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CNN Live Event/Special
Without Any Evidence, Trump Says He's Being Cheated; Trump Vows to Go to Supreme Court to Overturn Election Results; Biden on Brink of Win, Waiting for Pennsylvania. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 05, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So that they couldn't see what they were doing. And it became a little bit dangerous, one major hub for counting ballots in Detroit covered up the windows, again, with large pieces of cardboard and so they wanted to protect and block the counting area. They didn't want anybody seeing the counting even though these were observers who are legal observers that was supposed to be there.
In Detroit, there were hours of unexplained delay in delivering many of the votes for counting. The final batch should not arrive until four in the morning and even though the polls closed at eight o'clock, so they brought it in and the batches came in and nobody knew where they came from.
We've also been denied access to observe in critical places in Georgia and multiple swing states counting was halted for hours and hours on election night, with results withheld from major Democrat-run locations only to appear later. And they certainly appeared and they all had the name Biden on them where just about all, I think almost all, they all had the name Biden on them, which is a little strange.
I challenge Joe and every Democrat to clarify that they only want legal votes, because they talk about votes and I think they should use the word legal. Legal votes, we want every legal vote counted and I want every legal vote counted. We want openness and transparency, no secret count rooms, no mystery ballots, no illegal votes being cast after Election Day. You have Election Day and the laws are very strong on that.
You have an Election Day and they don't want votes cast after Election Day and they want the process to be an honest one. It's so important. We want an honest election. We want an honest count and we want honest people working back there because it's a very important job. So that's the way this country is going to win. That's the way the United States will win and we think we will win the election very easily.
We think there's going to be a lot of litigation, because we have so much evidence, so much proof and it's going to end up perhaps at the highest court in the land. We'll see. But we think there'll be a lot of litigation because we can't have an election stolen like this.
And I tell you, I have been talking about this for many months with all of you. And I've said very strongly that mail-in ballots are going to end up being a disaster. Small elections were disaster, small very easy to handle elections were disastrous. This is a large-scale version and it's getting worse and worse every day.
We're hearing stories that are horror stories, absolute horror stories and we can't let that happen to the United States of America. It's not a question of who wins, Republican, Democrat, Joe, myself. We can't let that happen to our country. We can't be disgraced by having something like this happen. So it will be hopefully cleared up maybe soon, I hope soon, but it'll probably go through a process, a legal process.
And as you know, I've claimed certain states and he's claiming states, so we can both claim the states. But ultimately, I have a feeling judges are going to have to rule. But there's been a lot of shenanigans and we can't stand for that in our country. Thank you very much.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What a sad night for the United States of America to hear their president say that to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with this feast of falsehoods, lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen. No evidence for what he's saying, just smears about the integrity of vote counting in state after state.
When he wins the state, it's legitimate. When he loses it's because the vote is being stolen from me from him. It's not true. It's ugly. It's frankly pathetic. The President, for example, he assailed vote by mail, why he asked, why are the vote by mail ballots so overwhelmingly in favor of Joe Biden. We all know the answer. It's because the President told his supporters not to vote by mail. So Democrats did it overwhelmingly and his supporters turned out in droves on Election Day.
Look, President Trump has always been transparent about the smears and lies and strategies of falsehoods. We knew he was going to do this. We knew he was going to claim votes by mail were not real. But he's wrong. It's a lie. He's lying about the election. He's smearing the American people. He's smearing people who are working at polls and it's a disgrace.
We knew that the President was not going to lose graciously if he lost. But frankly, watching him flail like this, it's just pathetic.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: As he was talking, I was trying to reach out to some senior Republicans to ask when the intervention is going to happen.
Because this isn't just partisan. This isn't just dangerous. It's nonsensical. It's illogical. And there's so many things to say.
One of the things that I was thinking about listening to him now is how much we listened to him for the past four-five months, telling his voters do not vote early, it's fraudulent. And now, we sort of suspected it then, now we know the reason for that, so that he could have this moment in the White House briefing room. So he could say that the votes that are coming in by mail are fraudulent. And the reason is, because he knew that Democrats because we are in a
pandemic, were more apt to vote early by mail and to not want to risk their health and sometimes their lives by going to vote in-person. It's a setup. He set the country up. He set his supporters up for a moment like this, which is completely false and you said sad, it is sad.
I mean, I'm not an emotional person and I'm having trouble kind of keeping it together after listening to the President of the United States saying what he just said.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This president clearly knows that this is not going to end well for him or he believes that. And he's trying to take the rest of the country down with him.
PHILLIP: He's trying to take the voting system down with him. The Democratic process down with him. And beyond being completely selfish, it also is just wrong. And as you said, where's the intervention? I don't know where it is. And it probably should have happened months ago, because as you said, Dana, he already told us he was going to do this. He's already said months ago, the only way I could lose this election is if there were widespread massive fraud, which we knew was not going to happen.
