were rising everywhere – despite he and his boss campaigning without masks, holding rallies and claiming that America had ’rounded the corner.’
The results put Biden on 306 electoral college votes and Donald Trump on 232 – precisely the same numbers, although not from the same states, as the president’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, which he called a ‘massive landslide.’
The call shows the monumental uphill struggle Trump would have to overturn the popular will in multiple states – at least three and as many as six.
At least this shouldn’t be a superspreader: Donald Trump spoke to a tiny audience of journalists and officials including in the front row Alex Azar, his HHS Secretary (third from left), Mike Pence, the outgoing vice president (third from right), and Dr. Deborah Birx (second from right), a Coronavirus taskforce member who had not been seen at the White House in weeks
Drop dead New York: Donald Turmp sai
Deaths, however, dropped with 919 American dying on Thursday. It comes after the death toll spiked a day earlier to 1,893, which is the highest number of fatalities since May 8 during the initial peak of the outbreak. That surge was enough to push the seven-day rolling average of daily deaths back over the 1,000 mark after managing to stay below it for the past three months
New infections across the country hit a record high for the third consecutive day with 153,496 cases on Thursday. Daily cases have repeatedly surged to all-time highs of more than 120,000 per day over the past week+3
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Democrats: Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, is the target of Trump’s anger and refusal to hand over a breakthrough vaccine – while Joe Biden has beaten the president, who is refusing to admit he is a loser+38
Fans of the 45th President were making their way down Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. when they came up against crowds of left-wing activists brandishing signs ridiculing the Commander-in-chief over his election loss+38
Trump supporters have faced off against counter-demonstrators during a rally outside the White House on Friday, amid fears of violent clashes over the weekend. One fan of the 45th President brandished a Bible as he was accosted by Biden supporters
The calls end the longest-drawn out post-election wait for projected results in history.
Arizona had been called late Thursday night, confirming a contentious projection made early on the Wednesday morning after the election by Fox News and Associated Press, to the fury of Trump and his entourage. His son-in-law Jared Kushner even tried phoning Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s owner, to have it with drawn but was rebuffed.
Additionally Republican senator Martha McSally finally conceded to Democratic candidate Mark Kelly in the Arizona senate race, meaning she enters history as having been appointed twice to vacant senate seats there and twice lost her attempts to keep them.
Her race had been called on Wednesday but she hung on for more than a week before bowing to reality.
Despite Biden being declared winner of the election on Saturday, Trump has refused to concede and continues to make baseless claims of election fraud.
An official audit of more than half of Arizona‘s counties, representing 86% of the population, found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in another blow to President Donald Trump‘s campaign’s legal and rhetorical push.
Eight of 15 Arizona counties, including Maricopa – the state’s most populated – turned in hand count results and found ‘no discrepancies.’
Meanwhile in Georgia election officials in its 159 counties started counting ballots Friday morning for a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.
The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin -Biden leads – Trump by 14,000 votes – meant a full hand count was necessary.
The audit is a new requirement that was included in a 2019 law that also provided guidelines that the state used to purchase a new election system from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.
The final numbers in the audit count will almost certainly be slightly different from the numbers previously reported by the counties but the overall outcome should remain the same, said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system for the secretary of state’s office.
The results will not be released piecemeal as the counties finish counting but instead will be announced once the full tally is complete, he said, adding that the results of the new count from the audit is what will be certified.
There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead stood at 0.28 percentage points as of Thursday afternoon.
Once the results from the audit are certified, the losing campaign can request that recount, which will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes, Raffensperger said.
The recount came as Trump suffered a trifecta of legal setbacks in a single day, even as he continues to make his case that the election was ‘rigged’ and that he will prevail.
The latest bad news for the president came in Michigan, where a judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop the canvassing of ballots in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
In addition to ruling against Trump, Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny called the campaign’s case ‘not credible.’
‘No formal challenges were filed. However, sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and the city of Detroit,’ Kenny wrote in an opinion released Friday. ‘Plaintiff’s interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible,’ he wrote, the Detroit News reported.
In Arizona, Trump’s lawyers abandoned a suit seeking a hand count of ballots after a series of networks called the race for Biden.
Biden’s lead exceeds the number of outstanding ballots now, and dropping the suit acknowledges the state will be in Biden’s column.
And in Pennsylvania, a law firm representing the Trump campaign in its claims of fraud seeking to overturn the election results in battleground Pennsylvania has withdrawn from the case.
The Ohio-based Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had brought the suit claiming Pennsylvania’s ‘two-tiered’ voting system was illegal. Its expansive case called into question millions of votes cast by Pennsylvania residents who voted by mail in accordance with state law.
