Trump tweets about voter ‘fraud’ during G-20 opening meeting

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Through: Bloomberg |

Nov. 22, 2020, 7:37 a.m.


President Donald Trump during an interview with reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington (Erin Schaff / The New York Times)

As leaders around the world, a virtual summit discuss the problems of coronavirus pandemic in the face of climate change, Donald Trump’s thoughts were elsewhere – on fighting the US election.

The president kept his head down, looking at something on his desk out of sight during a nine-minute speech Saturday by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who greeted countries attending a meeting of the Group of 20 nations hosted by his kingdom. Speeches and images from other leaders were broadcast live on the official G-20 website.

Then, moments after the monarch finished his speech, Trump tweeted to comment on a meeting with Republican leaders in the Michigan state legislature. He promised: “We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!”

Optics underscored Trump’s disinterest in such forums. After a flurry of tweets, he made his own remarks before leaving the virtual session and heading to his golf course near Washington, DC Trump has only appeared in public occasionally since his election defeat, although he continues to insist that he won and pursues a long time – launched legal strategies to cling to power.

This included an apparent effort to pressure state lawmakers to simply reject the public results and return their state to him. Trump’s message after the Saudi King’s remarks was in response to a tweet from Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who met Trump in the White House on Friday with Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield. “We have not yet been notified of any information that would change the outcome of the Michigan election,” Shirkey and Chatfield wrote in a joint statement.

Trump then sent out further tweets alleging voter fraud and commenting on his son, who was diagnosed with Covid. It was even then that the leaders continued their discussions in private.

The President has often clashed with other leaders at these summits over the past four years, especially on issues such as multilateralism, climate change and international trade.

In his own opening remarks to the meeting, Trump said the United States under his leadership has made the world a safer place, strengthening NATO, defeating Islamic State and fighting terrorism, according to two G-20 officials in the United States. current debates. He claimed America had been effective in combating the pandemic while touting low unemployment and what he said was skyrocketing demand in the US economy.

More precisely on a Covid-19 vaccine, Trump reiterated his long-held position that “All Americans” who wanted one should have access, according to an official familiar with his remarks – imply that such plans should be optional. He praised the progress of Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. in particular, the official said.

Unlike other leaders, Trump has not spoken about the need to share vaccines around the world, especially with poorer countries. He also urged his fellow leaders to reject the lockdown measures as a tool to control the virus, an official said.

Shortly after his remarks, Trump left the virtual session – as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke – and was replaced first by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and then by White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, according to officials familiar with the meeting. Some other leaders also fell after giving their speeches, they said.

A US official said it was common practice for leaders to come and go during such summits, which can last for many hours. The official, who asked not to be identified to discuss private matters, said the president stayed at least for the first hour of the meeting.

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