And now he is, apparently - he believes he's losing the election. The numbers are not heading in his direction and he's claiming that there is fraud everywhere in the country, except for one place, the place where the vote count is narrowing in his favor in Arizona. This is a complete farce and a travesty and it's incredible that he's doing it from the White House. But notable also Vice President Mike Pence nowhere to be found.
TAPPER: Well, the other thing is the point that you made earlier, Abby, which is the President would like us to believe, would like the nation to believe that there is this grand conspiracy in every state in the nation to take this election from him. And yet, somebody else gave him a list of Republican accomplishments in the selection to read from.
Not one Republican lost a seat in the House that Republicans held on to the Senate. A tremendous night of success for the Republican Party, so President Trump would have you believe that the elections went great for every Republican in the country almost, except for him. So the diabolical Democrats and big money, big media and big tech conspired, and we all got together and we decided what we're going to do is we're going to help every Republican win elections across the country, except for Donald Trump.
TAPPER: Does that make sense to anybody except for the most fevered brain? BASH: Yes. Unfortunately, the answer is - is it logical? Of course
not. Did what you just say make sense? Absolutely. Trying to dissect it. But I will say it again, one of the reasons why what we just heard and saw is dangerous is not just because he's the President of the United States. It is because there are so many people who absolutely love him and believe everything he says.
So they are, he and mostly his children on Twitter, are sowing the seeds of doubt in democracy in a way that it is going to make it very hard for his party, frankly, to come back from.
PHILLIP: The President and his children, especially, are actively and openly inciting violence in this country. The President's son tweeted that Trump will go to war over this election. The President said tonight, that his supporters were so angry that they couldn't get into a place where they were tabulating votes that they would get violent, almost.
So it's intentional and it's dangerous and it really needs to stop. The votes need to be counted and the President needs to abide by whatever that result is. He signaled tonight that he is not going to be willing to do that and that is dangerous for this country.
TAPPER: It's time for some Republican lawmakers to find their spine and talk to the President about what he needs to do for the good of the country. Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Jake, thanks very much. We have never seen really other than - well, I don't think we've ever seen anything like this from President of the United States. And I think as Jake said, it's sad and it is truly pathetic and, of course, it is dangerous and of course it will go to courts. But you'll notice, the President did not have any evidence presented at all, nothing. No real actual evidence of any kind of fraud.
He talked about people putting up papers in windows. He talked about things that he'd seen on the internet. That is the President of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world and we see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over. But he just hasn't accepted it and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country. Gloria.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think that the world is watching and they're watching an American president undermine democracy in the United States. It's painful to those of us who love America. It is painful and dangerous what he's doing. It is not surprising, of course, because he told us early on that if he didn't win, he was going to say the election was rigged and maybe we didn't believe he would come out and do it in this way. But it is still startling to us to just hear the President from a podium in the White House undermine democracy.
And as Jake was saying before, I have to keep saying, if this was such a big plot by Democrats, why didn't they do better? Why do they do better in the House? Why didn't they do better in the Senate?
So the President makes himself the ultimate victim here. Over and over again it's about him and it's not about the fact that the other Republicans did OK. It's about him and his family is complaining why isn't everybody coming out and defending him? Why isn't Lindsey Graham coming out and defending him?
Because a lot of Republicans, it is time for them to say enough is enough.
COOPER: Rick Santorum.
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No Republican elected official is going to stand behind that statement. I mean, none of them will. They will stand behind elements of that statement. They will stand behind his comment about the polling and how you could make the argument that it was suppression and dishonest. I mean, you can stand behind the lack of transparency, when it came to allowing the votes to be counted. There's evidence of that and he provided some evidence for that.
There are certain things they will stand behind in that statement, because they reflect the reality. But much of that statement was not factual and was at times incendiary. And not something that President of the United States should say or any elected official.
COOPER: You said ...
SANTORUM: Unless you have evidence to prove it and at this point in time, we don't and we won't until there is an investigation as to what happened. And I got to tell you, I sat there and I listened to him talking about the votes being taken away from him and then he shifted to Arizona and said, hey, I win this thing if they count the votes.
Well, how can you say we have to wait and count the votes in Arizona and I can win this, but if you count the votes in Philadelphia, you're stealing them. The reality is in Pennsylvania, Democrats voted by mail and Republicans voted by in-person and it's because you asked them to do so. And so I think most people, hopefully, I just encourage people to listen, because I know there's a lot of people who think this election is stolen, a lot of people think there is fraud, and you know what, there may be fraud, there may be all of that. We don't know that right now.
