Updates: 2020 Election Results News and analysis on the latest on the presidential race and the balance of power in Congress.
Election 2020 from NPR Politics

Updates: 2020 Election Results

President-elect Joe Biden addresses reporters Tuesday in Wilmington, Del. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden addresses reporters Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 9:36 p.m. ET

The White House has given its blessing for President-elect Joe Biden to receive the summary of intelligence reports contained in the presidential daily brief that President Trump receives, according to a White House official and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The decision comes a day after Trump acknowledged that the transition is going ahead and the General Services Administration gave its formal ascertainment allowing for Biden and his team to prepare ahead of the inauguration on Jan. 20.

Trump has not conceded the election, but now Biden can receive intelligence about major national security threats around the globe. "It's been offered. I did not have it today. We're going to do it on a regular basis," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Del.

In an interview with NBC News that aired Tuesday evening, Biden said he could start to receive the briefing as early as Wednesday.

Until now, Biden has been holding security briefings with a group of national security experts that includes many former officials. But he has not had access to specific classified data compiled by government agencies.

Biden also said his staff has spoken with Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases about the coronavirus. "He's been very, very helpful," Biden said, noting that he has not spoken with Fauci himself.

One thing that hasn't happened: the traditional White House visit, where the outgoing president meets with the president-elect. Asked on Tuesday if he would meet with Trump, Biden said: "Of course, I would, if he asked."

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta on Oct. 27. Biden is the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Georgia since 1992. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta on Oct. 27. Biden is the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Georgia since 1992.

Andrew Harnik/AP

President-elect Joe Biden has won Georgia, according to a race call from The Associated Press, making it the final state to be decided in the presidential election.

The AP's call came more than two weeks after Election Day, but shortly after the state released results of a hand-conducted audit.

After the audit, Biden won the state by a mere 12,300 votes out of nearly 5 million cast. President Trump's campaign can still request a recount.

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With Georgia's 16 electoral votes going to Biden, the final electoral tally is 306 votes for Biden and 232 for Trump. That's the same margin Trump would have won by in 2016 if there weren't two faithless electors who brought his total down to 304.

Trump appeared ahead in Georgia on election night, dominating with in-person Election Day results. But Biden closed the gap and then surpassed Trump as mail-in votes, especially in Atlanta and its suburbs, were counted in large numbers.

Georgia was a reliably Republican state for decades but Democrats had been seeking to turn it blue for the last several years. Georgia hadn't voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton in 1992.

It brings the number of states Biden flipped from Trump's 2016 column to five, including Arizona, which last voted Democratic in a presidential race when it backed Clinton in 1996.

Biden also flipped Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, three key northern industrial states that ultimately delivered the White House to Trump four years ago. Biden also won a single electoral vote in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, which last voted Democratic for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Electors from each state and the District of Columbia are expected to vote on Dec. 14. The new Congress will then count the votes and certify Biden's victory on Jan. 6, two weeks before the inauguration.

But Georgia's political activity is far from over. The state will hold two runoff elections on Jan. 5 for both its U.S. Senate seats, which are currently held by Republicans.

Sen. David Perdue faces a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler will go up against Democrat the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Democrats must win both seats to obtain a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to cast a tiebreaking vote.

Prominent leaders within the party are now shifting their attention to these runoffs, and among them is former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who has been credited with helping to increase Democratic turnout and participation.

In a statement Thursday evening, Trump campaign Senior Legal Adviser Jenna Ellis disputed Georgia's recount results, falsely claiming that "Georgia simply counted all the illegal ballots that had been included in the total."

NPR's Arnie Seipel contributed reporting.

Gwinnett County election workers handle ballots Monday in Lawrenceville, Ga., as part of the state's recount for the 2020 presidential election. Megan Varner/Getty Images hide caption

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Gwinnett County election workers handle ballots Monday in Lawrenceville, Ga., as part of the state's recount for the 2020 presidential election.

Megan Varner/Getty Images

Updated at 9:12 p.m. ET

Georgia election officials released a report Thursday evening on the results of the hand tally recount of the presidential election, affirming Joe Biden's lead in the state.

Shortly after the results were released, The Associated Press called Joe Biden as the winner of the state.

The AP called Biden the winner of the presidential race on Nov. 7.

The full hand recount of the state's 5 million presidential votes resulted in a narrowing of Biden's lead over President Trump in Georgia, but not nearly enough to change the result. He started out with a 14,000 vote lead, and now leads by just over 12,000 votes.

The recount, formally known as a risk-limiting audit, is intended to verify the contest's winner. As Georgia Public Broadcasting's Stephen Fowler reported, four counties uncovered a few thousand previously uncounted votes, which subsequently cut into Biden's margin of victory.

Douglas, Walton, Fayette and Floyd counties all experienced issues with missing or unscanned votes related to human error — but the numbers weren't significant enough to change the outcome of the election.

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There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law does allow for a recount if the margin is less than .5%. It currently stands at .2%.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the hand audit last week, citing the close margin of the race.

The four counties with new vote totals must recertify their results. Statewide election results must be certified by Friday. The Trump campaign then has until Tuesday to request an additional recount, which would be by machine rather than by hand.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the integrity of Georgia's vote counting, calling it both a "joke" and a process that led to "fraudulent votes" being found.

But Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, said on Wednesday that the system is working exactly the way it is intended.

"The irony of [Trump] saying 'fraudulent votes have been found' — he has gained in the finding of these votes," he said.

Raffensperger has said he's been pressured by top Republicans to find ways of disqualifying ballots that hurt the Trump campaign.

"They say that as pressure builds, it reveals your character, it doesn't change your character. Some people aren't behaving too well with seeing where the results are," Raffensperger told NPR's Ari Shapiro on Tuesday.

"At the end of the day, I want voters to understand that when they cast their ballot in Georgia, it will be accurately counted. You may not like the results and I get that. I understand how contentious it is. But you can then respect the results."

Poll workers check voters' identifications on Election Day at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wis. The Trump campaign has announced it is filing for a recount in two Wisconsin counties. Andy Manis/Getty Images hide caption

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Poll workers check voters' identifications on Election Day at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wis. The Trump campaign has announced it is filing for a recount in two Wisconsin counties.

