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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Recounts unlikely to change Trump election loss

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Recounts unlikely to change Trump election loss
Recounts unlikely to change Trump election loss

President Donald Trump's attempts to cling to power appeared more tenuous than ever on Wednesday as election officials in Georgia and Wisconsin said recounts were not likely to change the election outcome in those states.

This report produced by Chris Dignam with legal analysis from Jan Wolfe.

President Donald Trump took his election fight to Wisconsin on Wednesday, seeking a partial recount of the state's presidential election results, part of his long-shot attempt to reverse President-elect Joe Biden's White House victory.

The Trump campaign forked over $3 million to Wisconsin to cover the costs of recounting votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties, two heavily Democratic areas.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY CLERK GEORGE CHRISTENSON: "We are ready and fully prepared to carry out this recount." The Milwaukee County clerk said he hoped to finish the recount before Dec.

1.

The Dane County clerk said Biden could end up with more votes after the recount but said -- either way -- Biden's more than 20,000 vote lead in the state was unlikely to change much, as only a few hundred votes changed in Dane County's recount after the 2016 election.

The recount comes as Trump continues to level all kinds of election fraud allegations on Twitter, many of which were unsupported by evidence and others demonstrably untrue.

In Georgia, the state's voting system implementation manager, Gabriel Sterling, addressed Trump's claims on Wednesday.

REPORTER: "What is your response to President Trump's claims that there are thousands of fraudulent votes in Georgia?

GABRIEL STERLING: "That he's been misinformed on that front and the reason for the audit is to make sure that every legal vote is counted." Sterling also said the results of Georgia's election audit would be made public on Thursday and did not expect it to reverse Trump's loss.

STERLING: "The likelihood is the president will remain in second place and his team can ask for a recount." Team Trump is also struggling in court.

Reuters Legal Correspondent Jan Wolfe has the latest on that strategy.

WOLFE: "Legal experts say one fundamental problem here for Trump is that to litigate your way to victory it has to be really close and it really has to come down to one state.

Trump here is asking judges to stop the certification of Biden victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada.

So a lot of people think that's not even the goal.

It's really to sort of send political message to his base that this is closer than it looks and that I didn't lose by that much." While Trump's closest Republican allies continue to say he has every right to challenge the election results, some Democrats are getting fed up and say it's getting dangerous.

In Arizona, where Biden won by more than 10,000 votes, the secretary of state released a statement on Wednesday responding to escalating threats of violence directed at her and her family.

She said they would not stop her from performing the duties she swore an oath to do, "but there are those, including the president, members of Congress and other elected officials, who are perpetuating misinformation and are encouraging others to distrust the election results in a matter that violates the oath of office they took.

It is well past time that they stop.

Their words and actions have consequences."

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