And for the President to go out there and claim that without any evidence of that is dangerous and I just would say to the President, there may be some validity in some of the things that you believe. But to go out there and suggest that this is rigged or that counting votes in my home state by clerks all over 67 counties and as you kept losing votes was somehow rigged. No. Democrats voted by mail. That's why your lead went away.
Had they voted in-person, you would be in the same position we are right now. So again, it's very disappointing and shocking at times to hear the President say the things that he said and I'm hopeful that Republicans will stand up at this moment and say what needs to be said about the integrity of our election.
Be tough. Fight. I want him to fight. I want him to make sure that this election was held fairly. But I don't want him to draw these conclusions when he doesn't have the evidence to back it up.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I just want to thank you for what you just said. First of all, it's not an easy thing to say given the polarity in the country. But I just want to just say as a dad, as an American, as a Democrat, as a human being, I appreciate you saying that. I hope that other Republicans will also stand with you.
You're right. All night, there are some things that you guys don't like and you want to fight on those narrow issues. But to have the President of the United States take that position that he took I think it's very dangerous. But it's comforting to me that our system is holding, people are still counting these votes. We're still moving forward and I just want to say I appreciate you saying that.
SANTORUM: The Governor of Georgia is going to count these votes. The Governor of Arizona is going to count these votes. I mean, they're Republican governors.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: As is the Secretary of State in Georgia, I believe.
SANTORUM: Yes. And the Secretary - so look, I ...
COOPER: So what do other Republicans and what does a Mitch McConnell come out and say? What does ...
SANTORUM: Mitch McConnell is going to say what Mitch McConnell said today, we're going to count the votes and that's what every Republicans are going to say. The votes in Pennsylvania need to be counted. People voted. You have to count their votes and if there are instances in which we find some sort of fraud or some sort of ...
SANTORUM: ... shenanigans that are being played, you investigate them, you get to the bottom of them and if they're substantial, I mean, there's this claim running out there that there's 130,000 votes and the President referred to it, that came out of nowhere in Michigan. OK. If that's true, prove it. Go out there and find it and do it.
And if it's true, then you got a serious problem and then we attack it. But counting absentee ballots and counting mail-in ballots is not fraud.
AXELROD: Well, let's be clear. The President believes that an election is fraudulent when he does not win. That is what he believes. Before the election in 2016 when he thought he wasn't going to win, he predicted that the election would be rigged, that the election was fraudulent. When he didn't win the popular vote, he contended that the 3 million votes that he lost by were fraudulent votes and he impaneled a commission, a government commission to find those votes and they never could.
So really this is incredibly disturbing, but it's not surprising. This is who he is. I have big differences with Donald Trump over policy and the same differences that I probably have with you over some of these policies. But what we've learned is how much our democracy relies on people of goodwill in high places respecting its tenants, understanding that its institutions are absolutely essential to its functioning.
And there is nothing more sacred than this institution and he is willing to subjugate the institutions of our democracy to his own personal interests and that has been true from the beginning. This is just the latest and the saddest chapter and it's increasingly looking like the last one.
JONES: I want to add something, Gloria, if you don't mind.
BORGER: Well, go ahead. Yes.
JONES: Part of what he said that's so terrible is that he's attacking actual Americans who right now - he said in Detroit, they're not letting Republicans in. That's literally not true. It's just not true. Republicans and Democrats are standing shoulder to shoulder in Detroit right now in counting those votes.
So it's unbelievable the level of lying that he's doing. Putin could not come up with a better attack on our democracy. The President of the United States ...
AXELROD: Well, no, I couldn't agree with you more. Let me say something that maybe you - let's just be really blunt about this, why is he talking about Detroit? Why is he talking about Philadelphia?
AXELROD: It's not subtle. It's race. It's race. It's Donald Trump's go-to play and it's disgusting, so I just want to say that.
JONES: I appreciate you teeing it up. It's unbelievable that he can say these cities are known for corruption, et cetera, et cetera. There's this corruption all across this country in every institution, why are you singling out these two black cities? Why are you denying the victory that these people have fought for?
I'm upset about it, because African-Americans have fought so hard for the right to vote. I just want to finish. African-Americans and our allies have fought so hard for that right. This right to vote for us is precious. John Lewis died this year. We went and we got young African-Americans across this country to believe, to buy in, to stand in line, to do this thing and have the President of the United States crap all over their efforts.
It hurts. And you can say you didn't mean it to be racial, but it feels racial to us.
COOPER: Gloria. [19:20:02]
BORGER: It's disgraceful. I've covered politics a really long time and I've never witnessed anything like this and, again, as you were saying, you're not surprised. But it's still stunning and striking at so many levels. You talk about the issue of race, I totally agree with you. But it's watching a president who is unable to accept loss or potential loss, defeat, losing is for suckers, remember that?