Andy Manis/Getty Images

Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's campaign announced Wednesday morning it is filing a petition to formally ask election authorities to conduct a recount in two Wisconsin counties. President-elect Joe Biden won the state by a little more than 20,000 votes.

It's the latest move in a string of largely failed legal attempts on behalf of the Trump team to challenge the election results.

The recount request in Wisconsin shouldn't come as a surprise: The Trump campaign previewed the decision only a day after Election Day. The deadline for filing such a petition is 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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In a statement Wednesday, the Trump campaign repeated unfounded claims of election fraud, citing "illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin's Voter ID laws to be circumvented."

The campaign is asking for recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, which it alleges experienced the most election irregularities.

Biden's largest vote gain in the state came from Dane County, home to Madison and the University of Wisconsin, winning it by 35,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton did four years ago.

Although Wisconsin does not have automatic recounts, state law allows a losing candidate behind by 1% to file a sworn petition, along with a filing fee. The state will only pay for a recount if the margin of victory is .25% or less.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed in a tweet it had received a $3 million wire transfer from the campaign to cover the estimated cost of the recounts.

"No petition has been received yet, but the Trump campaign has told WEC staff one will be filed today," the tweet said.

Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Dean Knudson also tweeted about the cash transfer Wednesday morning.

In a Nov. 10 statement, Meagan Wolfe, the state's nonpartisan top election official, refuted the campaign's claims of fraud, saying the election "was conducted according to law and in the open."

The campaign's decision to petition for a recount won't likely lead to a change in results. Recounts tend to end with the changing of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of votes. Flipping tens of thousands of votes, which Trump would need to change the election results, is unlikely. Moreover, Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes would not change Biden's lead overall or push him below the 270 threshold needed to win the election.

Election workers count absentee ballots earlier this month in Detroit, the county seat of Wayne County, Mich. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Election workers count absentee ballots earlier this month in Detroit, the county seat of Wayne County, Mich.

Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

Officials in Michigan's most populous county reversed course and certified its election results Tuesday evening, just a few hours after a surprising party-line deadlock suddenly cast the certification of more than 800,000 votes in doubt. Wayne County voted overwhelmingly for President-elect Joe Biden.

The two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers — a bipartisan foursome tasked with approving the results from a heavily populated swath of Michigan that includes Detroit — initially blocked the move to certify the votes, asserting discrepancies with the poll books in certain Detroit precincts.

That meant an extremely rare 2-2 tie, which would have been sent up to the Board of State Canvassers to decide. The deadlock even earned a celebratory tweet from President Trump, who lost Michigan and the presidential election but has refused to concede. The tie did not last long, however.

It stood for just about three hours under withering criticism, as residents made their complaints clear during a public comment period and local and national leaders lambasted the two members' decision online.

Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell, for one, called it "an appalling outrage."

"They are denying justice and insulting and disregarding the will of Wayne County voters. They have neglected their responsibility by politicizing the certification process," Bell said in a statement issued Tuesday, adding that she was "disappointed in the two Republican members, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann."

President-elect Joe Biden carried 68% of the vote in Wayne County. And in Detroit specifically, where Palmer and Hartmann focused their objections to the results, more than 78% of the city's population is black — a point that was not lost on critics.

During the Zoom meeting for public comment directly after the board's initial vote, the Rev. Wendell Anthony, head of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, called the two members a "disgrace."

"You have extracted a Black city out of a county and said the only ones that are at fault is the city of Detroit, where 80% of the people who reside here are African Americans," he told the two Republican board members, according to The Associated Press. "Shame on you!"

The deadlock dissolved later that evening, however, as Palmer and Hartmann reversed their votes with the reassurance of a comprehensive audit of the vote tally. With their approval, the election results in Wayne County were certified unanimously.

The dust-up in Wayne County unfolded amid a nationwide effort by Trump and many of his GOP allies to push back on the results of the election. The outgoing president has claimed widespread voting fraud, without evidence, in the several of the states that he lost, including Michigan.

On Wednesday, the president reiterated his claim that a "giant scam" robbed him of a victory in the state. "I win Michigan!" he tweeted.

He and his allies, however, have repeatedly failed to produce evidence supporting their allegations of election fraud.

That failure has spelled trouble in court for his campaign to get the election results overturned. In Michigan, an appeals court on Monday unanimously ruled against a Republican bid to invalidate the vote in Wayne County. The decision backed a lower-court ruling that found the allegations to be simply "not credible."

And the legal setbacks for Trump haven't been confined to Michigan's borders, either. As NPR's Pam Fessler explains, similar efforts challenging the vote in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin have failed to gain traction.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference Wednesday in Atlanta. Brynn Anderson/AP hide caption

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference Wednesday in Atlanta.

Brynn Anderson/AP

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Georgia's secretary of state said Tuesday that some fellow Republicans have tried to pressure him into disqualifying legal ballots that may not have favored President Trump.

Brad Raffensperger, who was earlier endorsed by Trump, said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered that he had been contacted by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's office in an effort to convince him to discard some legal absentee ballots.

"Sen. Graham implied for us to go ahead and audit the envelopes — the signature on the envelopes — and then throw out the ballots from counties that had the highest frequency of error rates on signatures," Raffensperger said.

"I went ahead and I explained our laws. It's pretty clear what Sen. Graham, President Trump and attorney Lin Wood — they're all on the same page, and they don't understand the laws of Georgia."

Raffensperger said he's been resisting those kinds of calls from critics both at home and around the country even as the Peach State continues a statewide hand recount.

President-elect Joe Biden narrowly clinched a win in Georgia, a state that had not voted blue in a presidential race in more than two decades. Trump and Republicans have made a number of unfounded allegations about purported impropriety in the election — which Raffensperger has rejected.

The secretary of state said he has tried to help outsiders understand Georgia law and leveled some harsher responses toward those inside the state he says should know better, including Rep. Doug Collins, a Trump ally who ran an unsuccessful Senate race this year.

