President Trump’s campaign on Monday attacked a news report about its legal strategy in Pennsylvania — calling the coverage a “complete mischaracterization” of the facts.
The campaign accused the Washington Post of “erroneously claiming the campaign had dropped its legal claim of nearly 700,000 ballots processed illegally and in secret.”
Instead, the campaign said, it “strategically decided to restructure its lawsuit” in response to a ruling Friday by the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
“We are still arguing that 682,479 ballots were counted illegally, in secret,” said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh, the Trump 2020 communications director.
“Unfortunately, fake news activists rushed to print their clickbait headlines, apparently without even reading the lawsuit. That’s lazy journalism at best, but more likely intentionally misleading.”
In a statement, Washington Post spokeswoman Kristine Coratti said the paper “fully stands behind its story, which is based on a complete and accurate reading of the revised version of the Trump campaign’s lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania election results.”
In an amended suit filed Sunday in Williamsport, Penn., the campaign dropped a request to block the certification of results that include 682,479 absentee and mail-in ballots in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties that were allegedly processed “without review by the political parties and candidates.”
The amended suit also drops allegations that those votes were counted “in direct contravention of the Election Code” and that Pennsylvania created a “two-tiered voting system” that resulted in “devaluing in-person votes.”
But the campaign still wants to block the certification of results that include absentee and mail-in ballots that were “improperly permitted to be cured.” Those ballots were allegedly “cured” through replacement votes cast at satellite election offices through provisional votes cast on Election Day.
The suit doesn’t say how many votes the Trump campaign thinks it can disqualify, and Murtagh didn’t respond to an email request for an estimate.
Democratic National Committee lawyer Cliff Levine told the Associated Press that it’s unclear how many Pennsylvania voters were allowed to fix their ballots but said it was “not even close” to the number separating Trump and presumptive victor Joe Biden.
Trump trails Biden by a margin of 69,140 votes in the Keystone State, where projections by major news organizations led to Biden being declared the victor on Nov. 7.
Trump has refused to concede and on Sunday tweeted, “We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
Lawyers for Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar filed papers Sunday asking a judge to dismiss the the Trump campaign’s amended suit, saying it “still fails to state a plausible claim for relief on any legal theory.”
Oral arguments are set for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Trump campaign blasts ‘fake news’ coverage of Pennsylvania lawsuit The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.