By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory Wednesday in a trio of must-win states and claimed a fourth over unverified claims of fraud.
"We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead," Trump said on Twitter.
While Trump has a comfortable lead in Pennsylvania, it has shrunk to 5.1% as the state, and other key battlegrounds, continue to tally mail-in ballots. Over 16% of the vote remains outstanding in the Keystone State.
In Georgia and North Carolina, the president's lead is even narrower and continues to whittle down. He is ahead by just 0.4% in both states, with roughly 5% of the vote left to be counted there.
"Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact, there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!" he claimed.
It is unclear what the president is referring to in Michigan, but he is trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 1.2% with 97% of expected votes being counted, meaning he has long-shot odds of winning the midwestern state.
Most news outlets with the exception of The Associated Press have called the state for Biden. The AP has not declared a victor yet.
Twitter quickly flagged both of the president's tweets, saying of the first "official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted," while saying of his Michigan claim "Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."
Biden earlier Wednesday stopped short of declaring victory but voiced confidence in eventually laying claim to the White House while maintaining all votes legally cast must be counted.
"Every vote must be counted. No one’s going to take our democracy away from us. Not now. Not ever," Biden said in Delaware. "We, the people, will not be silenced. We, the people, will not be bullied. We, the people, will not surrender.”
The former vice president has continued to maintain a significant Electoral College lead as each candidate seeks to accrue at last 270 delegates to lay claim to the White House. Biden leads Trump 248-214, according to The Associated Press.