"Failed candidate Doug Collins is a liar— but what's new?" Raffensperger wrote in a Facebook post.

The secretary of state also said in another interview on Tuesday that Trump may have himself to blame for his loss in Georgia following his months of mostly unfounded criticism of mail ballots.

Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2019. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2019.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Efforts to protect U.S. elections from disinformation are proceeding amid reports that the head of the agency in the Department of Homeland Security that oversees election security expects to be fired soon by the White House.

Christopher Krebs, director of DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, spearheaded an agency campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud and election irregularities.

It was intended primarily to target foreign disinformation but has ended up instead rebutting many of the rumors and baseless allegations about the election being spread by President Trump and his campaign, and it has apparently drawn the ire of the White House.

As of Friday, Krebs was still on the job, and CISA officials held a regularly scheduled meeting with private sector members of a coordinating council set up after the 2016 election to work with the agency to protect U.S. elections against cyberattacks and other disruptions.

That council, along with a separate one representing state and local elections officials, put out a joint statement Thursday calling the 2020 election "the most secure in American history." It added, in boldface, that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

According to one council member, the statement, which CISA released, was a direct response to the president's tweet Thursday morning citing a baseless claim that voting equipment provided by Dominion Voting Systems had "deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide" and switched hundreds of thousands of other Trump votes to Joe Biden.

Trump on Friday added to the confusion by tweeting that the election was indeed the most secure ever but that it was also "rigged."

Concerns that Krebs could be pushed out came after Trump fired several top national security officials, and two Homeland Security officials, including one from CISA, were removed from their posts.

Security officials have said that, even after Election Day, the nation's voting system remains vulnerable as states continue to count ballots and certify the results.

The coordinating council member said the biggest threat at this point is disinformation about that process, much of which the Trump campaign is putting forward in its effort to challenge the results.

The individual, who spoke on background, said Krebs' removal would be "very concerning" but that it's difficult to say how disruptive it would be in the short term because others at the agency have been working closely with state and local officials to secure the elections.

"There are a lot of good people at CISA who hopefully would still be there and would continue to do their jobs," the individual said.

In the long term, though, it could have a huge impact on what has been seen as a largely successful government effort. CISA was created in 2018 following Russia's active measures campaign that disrupted the 2016 election.

Krebs, the agency's first director, has worked to build stronger partnerships between the federal government and the states — a tall task after Russia's interference laid bare the wide differences in how various states run their elections. After 2016, it took months, sometimes years, before the federal government shared intelligence about Russia's activities with all the relevant state officials.

Those relationships have completely transformed under Krebs, as evidenced on Election Day, when CISA erected a war room for communication between the states, voting machine vendors, social media companies and political parties.

A DHS official who has worked with Krebs but spoke on background for fear of retaliation told NPR that Krebs being fired would "rock CISA."

"Chris has earned the trust of staff all across the agency," the official said. "He's easily been the most competent and able of any political appointee I've worked with."

He has also drawn great praise and support from outside the agency.

In response to reports Thursday afternoon that Krebs expected to be fired, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: "There is no possible justification to remove [Krebs] from office. None."

Getting ready for 2020

Ahead of the 2020 election, CISA focused on helping local governments harden their cybersecurity systems. But the agency has consistently said misinformation about the election's legitimacy is just as big of a problem as hacking into computers.

To that end, the agency recently set up a website called Rumor Control, which was meant to debunk false election information throughout the voting season.

Making sure Americans have facts, Krebs told reporters, is "one of the best tactics and techniques we have right now to counteract these disinformation operations and influence ops."

But it was immediately clear that those facts would also contradict the president.

Trump has telegraphed for months, if not years, he would work to undermine confidence in the results should he lose. Leadership within CISA knew that eventually there could come a time where the content on the Rumor Control site would be at odds with Trump's words, according to a person familiar with the matter, which could mean professional consequences for Krebs and others at the agency.

"This is the only person I've ever seen question his own election [victory]," the person said, speaking about 2016 when Trump spread conspiracies about millions of illegal votes being cast after he lost the popular vote despite winning the Electoral College.

Still, Krebs never called out Trump by name.

"It's not our job to fact-check the president," Krebs told reporters in early November when pushed on whether the agency's Rumor Control site would directly cite the sources of disinformation, as opposed just to debunking the content.

That position became increasingly blurry though, because Trump and his campaign have been among the most prominent amplifiers of false information since Election Day.

Krebs as well as state and local government officials have been adamant that the 2020 election has been a success: historic turnout with no major disruptions so far from foreign interference — all in the midst of a pandemic.

"We should be talking about how well the system worked and increasing people's confidence and trust in the process," said Ben Hovland, chairman of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, a federal agency tasked with improving the administration of elections. "Instead, we're talking about conspiracy theories about the election being rigged."

Since Election Day, Krebs has been active on Twitter, continuing to post "Rumor Control updates" that link back to CISA's website offering factual information about the election process that often contradicted the claims Trump and his campaign have made about voter fraud allegations.

The site lists a bright red "X" in front of the word "rumor," reading: "If results as reported on election night change over the ensuing days or weeks, the process is hacked or compromised, so I can't trust the results."

Instead, it directs the viewer to the "reality," marked with a green check mark.

"Election results reporting may occur more slowly than prior years. This does not indicate there is any problem with the counting process or results. Official results are not certified until all validly cast ballots have been counted, including ballots that are counted after election night," the site reads.

The site also refutes the conspiracy spread by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that dead people cast ballots in the general election.

The Trump campaign even filed a lawsuit based on a rumor that some ballots in Arizona were rejected because voters had used Sharpies to fill them out.

"Don't promote disinfo! Stop spreading #SharpieGate claims," Krebs tweeted.

The official familiar with the matter said Thursday they had no idea how likely it was that Krebs would be fired.

"Trying to predict what the president will do is damn near impossible," the official said.

Latest White House firing

Krebs' firing would be the latest staff shakeup in the Trump administration after the president lost his reelection bid to Biden.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that Defense Secretary Mark Esper had been "terminated" and would be replaced by Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reported, sources said Esper already had a resignation letter at the ready, seeing as Trump threatened to fire him in June over a disagreement about using active-duty troops to quell street protests.

