Elections officials in several key states hurried to finish counting all outstanding votes as Americans could finally learn who won Tuesday's presidential election.
Joe Biden maintained his Electoral College lead over President Donald Trump, overtaking the president in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Trump, meanwhile, vowed to "pursue this process through every aspect of the law" Friday after offering a series of false claims about election integrity in defiant remarks from the White House the day before, and is mounting a legal blitz across several battleground states.
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ADL asks Pelosi, McCarthy to keep QAnon-backing lawmakers off committees
WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation League is asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to block committee assignments for new members who have supported the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement.
The civil rights group's CEO and national director, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, sent the House leaders a letter urging them "to take note of any members of the 117th Congress who have endorsed, given credence to or intentionally promoted QAnon content, to remove them from the Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference, and to decline to assign them to Congressional committees."
While the letter, obtained by NBC news and dated to last week, didn't name names, Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has attracted national attention for having promoted QAnon content.
A spokesman for McCarthy, who as caucus leader oversees Republican committee assignments, didn't immediately respond to an email asking if Greene will be permitted on panels.
The Democratic-led House voted in October to condemn QAnon in a resolution which noted that "many QAnon followers express anti-Semitic views." FBI agents have linked the extremist movement to domestic terrorism threats. Greenblatt said barring QAnon's promoters from committees would send the right message.
"Such a decisive and meaningful action will make clear that the U.S. House of Representatives will not allow division to take hold under the banner of such conspiratorial belief systems," he wrote. "Silence and inaction in the face of such unacceptable conduct allows the conspiracy to grow unchallenged."
Republicans battle on Twitter over support for Trump's baseless election fraud claims
GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas and incoming GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia had a war of words on Twitter Friday over supporting Trump's baseless claims of fraud and falsely declaring victory.
The Republican infighting started when Greene, a Georgia businesswoman who has expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and has been criticized for a series of racist comments, suggested Crenshaw was giving up and criticized him for having a "loser mindset" after he said in a tweet "we must accept the final results when it is over."
Crenshaw then pushed back against Greene, who also hinted at retribution for Republicans who aren't supporting the president, questioning whether she is "just purposely lying so you can talk tough?"
"No one said give up. I literally said investigate every irregularity and use the courts. You’re a member of Congress now, Marjorie. Start acting like one," he tweeted.
NBC News projected that Greene, a staunch Trump supporter, won her House race for Georgia's 14th Congressional District on Tuesday. Crenshaw, also a loyal Trump supporter, won re-election to represent Texas' 2nd Congressional District.
Photo: Naked Cowboy exchanges words with Biden supporter in N.Y.C.'s Times Square
GOP Sen. Perdue's campaign is preparing for 'coming runoff' in Georgia
NBC News has yet to make a projection in their race, but Sen. David Perdue's campaign said Friday that it's preparing for a runoff election against Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia.
A runoff election between Perdue and Ossoff could be pivotal for control of the U.S. Senate, and would come Jan. 5 - the same day Georgia is holding another Senate runoff election between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
"The stakes in this election could not be higher: a vote for Ossoff is a vote to hand power to Chuck Schumer and the radical Democrats in Washington," Perdue campaign manager Ben Fry said in a statement. "Georgians won't let that happen."
"We are excited for overtime," Fry added, citing Perdue's "commanding lead."
With 98 percent of the vote in, Perdue is leading Ossoff by 2 percentage points, and is .2 percent under the 50 percent total vote threshold he needs to win the seat outright.
Ossoff told reporters in Atlanta earlier Friday that he too believed "this race is headed to a runoff," but maintained that "we have all the momentum, all the energy, and we’re on the right side of history." "Retirement is coming for Sen. David Perdue," Ossoff said.
Bossie to lead Trump's election challenges
President Trump’s campaign has tasked David Bossie, his deputy campaign manager in 2016 and the head of the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, to lead its efforts to challenge election results in several states, including Arizona and Pennsylvania, according to a person familiar with the decision.
Bossie has already been involved in coordinating the legal efforts and in communication with lawyers involved, a person familiar with the strategy said. But it is unclear if he will serve the same role that James Baker did for George W. Bush in 2000, coordinating the legal response and strategy.
The New York Times first reported Bossie would take the lead on election litigation.
Photo: Alex Jones joins protesters in Maricopa County
Pennsylvania GOP asks Supreme Court to stop count of mail-in ballots that arrived after Tuesday
Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to order election officials to stop counting mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day.
"The vote in Pennsylvania may well determine the next president of the United States," the party said in its emergency application. The GOP said that although the state's top election official has directed all counties to separate out the ballots that arrive after Election Day but before 5 p.m. Friday, it is unclear whether all the counties are obeying that directive.
The Republicans said the state Supreme Court had no authority to extend the mail-in ballot deadline, and therefore any votes cast during the extended period should not be counted. They asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order all counties to keep the late ballots separate and not to count them. Otherwise, they said, it might not be possible to remove those ballots from the count if the party later prevails on its argument that the deadline extension was illegal.
The party asked for a ruling "as soon as possible." The court will likely seek a response from the state before acting.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords celebrates husband Mark Kelly's Senate win
You think vote counting in Nevada and Pennsylvania is slow? Think again.
The counting of ballots in some of the key swing states that remain too close to call may seem to be moving at a snail's pace, but actually, there are several states where the ballot counting is slower.
All eyes are on the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania and they are all still sifting through piles of mailed-in votes. All of these states have reported more than 90 percent of the votes that came in, but they're still counting.
Three states, however, have a significantly slower count underway. In California, which NBC News projects Biden won, the state has 77 percent of the vote tallied, with more than 3.6 million left to count. In Maryland, another state that Biden won, 70 percent of the vote has been counted with more than 949,000 ballots left to count.
Alaska, a solid red state and the nation's largest geographically, only has 56 percent of the vote in, with 194,000 ballots remaining that need to be counted. And no, Alaska doesn't use dog sled teams to deliver ballots.
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Pennsylvania appeals court orders some provisional ballots to be set aside for now
A state appeals court in Pennsylvania has ordered the secretary of state to notify all local election officials that they must set aside provisional ballots that were cast by voters as a way to fix problems with their mail-in ballots.
The court will later decide whether those votes can be counted. The issue is the practice of letting mail-in voters fix problems on their ballots or instead cast provisional ballots to solve the problems.
Republicans say state law doesn't allow that. Democrats say while state law doesn't explicitly provide for the practice, it doesn't prohibit it, either.