The firm was facing a backlash for its legal work, was facing public pressure from the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans that worked to defeat President Trump, for seeking to ‘overturn the will of the American people.’
Amid the legal retreats and defeats, Trump suffered more glaring losses on the electoral map. TV networks on Friday afternoon called the closely contested state of Georgia for Democrat Joe Biden.
Hours earlier, they called Arizona for Biden. That set up a Biden win that was not particularly close: 306 to 232 in the Electoral Collage, with a lead of about 5 million in the popular vote. Trump himself had crowed about his own margin, which was also 306 to 232 in 2016, as a ‘landslide.’
Trump told longtime friend Geraldo Rivera he will ‘do the right thing’ as the developments went against him – but still
The president reached out for a ‘heartfelt phone call’ with longtime talk host Rivera earlier Friday.
He said Trump told him he is a ‘realist’ who would ‘do the right thing’ but also wants to see ‘what states do in terms of certification,’ he wrote.+38
President Donald Trump told Geraldo Rivera as a ‘realist’ who would ‘do the right thing,’ according to the talk host and TV personality+38
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said Friday the White House is ‘under the assumption that there will be a second Trump term.’ He also echoed many of President Trump’s unsupported allegations of widespread voter fraud in the elections+38
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been brandishing affidavits from Republicans claiming they witnessed fraud
He also said Trump ‘seemed particularly aggrieved by the savage attacks on his presidency from the minute he was elected’ – an indication Trump is still on the political warpath.
The comments come in the context of Trump’s multi-state legal attack on the election count in states Joe Biden carried or where the race is close.
It does not include a specific determination that Trump will concede to President-elect Joe Biden.
‘Just had heartfelt phone call w friend,’ Geraldo tweeted.
‘He sounded committed to fighting for every vote & if he loses, talking more about all he’s accomplished,’ said Rivera.
He later told Fox News: ‘I got no impression tat the president is plotting the overthrow of the elected government.’
But quite what Trump is being told by the few aides who will risk going to the White House is unclear.
Hardly any have spoken in public since the election loss became clear.
On Friday White House economic advisor Peter Navarro said he is operating under the assumption of a ‘second Trump term’ as he parroted the president’s claims of voter fraud.
Navarro made the comments at the White House, where President Trump has not spoken publicly in days, instead blasting out repeated tweets claiming fraud in states that Joe Biden won or where Biden is leading.
‘We’re moving forward here at the White House under the assumption that there will be a second Trump term,’ Navarro told host Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network.
Then he referenced fraud claims, where the Trump campaign has yet to provide evidence of the large-scale fraud it alleges, and several individual claims have failed to pan out.
‘I think it’s really important before people’s heads explode here to understand that what we seek here is verifiable ballots, certifiable ballots and an investigation into what are growing numbers of allegations of fraud under signed affidavits by witnesses,’ said Navarro.
‘My own view looking at this election, we have, what appears in some sense to be, an immaculate deception,’ he said.
‘But if you look statistically at what happened, clearly the president won this election and was leading on Election Day, and then after Election Day somehow in these key battleground state they got just enough votes to catch up to the president. That’s kind of what is being investigated,’ he said.
Many states counted in-person votes first, where Trump voters made up a disproportionate share, and counted mail ballots later, where Biden supporters cast their support, amid huge Democratic efforts focused on mail-ballots and Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting.
Navarro added: ‘We think he won that election, and any speculation about what Joe Biden might do I think is moot at this point.’
Biden is approaching 78 million votes overall, with Trump below 73 million.
Navarro was in friendly territory. His interviewer, Maria Bartiromo, posted on Parler, a social media site featuring right-leaning content, echoing Trump’s claims about voting machines deleting millions of votes for him.
‘Massive national security issues. Massive. I’m told Dirty Venezuelan & Cuba money behind dominion,’ she said, using the name of one of the equipment manufacturers. ‘The software also has components from china. This is about to explode,’ she wrote.
Navarro spoke after China became the latest country to congratulate Biden. Said a foreign ministry spokesman: ‘We congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris. At the same time, we understand that the outcome of this US election will be ascertained in accordance with US laws and procedures.’
At a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, as advisers explained to the odds of him changing the election results are slim, the president asked whether Republican state legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors who would in turn give him a second term when they meet in Washington D.C. in January to formally cast their votes for president, The New York Times reported.
Aides say privately the president knows the election is over but, publicly, Trump continues to complain of a ‘rigged’ election and proclaim himself the victor.