He can't accept it, so he has to find a way to undermine the process that has him losing and the process that has him losing is democracy. How can you do that when you are President of the United States? Again, not surprising but just shocking and very sad.
COOPER: Let me go to Jim Acosta who's at the White House. Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, Anderson, I think what we listened to just a few moments ago from the President, it sounded an awful like an attack on American democracy. And President Trump fired the first shot in this attack on our democracy. And let me tell you just based on what I've observed covering him over the last five years, what the President counts on often is that he can exhaust his adversaries. He can exhaust you to the point where you just give up, where you let him have his way.
And what we're seeing take place in these counting centers and these various states that are still up for grabs is the tireless work of our fellow Americans counting the ballots. They're not getting exhausted - they're probably exhausted, but they're not going to let that stop them from doing what they're doing.
And so I would say and this has been sort of my guiding principle covering this president for the last four or five years, is that you just can't get so exhausted to the point that you give up. We can't stop factchecking him. We can't stop calling him out on the carpet. What we heard from the President just a short while ago, it sounded like somebody who is just a sore loser. He sees the writing on the wall and the writing on the wall says he's a one-term president.
And as Gloria was just saying, he doesn't want to be one of the suckers and the losers, he wants to be a winner and for the President winning is everything. But at this point, the math isn't there, as a Trump advisor told me earlier today, the math isn't there, we need an act of God to change the course of this race. It's not happening.
And so my sense of it is at this point is that, yes, the President and his team, they're going to try to lock things up. They're going to try to lock up the gears of this democracy in court, but they're fighting a losing battle when you have the President saying, stop the counting in places like Philadelphia and Detroit and keep the counting going in Arizona.
As somebody who has been involved in a court case with the President, that is the kind of legal argument that is just not going to cut the mustard. And my guess is that we're going to see more frustrated sore loser like pronouncements, declarations from the President in the coming days. But he's not in control of this, the voters are in control of this. Our fellow Americans are in control of this. The people who count the ballots and election authorities across the country who are in control of this, not the President.
The Constitution guides us through this process. Established election law in this country guides us through this process. Ballots will be counted, ballots will be certified, election results will be certified and the President, he can try to stay in the White House come January 20th and Joe Biden could be sworn in over the four seasons in Georgetown and be president down there.
The President thinks he has won the game, but at this point he is as much a witness to all of this as we are. He's as much a bystander to all of this as we are. We have to count the ballots, guys.
COOPER: Yes. This is a country of laws and though the President has said he is law and order President, well, we will see about that. There are laws. This will go to courts. Evidence has to be produced, as Rick Santorum said. If there is evidence, judges will decide on that.
Much of what the President said tonight is without - there is not real evidence and if he has real evidence for it, that will be presented in court. The American people can see that. Kaitlan Collins standing by as well. Kaitlan.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I think not only were the President's comments undermining democracy, he also just seemed to express a complete misunderstanding of how elections work. And particularly this election and how people have been saying for the last six months, they expected Tuesday to go and the days that followed and we've seen it play out exactly as people predicted.
But the President seemed genuinely surprised that he was leading in some states on Tuesday and he is now trailing in those states as millions more votes have been counted particularly from Democrats given that the President encouraged his own supporters not to vote by mail for six months.
When you wage a campaign against mail-in voting for the better part of the year before the election, your voters are not going to vote by mail and then you are going to get your votes on Election Day and not in the days that follow.
But he seemed genuinely surprised that he was leading by a substantial margin in places like Pennsylvania and like Georgia and now those margins have been narrowed significantly as we've seen more Democratic votes come in and be counted and be perfectly legal. He also doesn't seem to know who is counting the votes because he said in Georgia the process is being run by Democrats. It's a Republican Secretary of State in Georgia.
I think the only thing that President said that was true there is that there is going to be litigation in the next several days. That is something we are certainly expecting from the Trump campaign. But he also made clear, Anderson, he is not planning on conceding this even as we were seeing what's happening in Georgia, in Pennsylvania, still waiting to find out what's going to happen in Arizona.
And I just want to note the Vice President Mike Pence has also been silent over the last 48 hours. He was not there with the President. It was just the Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. But he just tweeted that he stands with the President and he agrees that all legal votes should be counted. Anderson, that is not what the President said, not even by a longshot as he just came out to that briefing room.
COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. We are getting new numbers in from Georgia and Pennsylvania where the President's lead is almost gone. We'll go to both battleground states as the votes continue to be counted.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Meanwhile, the vote counting continues and it does not look good for the president of the United States. He only has 213 electoral votes. Joe Biden has 253. You need 270. Biden is getting closer and closer to winning this election.
Let's get a key race alert right now.
