WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Trump on Friday met with Republican lawmakers from a swing state that he is still contesting and he claimed a major pharmaceutical company delayed announcing a potentially-breakthrough coronavirus vaccine until after the election to hurt him politically.
The president who has had little to say in public for days, chose a briefing on lowering drug prices to air a list of grievances tied to the election he has yet to concede.
“Big pharma ran millions of dollars of negative ads against me during the campaign, which I won, by the way. But we’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes,” said President Trump. “We had big pharma against us. We had the media against us. We had big tech against us, we had a lot of dishonesty against us.”
He has claimed without proof, that the drug company – Pfizer – the Food and Drug Administration and unidentified Democrats conspired to suppress news of a possible vaccine until after Nov. 3. Pfizer says there is no truth to that charge but the president repeated it today.
“They waited and waited and waited and they though they’d come out with it a few days after the election. And it would have probably had an impact, who knows. Maybe it wouldn’t have,” said Trump. “I’m sure they would have found the ballots some place, the Democrats.
The Trump legal team has argued, with little success in court, that as part of a coordinated conspiracy millions of those ballots were deleted, discarded or actually switched from the Trump to the Biden column by corrupted voting machines. It’s a charge the federal agency that oversees U.S. election security has said is untrue.
However Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers for the president have aired suspicions that the machines’ manufacturer – a company called Dominion Voting Systems – was connected in some way to Venezuela and its autocratic leader Hugo Chavez who died seven years ago. Friday Dominion said it is a non-partisan American company based in Denver.
The president hosted a group of Republican state lawmakers from Michigan this evening for what the White House called a “routine” meeting. But it came as he and his allies pressed for delays in final vote certifications in Michigan and other states where Mr. Biden won. Michigan is set to certify its totals as soon as next Monday Nov. 23.
The president has also called local election officials in swing states Mr. Biden won.
“It’s an abuse of office,” said Bob Bauer, a Biden campaign lawyer. ”It’s an open attempt to intimidate election officials. It’s absolutely appalling.”
But after their meeting in the oval office, Michigan Senate President Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield released a statement that appeared to lower the temperature a bit.
“We have not been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan” according to the joint statement. “And as legislative leaders, we follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.”
Former Vice President Biden won Michigan by more than 150,000 votes.