Election Night 2020 was a tense affair, if nowhere near as bleak-o-rama as the one in 2016, when reality star and fitfully successful businessman Donald J. Trump claimed a surprise presidential win. While far from a blow-out for either party, it found the incumbent commander-in-chief seeming to take more states than his many detractors would have liked. But then came the mail-in ballots, submitted in record numbers, largely by Democratic voters, who have taken the pandemic more seriously than their Republican brethren. By Wednesday, Trump’s grip was loosening, and hotly contested states like Michigan and Wisconsin were sliding into rival Joe Biden’s hands.
Did Trump take kindly to the counting of legally submitted votes? He did not. He filled his Twitter feed with fraudulent conspiracy theories, many of them flagged and censored by the social media service. He sicced lawyers on numerous Boards of Elections, attempting to stop people from counting ballots that likely weren’t for him. As the afternoon drew to a close, he got really desperate: he simply declared victory over states in which he hadn’t officially won.
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. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
“We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers),” he tweeted, “the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,…..” The first tweet ended there, on a cliffhanger, whose resolution was hard to read because it was censored for spreading lies. (For the record, he claimed, without proof, that there was “a large number of secretly dumped ballots,” which had “been widely reported.” It hadn’t been.)
Perhaps you’re asking a president can simply claim victory in states he hasn’t won. The answer is no. (Moreover, the first tweet, while not hidden, was adorned with a warning, pointing out that “Official sources may not have called the race when it was Tweeted” — which isn’t true either, because official sources have called Michigan for Biden.) In fact the moment had strong Michael Scott “I declare bankruptcy!” energy — another doofus who’s questionably amassed power, proving how little he knows about how what he controls works.
At least his citizenry — who, if numbers hold, may not be his to lord over in a few months — were quick to point out his mistaken impression.
Perhaps I missed this in civics class, but to my knowledge you don’t get to claim anything. https://t.co/t8h9Ph1MJT
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) November 4, 2020
when you think winning the presidency is like calling shotgun for a car ride https://t.co/NeNsHVaBYm
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) November 4, 2020
Some followed suit, claiming other places, however fictitious, over Twitter.
We claim the moon, two flying saucers, a fleet of trained dolphins, and a goddamn pony. https://t.co/rvgIRp062l
— DSA 🌹 (@DemSocialists) November 4, 2020
I have claimed, for Residential/Vacation purposes, a mansion in Pacific Heights, a beach house in Monterey and a ski house in Tahoe. Additionally, I hereby claim a condo in Hawaii. (Does this mean I get them? This is fun!) https://t.co/4S17K5xCn7
— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) November 4, 2020
If we’re just making shit up now, I have claimed Narnia, Middle Earth, the Netherworld, and Valhalla! https://t.co/iddyqIpAdV
— 💀💀Mark Broods💀💀 (@MarkBrooksArt) November 4, 2020
I hereby claim Cloudcuckooland, Narnia and Lothlorien. https://t.co/lm3amHImE6
— Chris Weitz (@chrisweitz) November 4, 2020
— Kids in the Hall (@KITHOnline) November 4, 2020
— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) November 4, 2020
Others claimed other ludicrous things.
— Eagles Nation (3-4-1) (@PHLEaglesNation) November 4, 2020
I hereby claim NBA Finals MVP.
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) November 4, 2020
I have claimed for COVID quarantine purposes Mara Lago, Trump Tower and Trump Hotel. https://t.co/uaOzs45cDA
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) November 4, 2020
Or made bold proclamations.
I hereby claim that Twix are better than Snickers https://t.co/2SnZZ530nq
— Tom DeLonge (@tomdelonge) November 4, 2020
And some just mocked a man who may, at long last, be down.
I claim, for repulsion purposes, your diseased mind, your bag of orange face-crayons and your race-baiting playbook for the Trump Museum of Horrors, to be erected on the site of Trump Tower, NY, to remind humankind of one of the uglier chapters in our history.#ClaimThis#Loser https://t.co/0sqDSxgM7l
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 4, 2020
He’s applying “when you’re a star they let you do it” logic to stealing an election, but he’s not a star, he’s just disgraced lame-duck president Donald Trump. https://t.co/5iIMllgUnX
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) November 4, 2020
How long before Trump goes full Caligula and declares his golf buggy a senator? https://t.co/xTNNFQyCNZ
— Tom Scott (@Tom___Scott) November 4, 2020
he is literally the kid who shuts the Xbox off when he’s about to lose https://t.co/tDpLYlO0vy
— Jonathan Morrison 🙋🏻♂️ (@tldtoday) November 4, 2020
And some reminded us about one of his first stops after relinquishing the presidency.
I have claimed for petty purposes the front row center seat of your eventual trial in NYC (I hope they allow observers!) I want to be the first to see you in a jumpsuit that matches your skin & without your combover.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) November 4, 2020