Trump takes his fraud claims to a hotel ballroom — by phone

Source: Politico | November 25, 2020 | Quint Forgey

The president, who had initially sought to attend an unusual state GOP hearing in person, was met by cheers from the Pennsylvania crowd.

President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election stretched into a more desperate phase on Wednesday as he phoned into a conspiratorial public hearing on voter fraud headlined by Rudy Giuliani and Republicans in Gettysburg, Pa.

The remarks from the president came virtually, as Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis — seated beside Giuliani in a Wyndham hotel ballroom — raised her phone to the microphone at their witness table, allowing Trump to participate in the hearing from the Oval Office.

The president was greeted by cheers from the constituents assembled for the meeting, organized by Pennsylvania Senate Republicans and featuring testimony from conservative poll watchers and other members of the public.

Giuliani, the leader of the Trump campaign’s legal fight, appeared to have arranged the list of witnesses, who mostly leveled anecdotal allegations about inadequate access to watching the vote-counting on Election Day.

Trump, who was reported earlier Wednesday to have wanted to attend the hearing in person, said via speakerphone that he had been following along with the proceedings on the right-wing One America News Network.

“I really appreciate being asked to speak,” Trump said, going on to falsely state that he had “easily” won a second term, that the White House race was “rigged,” and that the election’s outcome “has to be turned around.”

Although Trump’s campaign has produced no evidence of widespread voter fraud and has lost numerous legal challenges to reverse the election results in key swing states, the president nevertheless heaped praise on his personal attorney on Wednesday.

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