Since then, three other top Pentagon officials have been replaced with Trump loyalists.

Former National Security Officials Worry What Trump Could Do In Iran And Afghanistan

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Christopher Miller, pictured on Sept. 24, became acting defense secretary after President Trump fired Mark Esper. Miller is perceived as more loyal to Trump than Esper. Joshua Roberts/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Miller, pictured on Sept. 24, became acting defense secretary after President Trump fired Mark Esper. Miller is perceived as more loyal to Trump than Esper.

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After a purge at the Pentagon, former national security officials are worried about the fallout if President Trump were to launch an unprovoked military action against Iran or make big changes in Afghanistan in his waning days in office.

That's in addition to the ways that President Trump's refusal to concede and to give President-elect Biden access to intelligence materials are already damaging national security.

"The scenario most national security people are worried about is a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities," says Kori Schake, who served on George W. Bush's National Security Council and also in senior posts at the Pentagon and the State Department. "Because the 'maximum pressure' campaign that has been the signature of Trump administration foreign policy has very little positive result."

Four senior officials at the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, were fired or resigned on Monday and Tuesday. Trump loyalists took their place. Two senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security were forced to resign this week as well.

Speaking to Mary Louise Kelly on All Things Considered, Schake says "a number of serious national security people are really worried" that Trump's purge "is putting malleable people in place in order to end his administration with a bang."

Schake cautions that she's skeptical herself that an attack on Iran will happen, mainly because it would require coordination with U.S. allies who would oppose it.

Nicholas Burns, who worked in various jobs including under secretary of state for political affairs during the George W. Bush administration and on the National Security Council for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton, agrees that foreign policy experts are worried about a preemptive Iran strike.

Another fear in the national security community is a rapid withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, he tells All Things Considered.

"President Trump might try to accelerate the Afghan peace talks, to end the war there, and therefore to withdraw the American military forces in such a way that would be disadvantageous to the Afghan government," Burns says. "I mean, the fear is that President Trump won't be tough minded enough in negotiating with the Taliban."

Top generals and civilians have argued that the situation is currently too volatile to leave Afghanistan quickly.

Both of those scenarios — Iran and Afghanistan — "would have a direct impact on our national security a year from now, two years from now, and certainly have an impact on President-elect Biden's team as they come in in early 2021," Burns says.

Listen to the full audio interview with Kori Schake and Nicholas Burns at the audio link above.

Election personnel sort ballots in preparation for an audit at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections offices on Saturday in Lawrenceville, Ga. President Trump's attempt at legal action to contest the results of the election have so far been mostly unsuccessful. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images hide caption

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Election personnel sort ballots in preparation for an audit at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections offices on Saturday in Lawrenceville, Ga. President Trump's attempt at legal action to contest the results of the election have so far been mostly unsuccessful.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

President Trump's legal challenges to the election met with a series of defeats and setbacks on Friday as judges found the Trump campaign's arguments and evidence that there was widespread fraud and irregularities with the vote to be lacking.

An appeals court in Pennsylvania rejected an objection by Trump's lawyers to practices involving mailed ballots; a Michigan judge threw out claims made by the campaign as "incorrect and not credible."

In a case in Arizona, where Democrat Joe Biden holds a slender lead over Trump, the president's lawyers admitted the judge no longer needed to weigh in because "the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors."

"Trump's legal strategy seems to be aimed at denying the inevitable," said Marc Elias, the top Democratic election lawyer, during a call with reporters Friday.

Trump's efforts haven't been defeated in every single case, but even victories don't seem likely to turn the tide. In Pennsylvania on Thursday, a judge ordered that the state could not count ballots that had been set aside because they had been cast under a policy changing the relevant deadline. However, the number of ballots isn't sufficient to change the outcome of the election.

Overall, the legal campaign does not appear to be making headway in its manifold attempts to contest the result in federal court and the courts of key states. It's encountering other headwinds as well, including the withdrawal of law firms that had been engaged to take on the cases.

Trump and advocates have made broad claims about what they call fraud or impropriety in the election — ones rejected by the nation's relevant officials — but attorneys are more sensitive about what they're willing to state before a judge in court, frequently conceding they did not have any evidence.

"When you don't know the facts and you don't have the law and you don't have a remedy, you've really got nothing to go on in court," said University of Kentucky law professor Joshua Douglas.

Trump's public relations strategy appeared set to continue. The campaign is soliciting contributions for what it calls its legal defense fund, but which also go toward covering other costs, and Trump suggested on Friday that he might join a rally scheduled for Saturday in Washington.

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, said at an event in Washington that Trump isn't prepared to concede and that the legal challenges would continue.

"As our election contest continues in courts across America, I want to promise you: We are going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted and until every illegal vote is thrown out. And whatever the outcome at the end of the process, I promise you: We will never stop fighting to make America great again," he said.

NPR's Miles Parks and Tamara Keith contributed reporting to this story.

President Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at Fayetteville Regional Airport in North Carolina on the night before Election Day. Brian Blanco/Getty Images hide caption

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President Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at Fayetteville Regional Airport in North Carolina on the night before Election Day.

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The Associated Press has called North Carolina for President Trump, with its 15 electoral votes, nearly wrapping its state calls for the 2020 election. Joe Biden has already been called as the winner of the presidential race by the AP and others and has started planning his transition.

Between the call for North Carolina on Friday and AP's call on Wednesday that Trump had won Alaska, Trump now has 232 electoral votes, compared with Biden's 290. A total of 270 electoral votes is required to win the presidency.

The Associated Press declared Trump the winner in North Carolina on Friday after concluding there were not enough outstanding ballots remaining to be counted that would allow Biden to overtake Trump's lead of 73,697 votes in the state. Friday was deadline for counties in North Carolina to certify their results. Following updates from most counties in the state, Trump leads Biden by 1.3 percentage points.

North Carolina was one of the most hard-fought states of this presidential election, inundated with advertising as it also had competitive Senate and gubernatorial campaigns. Trump held several large rallies there, including on the night before Election Day in Fayetteville.

