DONALD Trump's campaign has dropped a claim that 700,000 ballots were illegally cast in Pennsylvania, a key part of his attempts to stop the certification of the election results in the state.
Despite the step, the outgoing president continues to make unfounded claims of election fraud and insist: "I WON THE ELECTION!"
Ahead of a Tuesday hearing for a lawsuit brought by the campaign, Trump's legal team withdrew an attempt to have 682,479 mail-in and absentee votes voided.
The attempt was based on claims that the votes were processed without representatives of the president being able to watch.
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf had previously said that ballot watchers from all parties had been allowed to watch the whole process and that "any insinuation otherwise is a lie".
The suit now rests on claims that Democratic voters were given more opportunity to "cure" defective ballots than Republican voters.
Multiple major news outlets called Pennsylvania and the election in Joe Biden's favour last week, but the president has refused to concede, instead launching lawsuits in a number of key battleground states.
The state is due to certify its result on November 23.
On Sunday, Trump did appear to acknowledge's Biden victory, tweeting "He won because the Election was Rigged", but later rowed back, writing: "He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING!"
He later said: "Why does the Fake News Media continuously assume that Joe Biden will ascend to the Presidency, not even allowing our side to show, which we are just getting ready to do, how badly shattered and violated our great Constitution has been in the 2020 Election."
He then added: "I WON THE ELECTION!"
The posts have repeatedly been flagged as disputed and containing misleading information by twitter.
VOTE TALLIES 'NOT EVEN CLOSE'
The presidential campaign saw Trump repeatedly claim that mail-in ballots – the use of which surged this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and which were used more by Democrats than Republicans – were vulnerable to voter fraud.
He is yet to produce any evidence to support the claims or of voted fraud committed during the election earlier this month.
The remainder of the Pennsylvania suit alleges that a number of Democrat-voting counties allowed voters to "cure" defective ballots, while other Republican-voting counties didn't.
Curing is a process where voters are given the opportunity to come to a polling station and fix problems with their ballot, such as a missing inner "secrecy envelope" or voter signature on the outer envelope.
Cliff Levine, a lawyer for the Democratic National Committee, said it wasn't certain how many voters were allowed to cure their ballots, but that it would be far below the 70,000 vote lead Biden currently has in Pennsylvania.
"The numbers aren't even close to the margin between the two candidates, not even close," Levine said.
He added: "They really should be suing the counties that didn't allow [voters] to make corrections.
"The goal should be making sure every vote counts."
Prior to the election Pennsylvania was seen as a key battleground state, but Biden's lead nationally is now such that he would win the presidency even without Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes.
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