Take a look at these two states, Georgia and Pennsylvania. It's getting so, so close.
In Georgia right now, with 99 percent of the estimated vote in, but plenty of votes outstanding, Trump's lead which was once so, so significant is now only 3,486. He's 3,486 votes ahead of Biden, 49.4 percent to 49.3 percent. Sixteen electoral votes in Georgia. Trump's lead has shrunk so dramatically. Look at how close it is right now.
In Pennsylvania, Trump's lead is also dramatically -- 94 percent of the estimated vote is now in, so there's still plenty of votes outstanding. His lead now is only shrunk to 64,266 and at one point, it was 600,000. Biden is just behind, 49.8 percent to 48.9 percent. Electoral votes in Pennsylvania.
If Biden wins Pennsylvania, it's over. He becomes the next president of the United States.
Let's go over to John King at the magic wall.
John, these are dramatic moments right now because it looks increasingly like Biden is getting closer and closer to winning this contest.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dramatic is an understatement. Movement toward Joe Biden in both Pennsylvania and Georgia. Joe Biden does not need to win either one of these states. He can be president just by winning Nevada and Arizona where he now leads.
Donald Trump, the president of the United States, must win Pennsylvania and Georgia. Must win, he cannot get to 270 electoral votes without these two states. Let's start here in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, what we have seen is playing recently is just more than dramatic. You see the lead now to 64,266 votes as votes come in, just in the last hour or so.
Erie County, up here, northwest corner of Pennsylvania, has flipped from red to blue. Lehigh County, right here, Allentown, Pennsylvania, has flipped from red to blue. More votes coming in and the president's lead is shrinking. Additionally, some votes here from Philadelphia coming as well, let me come in right here, the city of Philadelphia, this is where most of the outstanding ballots are still coming from the largest population center in the state.
And again, as they come in just watch what happens here, about 12,000 ballots came in more than that. Joe Biden of those got 10,839. All right? Donald Trump got 467 -- 87 percent of the ballots in Philadelphia.
Time and time again when you see these ballots coming in, you see it here. And you come up here, 49.8 to 48.9 right now, 64,000. We know there are enough ballots, there are enough ballots for Joe Biden to overtake this lead.
Wolf, if you want to see some of the drama -- this is what the president is mad about. What we just heard from the president of the United States is just plain wrong, I'm sorry, but it's just plain wrong. Yes, yes. In the Election Day count, he pulled well ahead and we all knew they were going to count the mail-in ballots last, legally cast ballot. There are Republican observers in every part of the room. The president keeps saying that's not true. He was talking about Philadelphia. They won a lawsuit to move a few feet closer. They were in the room the entire time. It's not that they can't see this, but let's watch this play out.
Midnight, Tuesday as we went from Election Day into Wednesday, 548,000 so more than a half million vote. It grows to more than 618,000 votes and it starts to come down, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon and Thursday morning, midnight and Thursday at midnight as we change days and we see it come down 164 and you see it come down even more and here we are in real time, 64,000 votes.
And you saw Erie County flip and Allentown flipped, as well, still votes to count in Philadelphia and the president's lead is shrinking. Will Joe Biden overtake him? We have to keep counting the votes. But the trend line is dramatic.
Let's move down to Georgia. Again, the president cannot win re- election without Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes nor can he win without also adding Georgia to that, look at that, 3,486, while the president was on television, forgive me, lying about how the process works, votes come in here in Chatham County and it swung the race dramatically closer, Joe Biden now making up a lot of ground here. And, again, let's play out what has happened in recent days. The president called this a fraud. But if you think about what it's really called, it's called democracy.
Let's go back to the beginning here, let me bring out the state of Georgia for you down here, make sure we have Georgia loaded, so we get the right numbers. And there we go.
This is Wednesday, midnight, Tuesday election night, we're shifting into the early morning hours Wednesday. The president -- yes, he's well ahead and by Wednesday morning as they start to count more votes, the lead shrinks.
You see it more now, 79,000 votes, continues to shrink the 31,000 votes and comes down to 18,000 votes and change and gets to 12,000 votes and then we come back to real time, we're at 3,000 votes.
So, the trend lines here have been unmistakable. As they count the mail-in ballots, ballots that were legally cast by registered votes are, the president's lead is shrinking and we know again that there are enough ballots left in Georgia. There are 18,936, that's from a few minutes ago, a little bit of that could have changed. Joe Biden could win as long as he gets 53 percent of the ballots as it comes through the rest of the count.
Will he get that? We don't know. We need to count the votes and what's happening is democracy and vote counting and there is a Republican governor here, there's a Democratic governor of Pennsylvania -- the officials, the Democrats and Republicans and these senators, again, they are counting votes and the president's lead is slipping and that's what he's mad about and, Wolf, just for the big picture, he's absolutely, the president must win, must win. Joe Biden does not have to.