The state went for Trump by more than 3 points in 2016 and appeared to be a toss-up in 2020 polling. North Carolina last voted Democratic in the 2008 presidential election, and before that, it had been more than 30 years since Democrat Jimmy Carter carried it in 1976.

Just one state — Georgia — remains to be called by the AP. Amid a tight race there, the secretary of state announced a hand recount on Tuesday.

Republicans also scored a Senate win in North Carolina with Sen. Thom Tillis winning reelection.

Fair Fight CEO: Voter Outreach Efforts Continue Ahead Of Georgia Senate Runoff

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Voters line up at Gwinnett County Fairgrounds last month in Lawrenceville, Ga., to cast their ballot on the final day of early voting in Georgia. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Voters line up at Gwinnett County Fairgrounds last month in Lawrenceville, Ga., to cast their ballot on the final day of early voting in Georgia.

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Georgians shattered voting records in the 2020 election. Roughly 5 million people voted in the state, up from around 4.1 million in 2016.

Fair Fight Action, a Georgia-based organization founded in 2018 by former state House minority leader and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, is credited with being instrumental in the voter participation boom.

Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight, says the group's voter outreach campaign in the state is far from over.

"There are still hundreds of thousands of Georgians who chose not to vote," Groh-Wargo said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition host Noel King. "We have to continue to do our work as an organization to reach out to voters and meet them where they are and listen to them."

While votes are still being counted in Georgia's presidential race, President-elect Joe Biden, who holds a 14,000-vote lead, is favored to win. In response to President Trump's baseless claims about election fraud, there will be a hand recount.

"I don't think there's any doubt we have beat Donald Trump by 14,000," Groh-Wargo says. But, she adds, the narrow vote count margin "shows that every vote does matter."

The state is also planning runoff races in January for two U.S. Senate seats, which will determine which party will control the chamber.

Groh-Wargo believes Trump's voter-fraud conspiracy is a "disinformation campaign as a political strategy."

"Trump knows he can't reverse the outcome to this race. This is an organizing tactic to attempt to energize Republican voters for the January runoff," Groh-Wargo, who's backing Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidates running for those Senate seats.

If they win, Ossoff and Warnock will bring progressive values to the party under Biden, a moderate Democrat, and greatly shift the weight of power to Democrats in Washington.

"Only Joe Biden with a Democratic Senate have any hope of getting something done for the American people on COVID and the economy," she says.

NPR's Bo Hamby, Dalia Mortada and Avery Keatley produced and edited the audio for broadcast.

Allie Young, a Diné woman on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, is among a group of Native Americans riding on horseback to the polls on Election Day. Larry Price/AP hide caption

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Larry Price/AP

Allie Young, a Diné woman on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, is among a group of Native Americans riding on horseback to the polls on Election Day.

Larry Price/AP

For nearly 30 years, Arizona has been a steady and unassailable red.

The Republican stronghold last voted for a Democrat for president in 1996 when Bill Clinton was reelected. Donald Trump won Arizona in 2016 by 4 points. And yet this year, despite a tight contest, The Associated Press and other news outlets including CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post, have all called Arizona for Joe Biden.

Along with the changing demographics of the state, some analysts are pointing to the role of the Navajo Nation in pushing the state blue.

According to Vox, 60% to 90% of the Navajo Nation's roughly 67,000 eligible voters voted for Biden. Biden is currently leading in Arizona by less than 12,000 votes.

Members of the Navajo Nation often face high barriers to voting. Many people are not assigned a physical address and are unable to register to vote. Tara Benally, field director for the Rural Utah Project, described to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about how the organization managed to register 4,000 Native American voters in Arizona.

The project worked with Google to provide GPS coordinates in lieu of physical addresses. Organizers also left thousands of Ziploc bags with voter registration forms on the doors of Native American voters to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Hoping to increase young Native American voter turnout, Allie Young, a 30 year-old member of the Navajo Nation, started "Ride to the Polls" in October. According to The Washington Post, she led groups of voters, ranging in age from 18 to 30, 10 miles on horseback to reach polling stations in Kayenta, Ariz.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the Navajo Nation. In May, the tribe's coronavirus infection rate became the highest in the country. It lost many elders, who carried traditions. The Navajo community is once again facing uncontrolled spread of the virus.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told Fronteras that he looked forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration.

Reflecting on the Navajo people's unprecedented turnout, he said: "I appreciate meeting with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Phoenix. ... [We had] a dialogue, and I think those types of events really inspired the Native American voters to come out to the polls and cast their votes for change."

Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2015 at an arrival ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. China recognized Biden's election as president Friday. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2015 at an arrival ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. China recognized Biden's election as president Friday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

China became one of the last major nations to acknowledge Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential race Friday, offering congratulations to the president-elect and his running mate Kamala Harris.

"We respect the choice of the American people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at his regular daily briefing. "We congratulate Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris."

"At the same time," he added, "the result will be confirmed according to U.S. laws and procedures.

NPR's Emily Feng in Beijing reports that the spokesman's qualification is an apparent nod to the fact that President Trump has not conceded. She notes that still missing is Chinese President Xi Jinping's personal congratulations to Biden.

"Analysts," reports Feng, "say China is hesitant to endorse a Biden victory because Trump remains in office for the next two months and could further sanction China if angered."

Both China and Russia remained silent as many other nations offered congratulations to Biden after his victory was called last Saturday by U.S. news organizations. Russia still has not acknowledged the results of the U.S. presidential race.

A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots on Nov. 7 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots on Nov. 7 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Updated at 8:56 p.m. ET

There is "no evidence" the Nov. 3 election was compromised, committees within the Department of Homeland Security that worked on protecting U.S. voting systems affirmed Thursday. In a statement, they also called the 2020 election the "most secure in American history."

"When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary," members of committees, which include officials from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a joint statement.

"This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too," the statement reads.

The statement, which is in line with previous statements from CISA and the committees, comes as President Trump has refused to concede the presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden, baselessly alleging widespread voter fraud, despite presenting no evidence to support such a claim.

