Trump supporters argue their points with demonstrators from the organization Code Pink outside the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump supporters argue their points with demonstrators from the organization Code Pink outside the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump tweets his outrage in all caps as votes are counted

Trump has not been seen in public since his premature declaration of victory in the wee hours of Wednesday morning

President Donald Trump spent a second day in the White House on Thursday stewing over election results that suggested a path to victory was slipping from his grasp, even as his campaign projected confidence.

Trump has not been seen in public since his premature declaration of victory in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but the White House said that he would deliver “remarks” Thursday evening, The flurry of pronouncements flowing out of the White House ahead of the election has slowed to a trickle. And in the West Wing, some aides were eyeing returns warily and losing confidence that outstanding states would break Trump’s way.

Trump was monitoring the results and calling allies from the White House residence and the Oval Office. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona’s Doug Ducey were among those fielding his calls.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president was “working” but declined to elaborate. Trump’s preoccupation with the election results was evident from his tweets.

“STOP THE COUNT!” he proclaimed. But the president has no authority over election counting and halting the count at that moment would have resulted in a swift victory for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

“ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” he later wrote. That seemed to advocate tossing out untold legally cast votes, including those from service members stationed overseas. Many states accept mail-in ballots after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Trump’s all-caps declarations had the tone of a last stand from a man who abhors losing. They mirrored a last-ditch legal effort waged by his campaign in several key undecided battlegrounds that was largely dismissed by experts as superficial and unlikely to shift the outcome in any meaningful way.

With just a handful of states yet to be decided, Biden had a clear advantage over Trump in the still-developing election results, but the president did still have a narrow path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win reelection. To prevail, Trump would have to win all four remaining battleground states; Biden would have to win one.

Trump’s team outwardly expressed optimism.

“Donald Trump is alive and well,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a call with reporters Thursday morning. He predicted Trump would win Pennsylvania and other states that were too early to call.

White House and campaign staff were engaged in the same waiting game as the rest of the nation, somberly glued to television screens and watching results trickle in. In the West Wing, some aides have been eyeing returns warily, losing confidence that outstanding states will break Trump’s way. Some are all but resigned to the idea of a Trump loss and have been discussing future employment prospects even as others continue to make unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud.

Those have been echoed by Trump, who has falsely claimed victory in several key states while amplifying unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about expected Democratic gains as legally cast absentee ballots and early votes were tabulated.

Trump had no events on his schedule Thursday and made no reference to the surging coronavirus. Confirmed new positive cases climbed to an all-time high of more than 86,000 per day on average, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are also setting records and deaths are on the rise, up 15% to an average of 846 deaths every day.

Biden received a private briefing on the virus on Thursday afternoon, before emerging to tell the American public to be patient in awaiting the election results.

It was a very different tone from Trump, whose campaign released an all-caps statement from the president to rile up his base.

“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!” he said. Officials are currently counting legal ballots and there is no evidence of any kind of widespread or decision-altering fraud.

Trump’s campaign was nonetheless dispatching loyalists like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former director of national intelligence Ric Grenell to hold press conferences in states where they are mounting legal challenges. And as they tried to sow public doubt about a potential Trump loss, they announced they would be creating a website and reopening a phone line to collect accounts of alleged fraud.

The campaign also bombarded supporters with fundraising messages warning of unsubstantiated Democratic efforts to “steal” the outcome. The effort had raised well over $10 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss it publicly. At least some of the money was earmarked for paying down general election debt.

Meanwhile, allies of the president, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., used Twitter to call out what he labeled, “The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls.’”

“They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead,” he wrote, adding: “Don’t worry @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual!”

Several of those who have been discussed as possible 2024 Republican candidates quickly chimed in, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a conservative firebrand.

Trump Jr., who has also been discussed as a potential future candidate, made clear the family has no interest in calmly waiting for votes to be counted.

“The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long,” he wrote. “It’s time to clean up this mess & stop looking like a banana republic!”

Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Donald TrumpU.S. election

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Victoria-based orthopedic surgeon has been reprimanded after using sexualized language during a surgical consult with a pre-teen patient. (Pixabay)
Victoria doctor fined and reprimanded for calling pre-teen patient a ‘loose woman’

Dr. Bruce Taro Yoneda admitted to using sexualized language in surgical consult

Victoria police are asking for the public’s help locating Alexander Stokes, 19. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing teen

Police looking to ensure safety of Alexander Stokes, 19

Anvy Technologies CEO Victor Nicolov displays his company’s innovative garbage disposal device, the Sepura. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Times Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest man covered in blood on heels of significant Saanich crash into woods

Resident calls in home invasion in progress after crash

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Most Read