BLITZER: Let's go back to Philadelphia for a moment, specifically Philadelphia, our decision desk is updating us on the numbers in Philadelphia right now. The new numbers that just came in, 1,467. That's the updated number that we just got.
BLITZER: That went to Biden. He got almost all of the votes --
KING: I see, yeah.
BLITZER: -- that had just come in, 1,467 in Philadelphia County, which is the same as the city of Philadelphia right there. You can see how strong Biden was doing.
KING: That was my mistake. I want to fix it to be fair to the president. I looked down at my notes, he got 1,467, but the math is still the same, 87 percent for Joe Biden -- 87 percent for Joe Biden in the last tranche of votes that came in from Philadelphia. We know there are more votes to come from the city of Philadelphia, 89
percent, this is the backbone, if you will, the building bloc of the Democratic vote in Pennsylvania.
Now, there is no guarantee Joe Biden keeps on this path, but if you watch the path throughout the day, Joe Biden is getting 75 percent or more of the mail-in ballots and again, it's unusual to see a lead like that come down so much, but we are in an unprecedented election where the election day vote was counted first and that's all this red and the president and all those rallies in the final days. To his credit, turned out his vote, but the Democratic vote was disproportionately in those mail-in ballots. That's what they're counting now.
The president's team has every right to challenge any of them and what the president said in the briefing is just not true. They're counting votes and they're counting legally cast votes and his lead is coming down. Again, we'll see, we're at 94 percent and we have a ways to go.
I just want to come over here to reinforce the point. If Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania, game over. He has 273 and once you get to 270 once you're just adding on.
But the real math -- the real way to look at this is where we are, is that Biden is leading out here. Biden can win with this and this. He doesn't need anything else. That doesn't mean he's going to win Nevada and Arizona, but he's leading there right now and the Biden team is quite confident.
The issue, Wolf, is when you come back here. There is just no way, there is no way -- the president we think is going to win North Carolina, the president is going to win Alaska and the president at the moment and let me see if I can touch it right this time, of course, not, let me bring out here and do, Joe Biden is winning this one and this one, the president is leading, Maine does its electoral votes by -- let me bring it back out here, does its electoral votes by congressional district.
So, that's what we think the president is going to get. The question is can he get higher from there? He has to have this and this. There's no way. There's no way, even that's not enough, but he has to have that and that. But right now, his leads are shrinking.
BLITZER: If Biden wins Pennsylvania, it's over. Those 20 electoral votes go to Biden. He's up 273.
Sara Murray is actually in Philadelphia watching all of this unfold.
Sara, what are you seeing? What are you hearing?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, that's right, Wolf. Look, there is a very slim lead right now, 64,000 votes and there are still a lot of votes outstanding here. In Philadelphia county we know there are about 74,000 votes that still have not been counted and there's been this issue in Allegheny County, where they had to sort of pause and they'll resume some counting tomorrow. They have at least 36,000 votes outstanding. And in Bucks County, another big county, Philadelphia suburb, they've got just under 25,000 votes still outstanding.
So there are still pots of ballots to be counted. We're waiting for these mail-in ballots to be counted. One of the things we should keep in mind as we see this stuff slow to a little bit of a trickle is some of these ballots are contending with ballots that had an issue going through the scanner. So they may be dealing with thousands of ballots that they have to count by hand and if it doesn't have a secrecy sleeve, it's not getting counted. If it doesn't have a signature on the outside of the envelope, it's not getting counted.
We're just talking about ballots that had an issue going to these machines and it's going to take a little bit longer to count them by hand. That is one of the things officials are contending with in these various counties. The other thing, of course, is just the sheer volume. We know places like Bucks County, we know in places like here in Philadelphia they are counting 24/7.
But they are trying to do this in a way that is accurate and is just taking a while, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yeah, very, very interesting, Sara.
You know, John, if we take a look at Philadelphia right now, 80 percent for Biden and only 18.8 percent for Trump and that's where -- look, 12 percent of the population of the whole state is in Philadelphia.
KING: And think about, I want to walk through a couple of these counties, and what Sara just said put it into context.
Philadelphia, Joe Biden is getting 80 percent of the vote, right, 80 percent of the vote. In the last count, he got 87 percent of the mail- in ballots. But let's just say he's getting 80 percent of the votes and Sara told us there are 74,000 ballots here, all right, 74,000 ballots. Remember that number, 74,000 ballots.
BLITZER: Add one more zero.
KING: All right. Oh, 7,400, there you go, thank you for that.