The Associated Press and other networks called the race for Biden last week. The Democratic nominee holds a near insurmountable lead in both the popular and electoral vote.

Still, Trump and his Republican allies are waging legal challenges in a handful of states and demanding tedious and costly recounts to contest the election's results.

According to the AP count, Biden has 290 electoral votes to Trump's 217. A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to secure the presidency.

Twitter hid some tweets, including many from President Donald Trump, behind labels warning users they contained disputed or misleading information about the election. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter hid some tweets, including many from President Donald Trump, behind labels warning users they contained disputed or misleading information about the election.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter said on Thursday it would maintain some changes it had made to slow down the spread of election misinformation, saying they were working as intended.

Before Election Day, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks had announced a cascade of measures billed as protecting the integrity of the voting process.

For Twitter, those included more prominent warning labels on misleading or disputed claims and limiting how such claims can be shared.

Twitter said on Thursday that between October 27 and November 11, it had labeled about 300,000 tweets as containing "disputed and potentially misleading" information about the election. That represented 0.2% of all tweets related to the U.S. election in that time frame. However, the company declined to say how that compared to the volume of tweets labeled before October 27.

Of those 300,000 tweets, Twitter hid almost 500 behind warnings that users had to click past to read. In order to reply to those tweets or share them, users had to add their own comments — a requirement intended to give people pause. Finally, Twitter removed those tweets from recommendation by its algorithms.

Perhaps the most noticeable impact was on President Trump's account. Twitter hid more than a dozen of his tweets and retweets behind warnings between Election Day and November 7, when major media outlets called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden. The platform has stopped using the more aggressive labels since then, but has continued this week to put notices on many of Trump's tweets in which he made unsupported claims of voter fraud.

Still, false claims and conspiracy theories continue to circulate online, even as Twitter and Facebook have aggressively applied their rules.

That has left experts who track online misinformation questioning how effective warning labels are, noting that social media companies do not provide much data to quantify their impact.

On Thursday, Twitter gave some insight into that question. It said it had seen a 29% reduction in "quote tweeting" of labeled tweets — where users add their own commentary — which it attributed to a prompt warning users who tried to share them that they might be spreading misleading information.

Read more on the security measures Twitter is keeping.

President Trump has continued to fundraise post-election. The majority of the donations will go to his newly formed political action committee called Save America. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump has continued to fundraise post-election. The majority of the donations will go to his newly formed political action committee called Save America.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Although Joe Biden was declared president-elect on Saturday, the Biden and Trump campaigns are still fundraising, sending dueling requests to supporters for donations billed to boost support for their respective legal efforts. But the fine print of President Trump's solicitations paints a different picture.

Trump, who has not conceded the race, was quick to ring the legal alarm as he began to fall behind in critical swing states, with his campaign filing various lawsuits alleging election fraud.

His choice to attempt to litigate the election has resulted in each campaign mounting additional fundraising efforts.

"We can't allow Trump to win any of these lawsuits just because we can't afford to fight back," a recent email sent to Biden supporters reads. "We need to be able to show up in court to defend Joe and Kamala's victory ... and to do that we are counting on a surge of donations today into the Biden Fight Fund."

In turn, the Trump team has sent out its own emails entreating supporters to give just a little bit more.

"President Trump has activated the Official Election Defense Fund, and we need YOU to step up and make sure we have the resources to FIGHT BACK against potential voter fraud," a recent mass email reads.

Is fundraising post-election normal?

Given Trump's rhetoric throughout the campaign, when he repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of U.S. election systems, a post-election season of fundraising for legal action was likely.

"Both President Trump and President-elect Biden have very enthusiastic donor bases, and these are people who have given money over and over again," says Michael Beckel, research director at Issue One, a bipartisan political reform organization. "And so, as both Trump and Biden anticipate additional expenses, they're trying to get their loyal supporters to open their wallets one more time, give just one last dollar to be able to cover some of these legal expenses."

But Beckel says donors would be wise to scroll to the bottom of the donation requests to find out where their money would actually go.

"The only text that really matters in the fundraising solicitation is the fine print at the end of it that says how the funds are going to be used," he said.

"Ultimately, the politician and political groups that are part of these joint fundraising committees use a lot of complex algorithms and formulas to decide how to divvy up the money that comes in and so there could be a lot of different things paid for by these eleventh-hour campaign contributions."

Potential donors will find in italics at the bottom of Biden's fundraising emails a disclaimer stating the donations primarily will go to the Democratic National Committee and secondarily to the Biden Fight Fund.

"There's nothing obviously misleading about the Biden fundraising appeals because ... all of that money can, and presumably would, be used for the post-election legal battles," says Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform program at Campaign Legal Center.

But he says that's not the case for Trump.

"What's different is that even though the Trump campaign has created a separate recount account and is citing the cost of post-election litigation in its fundraising appeals, for the most part, the money has gone towards paying down the campaign's outstanding debt and now towards President Trump's newly created leadership PAC," Fischer explains.

Bolstering Trump's new PAC

Trump's new political action committee is called Save America, and it will receive 60% of every contribution to Trump's Official Election Defense Fund.

The remaining 40% of each contribution goes to the Republican National Committee.

The Trump campaign has been emailing supporters asking them to contribute to "fight back against potential voter fraud." Trump campaign email hide caption

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Trump campaign email

The Trump campaign has been emailing supporters asking them to contribute to "fight back against potential voter fraud."

Trump campaign email

"It's only if a contributor has reached the $5,000 legal limit in contributions to Save America that any part of their contribution would go to Trump's recount fund," Fischer said.

He says that means the average small donor reacting to Trump's plea to fuel his legal defense isn't actually helping to offset the costs of recounts or other legal expenses.

And a leadership PAC, unlike an official campaign committee, enjoys a lot more leeway when it comes to how its money can be spent.

"This can help further [Trump's] political agenda," Beckel says. "It is something that he could use to dole out money to like-minded candidates and includes spending money for expenditures that would be prohibited if it was campaign cash, because campaign cash cannot be used for personal use."

Fischer says the language of the Trump campaign's fundraising emails could severely mislead his supporters.

