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Trump, in White House video, delivers 46-minute rant on ‘rigged’ election

WASHINGTON – President Trump released a 46-minute video speech on Wednesday denouncing a “rigged” and lies-filled election the day after his own attorney general joined election officials across the country to attest to his defeat.

Mr. Trump recorded what he said “perhaps the most important speech I have ever given” in the diplomatic room of the White House and delivered it behind a lectern bearing the presidential seal. He then posted a two-minute version on Twitter, with a link to the full version on his Facebook page.

The president again refused to concede defeat in his reelection bid almost a month after election day, repeating a long list of false claims about voter fraud and accusing Democrats of conspiring to steal the presidency.

Twitter quickly called the post “contested.” Facebook added a note that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who received nearly 81 million votes and 306 electoral votes, is the expected winner of the election.

The video, which a White House official said was recorded last week, was the in-person embodiment of Mr. Trump’s staccato tweets over the past three weeks: lies after others about voting irregularities in the Swing states, attacks on state officials, and signature checks. and false accusations against Democrats.

The president’s rambling claims in the video were significantly denied on Tuesday, when Attorney General William P. Barr told The Associated Press that despite investigations by the Department of Justice and the FBI, “ to date, we did not see fraud on a scale that could have produced a different result in the election.

On the same day, a Republican election official in Georgia criticized him for inciting violence and a wave of death threats.

“Sir. Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language,” said Gabriel Sterling, head of voting systems in Georgia. “Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”

At the end of the video, Mr. Trump improbably described himself as the defender of the US electoral system, saying he was told that the most important achievement of his presidency would be to protect the integrity of the electoral system.

It was unclear why Mr. Trump waited until Wednesday to release the video. But he made it public after a series of reprimands from members of his own party, who increasingly abandoned him by refusing to recognize the election results.

The president’s legal team, led by his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has lost dozens of lawsuits across the country while making savage claims without any evidence to back them up.

Some of the president’s main Republican allies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere have urged him to move on in recent days. Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has been visibly silent on Mr. Trump’s claims, finally spoke this week about the “new administration” that would take over next year, a clear signal to Mr. Trump as his time in the office was drawing to a close.

But he retains the support of a core of voters who reacted quickly to his latest attack on the election. Within hours, his tweet had been “liked” by nearly 134,000 Twitter users and his Facebook video had been shared 93,000 times.

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