So, 74,000 ballots, Joe Biden is getting 80 percent or more in Philadelphia right now. That right there when we come out to the lead, 74,000 there in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania secretary of state says there are a quarter million, 250,666 mail ballots to be counted, 74,000 of them are there.
Move over to Bucks County right here. You have another 25,000 of them are here. This is more evenly split in the total count, but we know earlier in the day with the mail-in ballots, you remember the distinction, Joe Biden is getting a much higher percentage of that.
You got 74,000 there, 36,000 there in blue counties where Joe Biden is voting overwhelmingly, and let's come back up, and as Sara noted, you come over here to Allegheny, where there are 36,000 ballots to be counted, again, Joe Biden is getting roughly 60 percent of the vote out there, and in the mail-in ballots, he's getting a higher percentage of that.
So these ballots they're looking for, 250,000 and change are overwhelmingly in blue, Democratic areas and, again, 225,000 ballots to be cast. The president has a 60 -- to be counted -- 64,266-vote lead and Joe Biden is on a pace right now not only to catch the president, but to pass him and we said earlier if he was getting 70 percent of that vote he would pass the president and pull into a 40,000-vote lead and the math for Joe Biden is actually better than that.
So, the possibility that Joe Biden -- if Joe Biden continues at his current pace, he will not only catch the president and he would open the lead in the ballpark of 40,000 votes.
KING: And what's ironic is if Biden wins Pennsylvania by 40,000 beats, Trump beat Hillary Clinton four years ago by about 40,000, 44,292, specifically. We would have to take note of that as well. But Pennsylvania, that's the whole ball game, 20 electoral votes. If Biden wins those 20 votes, it's all over no matter what happens in the other states.
We're getting new numbers in Arizona right now. We're going to update you on that. All of the latest information coming in.
Much more of our special coverage continues.
BLITZER: All right. Let's get another key race alert. Take a look at these numbers right now. Four contests, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, look at how close the contests are right now.
In Georgia right now, President Trump's lead has shrunk so, so dramatically, it is only 3,486 votes right now and there are thousands of votes outstanding. Mostly mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots that were promoted by the Democrats. They wanted mail-in ballots during the middle of this coronavirus pandemic. The president opposed those ballots and he's paying a serious price for all of the hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots still being counted.
In Nevada right now, Biden is ahead by 11,438 in Nevada. In Arizona, Biden is ahead by 58,953. Trump is ahead in Pennsylvania by 64,266, but that lead has shrunk dramatically, as well and almost all of the remaining ballots are the mail-in ballots coming in and the Democrats and Biden is winning those ballots dramatically right now.
Let's go over to John King and continue this conversation.
John, you're looking at Arizona right now. The Biden lead has shrunk there in Arizona. He still has a lead, but it has shrunk.
KING: So let's play it out. Again, this is one of the states in Georgia and Pennsylvania we're talking about how the president's lead is shrinking.
In Arizona, it's going in a different direction. This is back Tuesday and into Wednesday. Joe Biden ahead, and by 1:00 a.m. it was down to 185 and change and down to 155, 800, and then Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday 3:00 a.m., I'm sorry, down to 130 and as we went through the day, 10:00 a.m. yesterday, 93,000 votes, it falls to 79,000 votes, goes to 69,000 votes and if you go to real time right now it is shy of 59,000 votes.
So, it's the reverse of what we're seeing in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and it's the same question, they were asking can Biden make it up and pass here? We're asking can President Trump make it up and pass? We have to watch as we get the votes. Maricopa County, as always, 60 percent of the state population.
This is where we've been getting small batches of votes coming in throughout the day and this is where the president had narrowed the gap a little bit. So, you pull it out right now, and if you're in the Biden campaign, they're very confident about this. They believe as the vote comes in they'll hold it, but you have to acknowledge the trend right now is that the president is narrowing this gap. This was a state the president won, not by a lot.
Let's go back in time with a four-point, four and a half-point race, and a three and a half-point race, I'm sorry, three and a half point race four years ago. Again, you see Maricopa County here, the largest population center, red for Trump five years ago. You can right here, blue for Biden at the moment right now. This is the battle for America's suburbs. It's playing out across the country, and Biden has been winning it.
It's pretty narrow, though, 58,000 votes and this is a state -- if Biden holds this lead and if Biden holds this lead in Nevada, he would be the president-elect of the United States without Georgia or without Pennsylvania, but we're still counting.
BLITZER: Let's check in with Kyung Lah, she's in Phoenix for us right now.
What are you hearing over there? What are you seeing, Kyung?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're just getting a response from a GOP source who is looking at the very same numbers and this GOP source is saying this is going very well. What they are looking at is the exact gap that you're talking about. How it is shrinking between the president and the former vice president. So as that number continues to shrink, certainly the mood among the GOP here in Arizona is rising.
