Donald Trump has welcomed the start of a 'forensic' recount of last year's presidential election vote in Arizona's largest city Phoenix.
The former president thanked the "brave and patriotic Republican State senators" for ordering a full audit of the 2.1 million votes in Maricopa County, which he said would expose the "large scale Voter Fraud which took place in the 2020 Presidential Election."
The recount, projected to take six weeks, is set to begin next week after Democratic Party lawyers declined to put up a $1 million bond to cover costs of delaying it pending legal action. The Arizona state Senate has secured all ballots from last November's election in the custody of electronic security firm Cyber Ninjas.
The official result — not announced until weeks after the election — handed Arizona and its 11 electoral college votes to Biden by a margin of just 10,500 votes, or 0.3 per cent. Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix, had almost 2.6 million registered voters from a population of some 4.5 million ahead of polling day.
Trump slammed legal efforts by President Joe Biden's Democratic Party to have the recount halted — taking that as proof of wrongdoing on their part and saying they feared recounts in other swing states he lost by tight margins.
"The Democrats, upon hearing the news of the Court Order, have sent 73 lawyers to Arizona in an effort to stop this recount and full transparency because THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DID!" he trumpeted.
"The Democrats are desperate for the FRAUD to remain concealed because, when revealed, the Great States of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire, and the Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, would be forced to complete the work already started."
"The Democrats are 'swarming' the Great State of Arizona trying to get the Forensic Election Audit stopped, because only they know exactly what they’ve done, and they understand Voter Fraud far better than anyone," Trump added in a second statement on Saturday.
The political outsider also laid into Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a fellow Republican, for failing to support the push for a recount — and demanded he provide security for the "brave American patriots" conducting the audit.
Ducey was "shockingly of zero help to the State Senate" Trump wrote. "He wants to 'pretend' the election was free and fair. What are he and the Maricopa County Commissioners trying to hide?"
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) April 24, 2021
Despite conceding the transition of power to Biden on January 20, the ex-president has continued to claim he was cheated of victory based on numerous reported — and some proven — irregularities, as well as changes to rules for mail-in voting that were not approved by state legislatures.
The Biden administration has already made itself unpopular in Arizona and other southern border states by reversing many of Trump's moves to stem illegal immigration, prompting a humanitarian crisis as people traffickers exploit tens of thousands rushing to cross the border from Mexico. Ducey sent 250 National Guard troops to the frontier earlier this week, accusing Washington of inaction.
"Our country needs the truth of the scam 2020 Election to be exposed," Trump said. "If it is not, just as if we have 'no borders,' we cannot be a Great Nation. Honest elections are America’s Heart and Soul."