‘Biden did not win, he lost by a lot!,’ Trump tweeted on Thursday.
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 47,620
On Monday the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted. On that basis, they say, the results should not be certified on November 23.
The case faces an uphill struggle – and on Thursday the largest law firm in. involved in it, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, quit.
The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump lawyer last Friday agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud. It did include a claim by an Erie mailman that he had heard his supervisors talking about illegally backdating ballots; he was said to have recanted that claim when questioned by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 12,813. RECOUNT IS LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE
Trump’s campaign said last Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have no basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
On Thursday 12, a judge savaged the affidavits produced to back the case as ‘spam’ and a Trump lawyer said they were not alleging fraud in any form.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,726
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
No new suits have been lodged so far.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 14,111
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 148,645
On Monday 9 Trump filed a federal case alleging fraud and then later a separate demand that the votes are not certified on November 23.
In the first case, one witness – possibly misgendered by the Trump lawyers – claimed that they had been told by another person that mysterious ballots arrived late on vehicles with out of state plates and all were for Biden; that they had seen voters coached to vote for Biden; and that they were told to process ballots without any checks.
It also included poll watchers and ‘challengers’ who said they could not get close enough to see what was happening.
A federal judge has yet to issue any response on when and how it will be looked into. The Trump campaign also filed the same case again to the wrong federal court on Thursday 12 for no apparent reason.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday 6, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.
The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.
130 Secret Service officers are in COVID quarantine after testing positive or being exposed while guarding Donald Trump – including at mask-free rallies and White House’s Election Night superspreader party
More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect President Donald Trump, the White House and the first family have been ordered to isolate because they caught COVID or were in close contact with someone who was infected with the virus.
The spread of the highly contagious disease has sidelined about 10 per cent of the agency’s core team, The Washington Post reported, and the infection rate is believed to be linked to the numerous campaign rallies Trump held before the election – 14 in the last three days of campaigning alone.
The figure was revealed on the day that new infections across the country hit a record high for the third consecutive day with 153,496 cases on Thursday. Daily cases have repeatedly surged to all-time highs of more than 120,000 per day over the past week.
Hospitalizations have also reached a single-day high with more than 67,000 patients currently being treated across the country.
Deaths, however, dropped with 919 American dying on Thursday. It comes after the death toll spiked a day earlier to 1,893, which is the highest number of fatalities since May 8 during the initial peak of the outbreak.
Fears that Trump rallies were a danger to the Secret Service have long existed.
At these rallies, agents stand between the president and his supporters, many of whom are not wearing face masks and who don’t practice social distancing. While Trump stands on a stage above and away from the crowd, several agents stand in the pit between the stage area and supporters. They also fan out to work the perimeter. +38
More than 130 Secret Service agents who protect President Donald Trump, the White House and the first family are isolating because of COVID – above agents at Trump’s October 29 rally in Tampa, Florida+38
Several guests at President Trump’s election night event at the White House later tested positive for COVID
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise across the United States, with over 100,000 people a day being infected.
The agents are seeing a rise in infections after a recent outbreak at the White House in the wake of an election night event attended by hundreds of unmasked Trump supporters.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, top Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and David Bossie, the man leading Trump’s legal fight against the election, were among those at the election night event who later tested positive for COVID.
The Secret Service is examining whether the infections are travel related or trace back to the White House, where many agents work, an official told The Post.
White House staff, for the most part, do not wear face masks. People who come in close contact with President Trump are tested for COVID.
The Secret Service has about 1,300 officers in its Uniformed Division to guard the White House and the vice president’s residence. Many also travel for presidential events – such as his campaign rallies.
The agency has been stretched thin by the demands of guarding Trump, his large family of adult children who are scattered around the country, and President-elect Joe Biden.
More than a dozen White House aides have tested positive for COVID in the past week, including a range of low-level assistants and secretaries, officials told The Post.
Among those who attended the election night event and later tested positive include the White House political director and a friend of Rudy Giuliani‘s.
Healy Baumgardner, a former Trump aide on his 2016 campaign, who was at the White House on election night as a guest of Giuliani, has the virus, Bloomberg News reported.
Baumgardner told NBC News she tested positive on Wednesday.
Additionally White House political director Brian Jack, who was also at the election night event, tested positive as did one other White House staffer but it’s unclear if that person was at the election night festivities, The New York Times reported.
As election returns came in, several hundred people gathered in the state floor of the White House to watch the results, eat hot dogs and french fries, and wait to cheer on President Trump, who later came down from the residence to address them.
Most did not wear face masks although the White House has said guests were given COVID tests before the event.
