With US President Donald Trump claiming that he was being cheated and the “illegal votes” were the reason behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead in several states, news broadcasters cut away from the press conference and gave a fact check to the claims.
During the press conference on Thursday (local time), Trump said: “If you count the legal vote, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us….I have already won many critical states… massive victories in Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, to name just a few, we won these and many other states despite historic election interference from big media, big money, and big tech… We won by historic numbers.” He referred to the ongoing polls as “phony”.
“We were winning in all key states by a lot, actually, and then our numbers started getting miraculously whittled away, and they would not allow legally permissible observers,” Trump said.
According to a report by Deadline, while CNN and Fox news carried Trump’s remarks in their entirety, but MSNBC took just the start of his statement; Shepard Smith on sibling net CNBC following suit awhile later.
Similarly, three broadcast networks — CBS, ABC and NBC carried the press conference but the Comcast-own outlet joined its cable cousin in the last few minutes and cut away. The Disney-owned network had also cut short its feed near the end of Trump’s speech.
“A number of the networks stayed with the President’s comments that he’s been cheated out of a victory, there were phony polls designed to keep people at home,” said MSNBC anchors Brian Williams to fellow anchor Rachel Maddow right afterwards, Deadline reported.
He further said, “Here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the President of the United States but correcting the President of the United States…”
“We’ll get a read-out, a summation of the points he is still making from the briefing room,” the former NBC Nightly News frontman added.
On NBC, Lester Holt said, “We are watching President Trump speaking live from the White House and we have to interrupt here because the president made a number of false statements including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting. There has been no evidence of that. Allegations by his campaign but his campaign spokespeople unable to provide any evidence. He also has suggested that the polls and many of which were incorrect were somehow the product of election interference.”
Similarly, the NPR was seen cutting off Trump’s speech by people like political advisor Adam Parkhomenko. “Trump is speaking now before the media. NPR cut off him off for a fact check. Unacceptable decision…I then scrolled through all the many commercial radio stations. They were not carrying Trump’s remarks. Misusing our public airwaves, free,” Newsweek quoted Ralph Nader as saying.
While ABC News and CBS News went to a fact check, Jon Karl, the network’s chief White House correspondent, said, “There is simply no evidence presented in any of these states that there are illegal votes.”
While CNN did not cut off Trump’s speech, at the end CNN’s Jake Tapper said, “What a sad night for the United States of America.” Tapper called the scene “ugly” and “pathetic.”
Anderson Cooper was also quoted as saying, “That is the president of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world. We see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realising his time is over.”