"This is getting close to scam PAC territory. Typically where you see such misleading fundraising appeals from non-candidate PACs run by shady political operator," he says.

"Usually, candidates feel like they have to maintain some level of trust with their supporters and with their donors because they rely on them for support. It's usually not in a candidate's interest to significantly mislead their supporters, but that appears to be what's happening with President Trump right now."

A billboard supporting the alliance between South Korea and the U.S. is displayed near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday. The banner at top reads, "Anti-China and Pro-the U.S." Ahn Young-joon/AP hide caption

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Ahn Young-joon/AP

A billboard supporting the alliance between South Korea and the U.S. is displayed near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday. The banner at top reads, "Anti-China and Pro-the U.S."

Ahn Young-joon/AP

President-elect Joe Biden reassured Asia-Pacific allies of the U.S. commitment to the region in phone calls Wednesday to the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea, attempting to allay concerns built up over four years of the Trump administration's America-first policy.

Despite President Trump's baseless insistence that he won the election, Biden's phone conversations with foreign leaders show that key U.S. allies have acknowledged Biden will be the next president.

In summaries of Wednesday's calls on his transition website, Biden stressed strengthening alliances with all three countries' leaders, while addressing each nation's particular concerns.

For example, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan told reporters that Biden had assured him that the U.S. remains committed to defending the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, as part of a five-decade-old U.S.-Japan bilateral security treaty.

Japan administers the islands, but China, which calls them the Diaoyu Islands, also claims them and, according to Japan, has sailed coast guard vessels near the islands for more than 280 days this year, setting a new record.

But Biden's website made no mention of the Senkakus, suggesting that he was avoiding confrontation with China over the issue. In addition, his published remarks contain none of the Trump administration's provocative code words, such as protecting the "free and open Indo-Pacific" and the "rules-based international order," phrases that are widely understood to refer to a strategy of containing China.

Biden says he told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he looks forward to working with him on challenges including North Korea and climate change.

North Korean state media have made no mention of Biden's electoral victory, and Biden has suggested he will take a more cautious approach to dealing with the North's leader Kim Jong Un than Trump, who met with Kim three times, has been.

Biden's office said he told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that he looked forward to working with him on containing the coronavirus and addressing climate change, among other challenges.

Divided Democratic Party Under Biden Requires Compromise, Says Progressive Rep. Khanna

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Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat from California, says he plans to work with moderates in his party on priorities like "Medicare for All" and aggressive climate change policies. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Andrew Harnik/AP

Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat from California, says he plans to work with moderates in his party on priorities like "Medicare for All" and aggressive climate change policies.

Andrew Harnik/AP

When Joe Biden won the Democratic primary months ago, many progressives got in line behind him with a common goal: beat President Trump.

Now that President-elect Biden, a moderate Democrat, has signaled that he will govern as such, Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat from California, sees room for their party to compromise.

"Joe Biden showed how to find common ground, as did Bernie Sanders — that we can speak about budgeting our values," Khanna, vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition on Thursday.

There has been debate recently within the Democratic Party over whether progressive positions cost Democrats seats in the House. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., told The New York Times recently that his constituents "are extremely frustrated by the message of defunding the police and banning fracking."

Khanna says that while Biden did not voice support for such actions, progressive voices helped galvanize a critical base to help win him the presidency.

"My view is that the Black Lives Matter movement was very, very helpful," he said. "They helped organize record turnouts in places like Milwaukee and Atlanta and Philadelphia and Detroit. And the language of activism helped the party, but it doesn't have to be the language that the party itself adopts."

Still, Khanna is adamant that he and the party's progressive wing will work with the incoming Biden administration to push for their top concerns, including "a bold clean energy plan" and "Medicare for All."

Interview Highlights

Is it possible that the language of activism works in some parts of the country and not in others? And if that's the case, what do you do about that — how do you find the common ground?

I think Joe Biden showed how to find common ground, as did Bernie Sanders. We can speak about budgeting our values. In other words, we can make it clear that we support law enforcement. We recognize how essential their role is in a community, but that we also have to budget for mental health services, for social services, and community budgets need to reflect the diversity of needs of a community. And I think that if we are constructive in how we message it, we can appeal to this sentiment of the Black Lives Matter movement while explaining principles in matters of common sense.

What are you going to be looking for to see how open to progressive ideas President-elect Biden will be?

Well, President-elect Biden is off to a great start with his appointment of Ron Klain [as White House chief of staff]. I know Ron Klain very well. He has reached out many times to progressives, come to the Hill, indicated a willingness to work with us. So I think the personnel is going to matter a lot.

And then, of course, the issues of his agenda. What are we going to start with in terms of the size of our stimulus and in terms of the size of our infrastructure program and other priorities?

Biden says he doesn't want Medicare for All, likes the idea of Obamacare expansion, likes a public option, thinks the eligibility age for Medicare should be 60, not 65. As far as you are concerned, is that enough?

Well, of course, I support Medicare for All. I think that that is the best system economically and also will cover everyone while lowering the premiums by not having premiums and copays. But I think a good starting point is to deliver on what the task forces came up with. So, let's at least extend Medicare to 60. Let's make sure we at least get a public option. And I think what progressives will be looking for is to implement, at the very least, the task forces that President-elect Biden ran on.

NPR's Avery Keatley and Steve Mullis produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Emma Bowman adapted it for the Web.

Representative-elect Carlos Giménez said he supports the president's legal fight to contest the election results. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images hide caption

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Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Representative-elect Carlos Giménez said he supports the president's legal fight to contest the election results.

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Carlos Giménez, the Republican representative-elect for Florida's 26th district, said he supports President Trump's legal fight to contest the results of the White House race, days after it has been called for Democrat Joe Biden with a healthy lead in both the popular and electoral vote.

Speaking to NPR's All Things Considered, Giménez, who currently serves as the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Fla., said he thought the president had "every right" to contest the race's results and seek resolution through the courts. Asked if he thought Trump should concede, he answered no.

"If they think that there's some kind of irregularities in different states, pursue it through the courts, the same way that Al Gore pursued in Florida," Giménez said. There has been no evidence of widespread irregularities , and so far the Trump campaign's court challenges have mostly failed.