In addition to those mentioned, five other White House and and a Trump campaign staffer have tested positive for the virus but it’s unclear if all were at the White House on election night.
And at least eight staffers at the Republican National Committee, including Chief of Staff Richard Walters, have COVID.
Trump fans face off against counter-protesters in Washington DC ahead of ‘Million MAGA March’ – as President tweets he’s heartened by the support and may ‘stop by and say hello’ despite fears of violence
Trump supporters have faced off against counter-demonstrators during a rally outside the White House, amid fears that demonstrations may descend into violence during the coming weekend.
Fans of the 45th President were making their way down Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon when they came up against crowds of left-wing activists brandishing signs ridiculing the Commander-in-chief over his election loss.
Many of Trump’s supporters are in the capital for the planned ‘Million MAGA March’ set to take place on Saturday.
POTUS appears to be paying close attention to the rallies, sharing a tweet Friday afternoon saying he may even make an appearance, despite the risk of violence.
‘Heartwarming to see all the tremendous support out there, especially the organic rallies that are springing up all over the country, including a big one on Saturday in DC. I may even try to stop by and say hello. This election was Rigged, from Dominion all the way up & down!’
Trump appears to be paying close attention to the rallies, sharing a tweet Friday afternoon saying he may even make an appearance at tomorrow’s ‘Million MAGA March’+38
Trump supporters chanted ‘Four More Years’ and ‘USA’ before they were met by Black Lives Matter and pro-Biden fans
Trump supporters and BLM supporters faced off outside the White House on Friday afternoon
A Trump fan holds up a Bible as he participates in a demonstration in DC+38
A demonstrator held up provocative signs as police (seen on bikes in the background) tried to diffuse tensions between rival groups
Right-wing groups including the Proud Boys plan to rally at Freedom Plaza at noon on Saturday to support Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread election fraud, and march from there to the Supreme Court.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany predicted that the turnout would be ‘quite large’.
Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio confirmed to CBS News that the group plans to attend, and said organizers expect some 10,000 participants, despite the name of the event. Freedom Plaza has capacity for about 13,000 people.
Left-wing groups have announced plans for massive counter-protests, including Refuse Fascism and the They/Them Collective, which describes itself as an ‘anarchist abolitionist collective.’
As both sides prepare for Saturday, Airbnb pulled a reservation after a customer was found to be renting a property in order to take part in the Million Maga March.+38
Many who arrived in the city were there for the ‘Million MAGA March’ on Saturday, and were drumming up support for their event by filming shorts on social media +38
One MAGA fan appeared ready for the possibility of combat, seen wearing a helmet on Friday afternoon
MAGA fans brandished megaphones as they claimed the election was stolen from President Trump+38
Right-wing groups including the Proud Boys plan to rally at Freedom Plaza at noon Saturday to support Trump. Above, a supporter wears a flag at a Proud Boys rally Portland in August+38
Counter-protesters became caught up in a scuffle close to a fence erected around the White House +38
Rival groups proved they could also be just as loud as Trump supporters, as they shouted chants into a megaphone +38
Trump fans weren’t shy in showing their support for the 45th President, who claims he was the victor of last Tuesday’s election +38
A man in an InfoWars t-shirt was seen shouting at counter-protesters. Many demonstrators were not wearing masks, despite the rapid spread of COVID-19
Refuse Fascism said it will rally at Freedom Plaza 30 minutes before the Million Maga March, and hopes to block to pro-Trump rally from taking place.
‘We are gathering non-violently,’ Lucha Bright of Refuse Fascism told WUSA-TV. ‘We are not intending to engage them. We want to overwhelm them with our numbers. If they attack us, that is not out of the realm of possibilities of what they do.’
‘But we are hoping, especially if we gather in large numbers, that we will overwhelm them with our strength,’ Bright said.
Left-wing group They/Them Collective also plans a ‘F*** MAGA’ counter-protest at Freedom Plaza, urging attendees to ‘wear black’.
‘We are asking leftist communities and accomplices to come together to shut this rally/march down!’ the group said in announcing the demonstration.
Proud Boys leader Tarrio has been emphatic that his group would not shy from using force in self-defense, telling CBS News: ‘We’re known for fighting back. I’m not going to hide that, I’m not going to apologize for it.’
He argued that the Proud Boys and right-wingers had been unfairly portrayed as instigators of violence, however.
