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Amash calls Trump speech 'despotic' after he falsely asserts win

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

West Michigan U.S. Rep. Justin Amash called President Donald Trump's premature victory speech at the White House early Wednesday "the most dishonest and despotic speeches ever given by a president of the United States."

Amash, a frequent Trump critic, reacted on Twitter after the president spoke from the East Room of the White House, claiming he had already won reelection even though millions of votes had yet to be counted in battleground states, including Michigan. 

Trump claimed that "a very sad group of people" was trying to “disenfranchise” Trump voters and that he "won’t stand for it." He vowed he would go to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting of ballots. 

In Michigan, Trump was ahead of Biden 53% to 45% early Wednesday, with 69% of precincts reporting. 

“We’re winning Michigan,” Trump said, ticking off states where he was ahead in the early returns.

Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016, which was his narrowest margin of victory at 47.5% to 47.3%. 

Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington in this Dec. 18, 2019, file photo.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said late Tuesday that Michigan would have all votes counted by Wednesday night. 

In addition to Michigan, states with unresolved results early Wednesday were Pennsylvania,  Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona. 

Amash earlier noted that Trump was under-performing his 2016 numbers by a significant margin in Kent County — the most populous part of Amash's district — in precincts that had fully reported.

Amash has represented the Grand Rapids area for 10 years and saw his national profile soar after he became the only Republican member of Congress to support Trump's impeachment.

Amash left the Republican Party in 2019, became an independent, then launched a brief exploratory bid to run for president on the Libertarian ticket.

He is retiring from Congress at the end of this term after 10 years in the U.S. House. 

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington.