Donald Trump plans to declare victory over the US presidential election even before the results are called, according to reports.
Trump has reportedly told sources that he will walk up to the podium on the night of Nov 3 and announce himself as the winner if it looks like he’s “ahead”.
The American news site Axios has cited three anonymous sources and claimed the incumbent president has spoken privately through the scenario “in some detail” in the past few weeks.
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The report says: “Trump has privately talked through this scenario in some detail in the last few weeks, describing plans to walk up to a podium on election night and declare he has won.
“For this to happen, his allies expect he would need to either win or have commanding leads in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia.”
It is entirely possible that the results of this year’s election will not be known on the election day itself.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, far more people are casting mail-in and absentee ballots than in any previous election.
In some states, those ballots cannot be opened, processed or counted until election day. As a result, results in some key swing states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, will not and cannot be projected by the end of Election Day.
Trump has for months laid the groundwork for rejecting the results of the election if he loses – as polls currently predict he will.
He has repeatedly claimed (inaccurately) that mail-in and absentee voting is unreliable and corrupt, and has insisted the election results may not be legitimate.
“Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history - unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!” he tweeted on June 22.
He has explicitly said that he’s against expanding this form of voting because he believes that the more people who turn out, the more likely it is that Democrats will win.
At a rally in September, he told supporters the only presidential election he would accept as legitimate would be the one he wins.
“We do want a very friendly transition,” he told the crowd. “But we don’t want to be cheated, and be stupid, and say, ‘Oh, let’s transit.’
“We’ll go and we’ll do a transition, and we’ll know that there were thousands and thousands of ballots that made the difference through cheating. We’re not going to stand for it.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.