WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday (Nov 6) told challenger Joe Biden not to "wrongfully claim" the White House as incomplete returns from the presidential election showed the Democrat close to an insurmountable lead.
"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!" Trump tweeted.
Trump himself has repeatedly claimed that he won Tuesday's election, despite vote counts pointing strongly to him being made a one-term president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called Joe Biden the "president-elect" of the United States.
Speaking to reporters after Biden overtook Trump in the race for Pennsylvania, she said that "it is clear that the Biden-Harris ticket will win the White House".
"President-Elect Biden has a strong mandate to lead," she said.
It is "a happy day for our country. Joe Biden is a unifier, because he is determined to bring people together".
Pennsylvania would be enough to put Biden past the magic number of 270 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College, which determines the presidency.
Twitter has flagged several posts on its platform referring to Biden as "president-elect" as premature.
In a statement released through the White House on Friday morning, Trump vowed to continue his legal fight.
"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation," he said.
Biden has captured Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, and expanded his lead over Trump in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada, putting him on the verge of winning the White House three days after polls closed.
All three states were still processing ballots on Friday. Georgia will likely undergo a recount, according to its Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
"The stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We'll get it right and we'll defend the integrity of our elections," he said.
He said that Georgia was letting observers from both campaigns watch the counting after Trump, with no evidence, alleged widespread fraud nationwide.
Officials said about 9,000 military and overseas ballots were still outstanding and could be accepted if they arrive on Friday and are postmarked on Tuesday or earlier.