WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's flailing attempt to cling to office after voters decisively chose to oust him has taken the country into a dark and fictional place.
According to falsehoods being told on his behalf and embraced by him, the U.S. election was manipulated by scheming from a dead Venezuelan strongman, by a computer system capable of flipping Trump votes to Joe Biden ones across the country, and by something weird happening in Germany. If that's not enough, the communists are coming.
None of this happened. None of it is true.
But Trump and his legal team are making poisonous allegations in hopes that state Republican legislators will shatter the foundational procedures and traditions of U.S. democracy and nullify the voters' will.
While this plays out, President-elect Biden continues to be denied the briefings and facilities given during presidential transitions. An increasing number of Republican lawmakers say he should be getting that cooperation but they haven't done anything to make that happen.
From the past week:
NEWS CONFERENCE THURSDAY
SIDNEY POWELL, Trump attorney: "President Trump won by a landslide."
THE FACTS: Two fabrications in one short remark.
Biden won. Needing 270 electoral votes to prevail, he has 306 and Trump has 232.
There was no landslide. Trump's 306 electoral votes in 2016 did not make up a landslide win and Biden's victory was not a landslide, either. But it was a comfortable and unassailable victory. And although it doesn't matter in the outcome, Biden also leads the popular vote by nearly 6 million. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by about 3 million.
POWELL ON COMMUNISTS' ROLE IN THE ELECTION
POWELL: "What we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China and the interference with our elections here in the United States."
THE FACTS: No such communist chicanery has been uncovered. The election security branch of Trump's Homeland Security Department said the election was secure against foreign interference and all forms of mass manipulation.
Swenson reported from Seattle. Associated Press writers Jude Joffe-Block in Phoenix and Amanda Seitz in Chicago contributed to this report.
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