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Donald Trump blames burst pipe for Joe Biden catching up with him in Georgia

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Donald Trump has blamed a burst pipe for helping Joe Biden narrow his lead in Georgia’s electoral count. The President of the United States told a White House press conference Thursday: ‘In Georgia a pipe burst in a faraway location totally unrelated to the location of what was happening, and they stopped counting for four hours, and a lot of things happened.

‘The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats. We had margins of 300,000.’ Trump is now leading Joe Biden by less than 4,000 votes in Georgia, a traditionally Republican state. Politico reported that a pipe burst in a counting room in Fulton County – which covers Atlanta – on Tuesday.

It delayed the count by four hours, but did not damage any ballots, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Trump appeared to imply that the burst pipe coincided with a suspicious boost in the number of votes counted for Joe Biden, although did not provide any proof to back up his assertion.

President Trump also told Thursday’s press conference that he ‘easily wins’ the election if ‘legal’ votes are counted, and illegal ballots discarded. Trump went on to make unfounded claims that ‘secret counting rooms’ were being used to add to Joe Biden’s total.

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And he complained his supporters had to use binoculars to try and observe counts, amid a legal wrangle which has seen his campaign team sue for the right to watch ballots being counted.

Independent vote watchers say there has been no evidence of electoral fraud during this year’s election.

The Associated Press say Joe Biden has got a total of 264 electoral college votes, with 270 needed to win the race, and have Trump on 214 votes.

Other outlets have not yet awarded Arizona to Biden, putting him on 214 votes. Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania have still not declared their results, with Trump still able to catch up if he wins them.

Trump has mounted legal challenges in multiple states amid claims of fraud, although judges in Georgia and Michigan – which Biden won – have already dismissed cases put before them.

The president made unfounded claims that a burst pipe at an Atlanta counting center had

Donald Trump devotee Cesar Sayoc, who sent pipe bombs to President’s critics, gets 20 years in jail

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A Florida man who mailed pipes filled with explosives to prominent Democrats, as well as other opponents and critics of United States President Donald Trump, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Key points:

  • Investigators found that Sayoc’s devices had no mechanism to trigger an explosion
  • Defence lawyers noted Sayoc’s learning disabilities, childhood abuse and isolation
  • The judge believed Sayoc did not intend to kill, but said the crimes were “far too horrible”

Cesar Sayoc, 57, who pleaded guilty in March to using weapons of mass destruction and other crimes, began crying in the US District Court in Manhattan when Judge Jed Rakoff read out the sentence.

Prosecutors had asked Judge Rakoff to sentence Sayoc to life in prison, while the defendant’s lawyers had sought a sentence of 10 years plus one month.

Ian Marcus Amelkin, one of Sayoc’s lawyers, argued that Sayoc’s crimes were caused by paranoid, delusional thinking brought on by heavy use of steroids.

He said Sayoc, who was living in a van at the time of his arrest last year, had struggled all his life with severe learning disabilities, the effects of childhood abuse and social isolation.

Sayoc, Mr Amelkin said, saw Mr Trump as a “father figure” and became obsessed with conspiracy theories about people he perceived as being enemies of the president.

“We believe that the President’s rhetoric contributed to Mr Sayoc’s behaviour,” he said.

Assistant US Attorney Jane Kim, one of the prosecutors, argued that Sayoc was a danger to the public and that his crimes warranted severe punishment.

“The defendant here set out to terrorise people,” she said.

Sayoc expressed remorse shortly before the sentencing.

“I am so very sorry for what I did,” he said.

Sayoc sent packages containing pipes stuffed with explosives, wires and alarm clocks to 16 intended targets, including former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, US senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, actor Robert De Niro and CNN.

All of the devices were intercepted and none exploded.

A report by federal investigators concluded they had no mechanism to trigger an explosion and “would not have functioned as designed.”

Prosecutors argued that Sayoc nonetheless meant to injure his targets, while his lawyers said he meant only to inspire fear.

Sayoc himself said in a handwritten letter to Mr Rakoff after his guilty plea that the bombs were a “hoax.”

Mr Rakoff said he believed Sayoc.

“He hated his victims. He wished them no good, but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand,” the judge said.

Still, the judge said, Sayoc’s crimes were “far too horrible” for a “relatively lenient” 10-year sentence.

Florida man Cesar Sayoc, who mailed pipes filled with explosives to prominent Democrats and critics and opponents of the US President, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the former CIA director and actor Robert De Niro, is sentenced to 20 years in prison.