WASHINGTON — The federal government could play a role in the unfolding election controversy in Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach counties, President Donald Trump suggested to reporters Friday.
“Bad things are going on in Broward Country, really bad things,” Trump said from the White House South Lawn. “I think that people have to look at it very, very cautiously.”
Trump’s comments come the day after Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the state’s Republican candidate for Senate, filed a lawsuit against the elections supervisor in Broward County demanding additional transparency as votes continue to be tallied.
Scott ran against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in Tuesday’s midterm elections and appeared to have had a comfortable lead.
However, Broward and Palm Beach counties — both Democratic strongholds — are continuing to present uncounted ballots, diminishing Scott’s lead and closing a gap that could trigger an automatic recount.
The counties’ results also are tightening the results of the race between gubernatorial candidates Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Gillum conceded on Tuesday night, but has since retracted his announcement.
Trump seized on the controversy Friday, taking swipes at Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes — who has previously been accused of destroying ballots — as well as Marc Elias, the attorney representing Nelson.
Elias was the general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and also previously worked for Fusion GPS, the intelligence firm that compiled a dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump has previously dismissed the dossier as “phony.”
The president continued to weigh in on Florida after boarding Air Force One en route to France.
You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia – but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Trump also was referencing Georgia’s gubernatorial race, in which Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams’ campaign is positioning itself for a recount.
UPDATE: As the lead-up to a likely recount heats up, Nelson’s team filed a lawsuit of their own against the Florida Secretary of State attempting to challenge the state’s law requiring signatures on provisional and absentee ballots to match signatures in voting records.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, seeks to have ballots with mismatched signatures be considered valid.