Trump's 'Total Fraud' Election Tweets Follow Template He Used in 2016 and 2012 Against Cruz, Obama

President Donald Trump's tweets claiming election fraud and demanding the results be overturned follows a template he used in 2016 and 2012 against Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former President Barack Obama.

Most media outlets called the 2020 election for President-elect Joe Biden more than two weeks ago. The Democrat has secured 306 Electoral College votes, but Trump—with 232 Electoral College votes—has declined to concede. Instead, he has repeatedly tweeted claims of a "rigged" election and his campaign has filed nearly three dozen lawsuits in key states alleging widespread voter fraud in an attempt to reverse his defeat.

"A total FRAUD. Statehouse Republicans, proud, strong and honest, will never let this travesty stand!" the president wrote in a November 27 tweet claiming that the election in Pennsylvania was stolen from him.

Trump's strategy to cast doubt on the election process is not new. His cries of election fraud echo similar unproven claims he made in 2016 after Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, and in 2012 after Obama won the White House again.

"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" Trump tweeted in February 2016. "Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified."

At the time, Trump also tweeted calls for Iowa to "disqualify" Cruz on the "basis that he cheated." Similar to his recent claims against Biden's victory, the president also did not provide sufficient evidence in 2016 to support his allegation that a "rigged" and "stolen" election caused his loss.

In 2012, Trump had made similar claims against Obama after the latter prevailed over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"More reports of voting machines switching Romney votes to Obama. Pay close attention to the machines, don't let your vote be stolen," Trump tweeted, one day after the election that year.

While Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud in remarks issued to the public through Twitter this month, the contents and claims in his dozens of lawsuits filed in Georgia, Pennsylvania and other swing states have been narrower, and largely unsuccessfully in court.

On November 19, the Trump campaign promised supporters "massive bombshells" at a press conference, but its failure to deliver substantial evidence caused even Rush Limbaugh to break with the president. The terminally ill radio host, who Trump awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom at this year's State of the Union, spent weeks echoing Trump's efforts to cast doubt on his election loss, before he turned on him earlier this week.

"They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened," Limbaugh said on Monday. "And that's just, that's not—well, it's not good."

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

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President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Erin Schaff/Getty