"There's a process, and that process needs to be played out. And at the end, that process will work. And in the end, a winner will be determined, and that will be the next president of the United States."

Giménez won his congressional seat in a race against freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, flipping the previously Democratic district.

During the Wednesday interview, Giménez also spoke to Republicans' successful Latino outreach in Florida this election cycle, contributing the GOP's success to the party's messaging against allowing communism and socialism.

A lot of South Florida's Latino and Hispanic voters, he believes, "are people that came escaping from socialism, communism."

"That particular message resonated with them. They know what things look like, and they don't want any part of it."

President Trump attends a Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in his first official appearance since Election Day. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump attends a Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in his first official appearance since Election Day.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump made his first official public appearance since Election Day on Wednesday, observing Veterans Day in a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump, who is defying declarations that he lost his reelection bid, did not speak at the event.

The president and his entourage – including first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence – did not arrive at the tomb until well after the scheduled start time of 11 a.m. ET. The president's motorcade was still driving toward the tomb as a gun salute to veterans rang out, according to the White House pool report.

YouTube

It wasn't until nearly 11:25 that the president appeared on a walkway in front of the tomb, where he stood alongside Pence in a steady rain. Trump walked toward the wreath, laid a hand on it, paused and then returned to his spot. The ceremony was over soon afterwards. It was the only event listed on the president's public schedule for Wednesday.

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, attended a separate ceremony in Philadelphia, where they honored veterans at the Korean War Memorial. That event included several brief speeches by veterans, with Biden looking on. Like Trump, he did not deliver a speech.

The Bidens took part in a wreath-laying ceremony, carrying a wreath together that they placed it at the base of the memorial. After the event, the couple remained at the site to speak with other attendees.

Trump has refused to concede the presidential election to Biden, who has been declared to have captured enough electoral votes to win the White House thanks to significant leads in key states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. The president is attempting to challenge the results with lawsuits, most of which have failed.

The sun rises behind the U.S. Marine Corps Iwo Jima memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Al Drago/Getty Images hide caption

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Al Drago/Getty Images

The sun rises behind the U.S. Marine Corps Iwo Jima memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Al Drago/Getty Images

Previous Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington have also been brief, but some details set this year's event apart: It was closed to the public because of COVID-19 safety guidelines; and the president did not make a speech at the cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater after the formal wreath-laying.

In the past, that portion of the proceedings has often featured a speech honoring members of the U.S. armed services, along with a prayer service and performances by military musicians.

In addition to coronavirus restrictions, Arlington National Cemetery says the amphitheater is closed for renovations; it's slated to reopen to the public late this month.

Trump and several other administration officials did not wear face masks, despite Arlington National Cemetery requirements that state, "All visitors are to follow social distancing requirements and wear face coverings while on cemetery grounds. Anyone not having a face covering in their possession at cemetery entry points will not be granted access to the cemetery."

Social distancing floor stickers are seen at a mall last month during early voting in Anchorage, Alaska. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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Mark Thiessen/AP

Social distancing floor stickers are seen at a mall last month during early voting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Mark Thiessen/AP

Updated at 1:34 p.m. ET

President Trump has won the state of Alaska, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday, days after President-elect Joe Biden won the general White House race.

As ballots continue to be counted in the week since the election, Trump won Alaska's three electoral votes, as had been expected. The state typically supports Republican presidential candidates, but Trump's lead in polls had been smaller than usual, with the Republican nominee leading by fewer than 10 points in some recent polls.

The electoral votes for Trump are of minimal consequence at this stage in the count — the AP and other networks called the presidential race for Biden on Saturday. The Electoral College tally, according to the AP, now stands at 290 for Biden and 217 for Trump.

A total of 270 electoral votes are required to secure the presidency.

Two states remain to be called – North Carolina, where Trump leads by more than 70,000 votes, and Georgia, where Biden leads by about 14,000 votes. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican Trump ally, has announced a hand recount, which will be costlier and likely less reliable than a machine recount.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, won reelection, giving Republicans control of 50 seats in the Senate with two races still outstanding. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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Mark Thiessen/AP

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, won reelection, giving Republicans control of 50 seats in the Senate with two races still outstanding.

Mark Thiessen/AP

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan has won reelection in Alaska, giving Republicans 50 seats in the Senate and leaving the balance of power in the chamber to be decided in a pair of January runoff elections in Georgia.

The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan more than a week after Election Day after votes trickled in from remote areas of the vast state. Sullivan defeated Al Gross, a surgeon and first-time candidate who raised significant money with the help of national Democrats who hoped a blue wave could help flip the state and the Senate.

That wave never materialized, and the path for Democratic control in the Senate has narrowed significantly. Republican fended off challenges in hotly contested seats in Maine, South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa and Montana and picked up a seat in Alabama where Tommy Tuberville defeated incumbent Democrat Doug Jones. In North Carolina, the AP has not called the race, but Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham conceded to GOP Sen. Thom Tillis on Tuesday.

Gross, like many other Democrats this cycle, ran with significant financial resources from across the country. But that cash could not outrun Sullivan's record in the state and GOP attempts to cast Gross as far-left liberal.

The energy and focus for both parties had already shifted to Georgia well before the race was called in Alaska. The heated battle over those seats has become entwined with President Trump's ongoing battle to contest the outcome of the election despite increasing margins of victory for President-elect Joe Biden in both Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue joined together to demand that the top election official in Georgia step down over unsupported claims of failures in the state's election process.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, himself a Republican, called the claims "laughable" and refused to step aside.

The early rancor and fighting over the presidential election results, which are headed for a recount despite Biden's growing lead, is a preview of the intense fight to come over the fate of the two Senate seats. Vice President Pence told GOP senators that he plans to campaign in the state, and national Democrats are already pouring money and support to their challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

The Georgia runoffs are slated for Jan. 5, after the Senate is scheduled to begin a new session. That uncertainty means the Senate will be unable to officially organize until the results of that election are finalized.

Election 2020 from NPR Politics

Updates: 2020 Election Results