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Trump told one falsehood after another about the presidential race. Here are the facts.

Ballots are not being found, as Trump claims. The regular process of counting mail-in votes in key states is ongoing.
Image: Donald Trump, NAT Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Thursday.Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump, who hadn't spoken publicly since an address early Wednesday, delivered remarks Thursday evening about the state of the undecided presidential election that were largely false.

Here's what Trump said from the White House, and the facts.

'If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.'

This is entirely false. There's no evidence that any fraudulent ballots have been counted, no winner has been called in the race, and what's happening right now in the battleground states isn't the counting of "illegal ballots."

In Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina — all states that are too close to call — the regular counting and reporting of valid ballots are ongoing.

Behind the president's claims is the fact that officials in those states weren't permitted to begin processing mail ballots until Election Day. Democrats were more likely to vote by mail. The in-person vote Tuesday favored Trump, but as larger metro counties continue to count and report the millions of stored-up early ballots, Joe Biden has cut into Trump's early leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia. (Trump, meanwhile, has chipped away at Biden's lead in Arizona as more votes are tallied.)

NBC News contributor David Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for The Cook Political Report, wrote about this scenario before the election here.

The president spent months condemning mail balloting, and more Democrats chose to use that voting method. But the timing of counting absentee ballots and Democrats' use of it aren't indications of fraud. Election officials in states like Arizona, where races have taken days to call in the past, have urged patience. Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, thanked the "voters of Arizona for having patience" Thursday evening on Twitter.

Mail-in voting 'really destroyed our system. It's a corrupt system. They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them.'

This claim, casting doubt on the integrity of American elections, is false. There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud, according to numerous studies, and there are a number of safeguards in place to ensure the security of mail ballots and prevent fraud.

Ballots aren't being found, as Trump claims. The regular process of counting mail ballots in these key states is simply ongoing.

'In Georgia, a pipe burst in a faraway location, totally unrelated to the location of what was happening, but they stopped counting for four hours, and a lot of things happened.'

While a pipe burst and it did delay ballot counting for two — not four — hours, there's no evidence that any wrongdoing occurred during this time frame.

'The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats.'

False. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is a Republican whom Trump endorsed.

The race has tightened between Biden and Trump in the state as eligible ballots are counted and reported.

"Officials in numerous counties are continuing to count ballots, with strong security protocols in place to protect the integrity of our election," Raffensperger said in a statement Thursday evening. "We have long anticipated — and said publicly — that counting would most likely take place into Wednesday night and perhaps Thursday morning. We're on pace to accomplish that responsibly, ensuring that the voice of every eligible voter is heard. It's important to act quickly, but it's more important to get it right."

Of Pennsylvania, 'They don't want us to have any observers.'

This claim is false, as is this one that the president made later in his remarks: "Our campaign has been denied access to observe any counting in Detroit."

There are poll observers in both states, although the Trump campaign went to court over where Republican watchers were allowed to stand in Philadelphia. In Detroit, absentee ballots were being counted in the convention center, and the GOP was allowed 134 poll watchers, according to The Associated Press.

"It's amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided," Trump said during his news conference.

The president spent months urging his supporters to vote in person, condemning mail voting as fraudulent. More Democrats chose to vote by mail during the pandemic.

Claims about the outcomes

Trump made a string of claims about what happened in Tuesday's election, essentially claiming to have won — or nearly won — every swing state.

"We were ahead in the vote in North Carolina by a lot, tremendous number of votes, and we are still ahead by a lot, but not as many, because they are finding ballots all of a sudden," Trump said.

"I won Pennsylvania by a lot, and that gets whittled down to — I think they said we're up to 90,000.

"Likewise, in Georgia, I won by a lot," he said. "In Michigan, we're way up in Michigan, won the state. In Wisconsin we did likewise, fantastically well, and that got whittled down. In every case, they got whittled down."

All of these claims are false. Officials aren't "finding ballots" in North Carolina; they are continuing to count ballots. NBC News has characterized Pennsylvania and Georgia as too close to call, and NBC News has projected that Biden won Michigan and is the apparent winner of Wisconsin.

Trump also claimed that Republicans "kept the Senate."

That isn't yet decided. Five Senate races haven't been called by NBC News. Republicans need to win two to three more seats to officially keep control of the Senate, depending on who wins the presidential election.

"We lost zero races in the House," Trump said.

In North Carolina, two open seats previously occupied by Republicans were won by Democrats. North Carolina's voting maps were redrawn ahead of the election.