‘There’s 70 million pissed off Americans and not one building has been burned down. I think if the president wouldn’t won that night, there would have been chaos,’ he said.+38
Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio (right last month) confirmed to CBS News that the group plans to attend, and said organizers expect some 10,000 participants+38
Infowars host Alex Jones (seen last week) said ‘the cavalry is coming’ as he urged Trump supporters to descend on Washington in ‘caravans’+38
People march to Black Lives Matter Plaza last week during a demonstration organized by Refuse Fascism, one of the groups planning to counter-protest
Tarrio predicted ‘chaos in the streets’ if Trump were to succeed in his legal challenges to the election, which President-elect Joe Biden was projected to win.
Meanwhile, Airbnb pulled a reservation after a customer was found to be renting a property in order to take part in the ‘Million Maga March.’
The We Will Be Ruthless Twitter account alerted Airbnb to a booking made by Ronald Gaudier, an apparent self-described Proud Boys member.
Responding to the tweet, Airbnb said it had cancelled the reservation, adding: ‘We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Anyone affiliated with hate groups has no place on Airbnb.’
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Proud Boys as a hate group. The group denies that it is racist.
Women for America First first promoted Saturday’s event, calling it the March for Trump, and other right-wing groups including the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and Truckers for Trump plan to take part.+38
The We Will Be Ruthless Twitter account alerted Airbnb to a booking made by Ronald Gaudier who planned to attend the Million Maga March+38
Responding to the tweet, Airbnb said: ‘We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Anyone affiliated with hate groups has no place on Airbnb’
Controversial Infowars radio host Alex Jones said he planned to lead a ‘Stop the Steal’ caravan to DC on Friday night ahead of Saturday’s march.
During his show Tuesday, Jones said ‘the cavalry is coming’ as he urged Trump supporters to descend on Washington in ‘caravans’.
Prominent white nationalist Nick Fuentes, the leader of the so-called Groyper Army, has also promoted Saturday’s event online.
Organizers indicated that they plan to march from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court at around 2pm Saturday.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed police will be on hand to facilitate peaceful protest and maintain order.
‘I huddled with my team this morning about an additional report of a caravan that might be starting somewhere in the South culminating here. We continue to follow those activities and be prepared for those activities,’ Bowser told reporters.
‘Our police chief will have a similar posture this weekend as he did last week. And we will be there to support peaceful exercise of First Amendment demonstrations,’ she said.+38
Various right-wing groups have been promoting Saturday’s pro-Trump rally in DC+38
Left-wing groups including Refuse Fascism plan to counter-protest the pro-Trump rally
Bowser this week recommended that local business owners who boarded up their properties in anticipation of possible violence and looting following the election remove the protective material.
When asked on Tuesday if the upcoming rally by Proud Boys changes her recommendation, she said: ‘It hasn’t.’
‘Should I think that something needs to change with that recommendation, I’ll make that statement,’ the mayor said.
When asked what the city plans to do if Proud Boys members openly carry weapons, she said it was a ‘police matter.’
While open carry is illegal in Washington, DC, gun owners can apply for a concealed carry permit.
It’s unclear how many protesters plan to attended the marches in the nation’s capital this weekend. Sizes of the groups and accounts organizing the events range from having tens of thousands of followers to under 100 or less.
Videos that are being circulated across WhatsApp, TikTok, and YouTube appear to be wide-reaching, however, racking up hundreds of thousands of views across all platforms.
The events will be held exactly a week after hundreds of thousands took to city streets all around the country on Saturday in celebration of all major news networks calling the election for Biden.
Biden secured victory in a number of key swing states, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan to push him and running mate Kamala Harris over the needed threshold of 270 Electoral College votes.+38
Biden supporters are seen outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center last week+38
Trump supporters gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center last week
While Biden has called for unity, Trump has so far refused to concede the race and continues to insist that he actually won the election.
Last week, three men associated with the Proud Boys were ‘stabbed and slashed’ in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning after spending election night celebrating Trump at a bar near the White House.
DC police confirmed that they are looking for three suspects involved in an altercation in the 700 block of 14th Street Northwest at about 3.20am on November 4.
Two of the suspects were described as black males wearing all black clothing. The third was a black female wearing black sweatpants with a white stripe, orange leggings and a dark gray coat.
Police believe the suspects were linked to Black Lives Matter protests, according to WUSA.
The victims were transported to a hospital, where they are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, NBC News reported.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio told the Gateway Pundit that he was slashed in the stomach while fellow member Bevelyn Beatty was stabbed in the back
Tarrio claimed that his group was attacked after they stepped in to help another older man who was being assaulted.
‘We were helping some guy that was getting stabbed by two black males and one female,’ Tarrio said.
‘Bevelyn got stabbed as well as two Proud Boys and the guy they were attacking. I got slashed, but it’s not serious. We were walking to our cars.’