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Hollywood figures quickly protested President Donald Trump’s speech throwing American election integrity into doubt on Thursday, saying it was “come-to-life toilet spew” and “stunning, unhinged, breathtaking” as the presidential race was still too close to call.
In the speech on Thursday afternoon from the White House, Trump repeated false claims that there were “illegal” votes in the 2020 presidential contest and that he had won the election. He said that Republicans were pulling ahead “despite historic election interference from big media, big money, big tech” and that pollsters “got it knowingly wrong.” He added that pollsters’ erroneous work was “suppression.”
The Avengers star Mark Ruffalo tweeted after the 3:30 p.m. PT address, “There is not a single shred of evidence to anything Trump is claiming. It’s all lies and it’s not going to go anywhere with the courts he has lost all but one lawsuit because he has no credible claims.” He added, “Trump just whined, then lied, then whined, then lied, and then ran away. #TrumpMeltdown.”
His Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star Chris Evans also expressed contempt for the falsehoods in Trump’s speech: “Wow. Hey Republicans, are you listening to this come-to-life toilet spew complete lies about the integrity of our democratic process?” he tweeted.
Frequent Trump critic Michael Moore called the speech “stunning, unhinged, breathtaking.” He tweeted, “Wild accusations. Saying ‘Detroit’ the way White people do. A danger to America & the world, a menace to society. The next time you see him, his name will be Lame Duck. Quack.”
Beauty and the Beast actor Josh Gad added, “He began by calling Mexicans rapists. How did you think it would end?” Of the speech, The View co-host Sunny Hostin wrote, “Sad to see the President of the United States attacking the very foundation of our democracy and attempting to drag the country down with him.”
Insecure actor and comedian Nasha Rothwell expressed her condolences for comedian Sarah Cooper, who gained renown for her Trump impressions: “My heart goes out to @sarahcpr should she tackle this stream of consciousness shitshow,” she said.
Paul Feig took a moment to thank the poll workers for working hard to count every vote. “The President might not appreciate your selfless work but the rest of us do. You are all true patriots and we can never thank you enough,” he wrote.
After Trump took a moment in his speech to declare the Republican Party “the party of inclusion,” Emmy Rossum responded on Twitter, “Bahahahhaa “the party of inclusion.’ “
The Daily Show poked fun at Trump’s dark remarks about Philadelphia, tweeting, “.@realDonaldTrump please DM, we have FRESH evidence from West Philadelphia that a couple of guys are up to no good, starting to make trouble in the neighborhood.” And Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. tweeted several times after the speech, joking, “Homie cut the Post Office off at the knees, then turned around and said ‘All these ballots coming in late’ Amazing.” He later tweeted that Trump wanted the vote-counting process to resemble a “sammich shop where we you see ya ballot moving on down the line and going through the voting machine like that oven w/ the window.”
Later on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah addressed Trump’s argument that the election is rigged. “What a difference between 2016 and 2020,” Noah said. “When Hilary lost, she disappeared into the woods. Trump is dragging vultures one by one onto the witness stand.”
During his “Closer Look” segment on Thursday’s Late Night, host Seth Meyers mocked Trump for exemplifying his impatience by making voter fraud claims. “Trump is the least patient man alive and you can tell because even when he’s standing still he sways back and forth like a fourth grader posing for a school photo,” he said. He also quipped, “Next they’re going to argue we should wait four years to count and let Trump crash with Joe at the White House in the meantime.”
On The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert said Trump “tried to poison American democracy” with his speech. “Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight,” Colbert said, adding that for 15 minutes Trump stated “nonsensical stuff.” If you did not know that Joe Biden was getting close to 270, Donald Trump just provided all the proof you will ever need.”
On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel called Trump’s speech as “despicable” and an “incoherent attack on the democracy in the United States.” Kimmel also said Trump should’ve been arrested after his speech. “If they could’ve found handcuffs small enough to take him away they would have,” he quipped.
Former Vice President Al Gore joined NBC News shortly after the speech, commenting on his experience with a close presidential race in 2000 and the importance of patience and trust in this moment. “First of all, this is a completely different election from the one 20 years ago. Joe Biden has multiple pathways to secure his victory. And of course, I’m for him and I’m hoping that will be the case very soon. But the most important principle that I defended 20 years ago, that Joe Biden and many others are defending tonight is, let’s count every legally cast vote and obey the will of the American people.”
Gore also responded to Trump’s comments on fraudulent voting: “I was disappointed in his statement but you know – the election is over with, the campaign is over with,” he said. “The foundation of the country, the principle that all just powers come from the dissent of the governed. These elections are the way that we give that consent. And there is something majestic about listening to the will of the American people and then respecting the will of the American people when their decision is fairly tabulated and announced. We’re on the verge of that moment. And I would urge all Americans, including especially those who might be tempted to follow the direction that Donald Trump pointed in and the White House earlier today, to reject that approach and focus what is most important. And that is the best interests of the United States of America.”
Some media outlets, including ABC, NBC, MSNBC and USA Today, stopped airing his remarks mid-speech. “President Trump, without evidence, claimed the presidential election was corrupt and fraudulent. We stopped the livestream of his remarks early and have removed the video from all of our platforms,” USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll tweeted about the decision.
“We have to interrupt here, because the president has made a number of false statements, including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting,” said NBC’s Lester Holt. “There has been no evidence of that.” After MSNBC cut away from Trump, anchor Brian Williams said, “Here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States.”
Though CNN kept Trump’s speech on the air, anchor Jake Tapper said afterward, “Lie after lie after lie. Pathetic.”
Star Trek actor George Takei lauded NBC for their decision to cut away from the address, tweeting, “That’s how you cover him, then you cut away. Thanks NBC!”
Dylan O’Brien also applauded MSNBC, tweeting, “Props to @MSNBC for the job they’ve done the last few days, but particularly for cutting away from that waste of time press conference after about 30 seconds.”
The speech was also received with indignation and incredulity by news anchors such as Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper, who compared the president to “an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.” Gad thanked Cooper for his comment, tweeting, “Night saved.”
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