So what they are looking for, though. In about an hour and 15 minutes is what is going to come out of the department here at Maricopa County, the elections department. They are still counting the votes. They are in just over an hour going to be releasing the latest ballot results and that ballot result will be very important on how the president is doing here in the state. We don't have an exact number of how many ballots will be coming out,
but that is going to tell us which direction the president's going. So a lot of eyes here in Arizona on that.
And meanwhile, we've been talking about those protests. Very calm protests out here. It is fenced off, this area, just to separate and bring some distance between the elections department and the people who are here, but it has been exceptionally peaceful throughout the day.
A lot of families. A lot of flags. But this is what they wanted to see here if this was going to happen, that they were able to gather outside, have their say and then hopefully and peacefully go home.
BLITZER: All right. Kyung Lah on the scene for us out in Arizona.
You know, John, it's interesting, when the numbers shrink in the president's favor, as they are in Arizona right now, that's legal and that's totally acceptable.
That's very, very good. But when the numbers shrink in Georgia or Pennsylvania, that's a fraud, according to the president of the United States. He makes no sense.
KING: No, a polite way to put it would be it's an intellectual inconsistency. The right way to put it would be, it's just all politics and it's a shame, and you're right, it makes no sense.
The president says keep counting votes as long as I'm doing well. Stop counting votes if it takes away my lead.
That's not the way it works. We count votes everywhere. If the president catches up, I just want to show you some numbers here.
This is what happened, this is why the lead Trump a little bit. We did get more votes in Maricopa County. Biden got 3,040. The president got 9,266. So, essentially, a 6,000-vote pick-up for the president here.
And guess what, Mr. President? We're going to count the votes. If they favor you, we're going to show that. If they don't, we're going to show that. That's how democracy works. We're just counting votes.
We're doing math, as the honest people and all these voting. Where Kyung is here. Martin Savidge was in Chatham. All our correspondents are. We just talked to Sara Murray.
They're just watching people. That's the key point about this. If you're a Trump supporter, go online. Most of these places have cameras. All of them are posting their results.
This is happening transparently. There are Democrats and Republicans in every one of these rooms. If they see something wrong, they have every right to challenge it, but you have to prove it, you can't just say it.
What you heard from the president was reckless. Again, he said earlier stop the count. If we stop the count right now, Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States because he's leading in Arizona and Nevada and the president would stop what possibly would be a Trump comeback.
We don't know yet. We're still counting votes. Biden thinks it will stay.
But this state right now is trending in the president's direction. Would he like us to stop the count, just give it to Joe Biden? I think not. It makes no sense.
But I'll just leave it there. It makes no sense and is completely contrary of what he is saying here and here. And I just want to check because it has been changing, it stays the same. Right now, again, Joe Biden has been making up ground at a very steady pace. The president still ahead in Georgia. Jump in, please, any time.
KING: Just want to check on Pennsylvania again. It's the same. We're watching just to see, you know, these counties are counting votes and they report them when they can. In these places, out here in the west, Arizona and Nevada, they tend to do it more on a schedule. In Georgia and Pennsylvania, they're just doing it when a county has enough, they pop them up and head up to the website.
BLITZER: You know, those 15 minutes -- that 15-minute speech that the president delivered in the briefing room at the White House, wasn't at a hotel, wasn't at a campaign rally, it was the White House speaking as president of the United States.
You and I are former White House correspondents. Do you ever remember a time, John, when a president would walk into a briefing room like that and make a statement that was so full of lies and so very, very dangerous that only America's adversaries, whether Russia or China or North Korea or Iran, they would say, look, there's great political dissent. There's chaos in the United States. That's what we've been trying to achieve all these years, to weaken the American democracy. And that's what we saw.
KING: Right. Look, we covered the Bill Clinton White House at the same time during the impeachment. There were times when Bill Clinton walked into official rooms in the White House and lied about his personal conduct and his personal behavior. We can't put that under the rug. That's true.
He was the president of the United States. He was a Democrat. He said some things in those days that were flat-out lies. They were about his personal behavior and the investigation of him, so Republicans out there will say he was trying to undermine an investigation of him. It's a fair point.
But consistently attacking the institutions of American democracy, no, even as Bill Clinton was criticizing the investigation, he did ultimately after resisting for a while testify. This president of the United States is attacking the most sacred institution of American democracy, which is voting. That's all we're doing here tonight is counting legally-cast votes.
BLITZER: And America's adversaries can sit back and smile.
We're expecting new votes to come in from key battleground states very, very soon.
Stay with us. ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA continues.
BLITZER: This hour, two important presidential battlegrounds are moving more and more in Joe Biden's direction.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
The former vice president has nearly wiped out President Trump's lead in Georgia.