WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday canceled plans to travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to join his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Republican state lawmakers for a hearing on allegations of election fraud, according to multiple reports.
What You Need To Know
- President Trump reportedly planned to travel to Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania, with Rudy Giuliani for a hearing on alleged voter fraud but canceled his plans Wednesday
- The White House said there were no changes to the president’s public schedule, which showed no events Wednesday
- A Trump campaign strategist who had been in close contact with Giuliani said Wednesday he tested positive for COVID-19, although it’s not clear if that affected Trump’s plans
Several news organizations, citing sources familiar with the plans, reported that Trump was expected to attend the event. But White House spokesman Judd Deere said Wednesday there was no update to the president’s public schedule, which shows no events for the day.
It would have been the first time Trump left the Washington area since the Nov. 3 election.
While it’s not clear why the president apparently altered his plans, Trump campaign strategist Boris Epshteyn announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Epshteyn has been in close contact with Giuliani in recent days, including at Thursday’s press conference in Washington.
Also in attendance was Giuliani’s son, Andrew, who works at the White House and announced a day later that he had tested positive.
While the White House never announced Trump’s planned participation in the Gettysburg event, the Federal Aviation Administration had placed a flight restriction over the area, and Giuliani had teased it was a possibility in a radio interview en route to the event.
Giuliani still attended the hearing. At one point during the hearing, campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, who sat next to Giuliani, held up a speakerphone with Trump on the line. The president repeated many of his false claims.
“This was an election that we won easily,” he said. “We won it by a lot. … This election was rigged, and we can’t let that happen. We can’t let it happen for our country, and this election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot, and we won a lot of these swing states by a lot.”
“We have to turn the election over because there’s no doubt because we have all the evidence, all the affidavits, we have everything,” the president added. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion or having another kind of a problem.”
Trump’s remarks were applauded by the largely unmasked audience in attendance. Giuliani and Ellis were wearing masks.
Trump has not conceded the election to Joe Biden and continues to make repeated baseless claims about widespread voter fraud. Most major media outlets called the election for Biden on Nov. 7.
The Trump campaign has filed dozens of lawsuits in battleground states but has repeatedly lost in court and failed to prevent any evidence of fraud that might overturn Biden’s victory.
On Monday, the General Services Administration ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner of the election, beginning the formal transition process. Trump tweeted that he authorized GSA Administrator Emily Murphy to begin the process, but he has carried on with his claims of a rigged election.
A broad coalition of top government and industry officials says the Nov. 3 election was “the most secure in American history.”
On Saturday, a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeking to invalidate millions of votes. Judge Matthew Brann said the campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.”
Biden won Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral College votes by more than 80,000 votes. Pennsylvania certified the results Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.