President Donald Trump at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the early hours of Election Day on November 3, 2020.
  • President Donald Trump appeared to back away from reports that he's planning on declaring himself winner before sufficient votes have been counted.
  • In an Election Day appearance on Fox News, he said he would declare victory "only when there is victory. You know, there is no reason to play games."
  • But in the same interview Trump continued to groundlessly attack mail-in ballots, and said he wanted a result declared on election night. 
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President Donald Trump seemingly backed away from reports claiming that he's planning on declaring himself winner on election night if he takes the lead in early results, saying that "there's no reason to play games."

In an Election Day phone call with "Fox and Friends," Trump said he would wait for solid indicators before saying he had won.

Trump sounded tired and hoarse after concluding his last rally of the campaign early on Tuesday morning.

In the interview, host Brian Kilmeade asked Trump about comments by Jen O'Malley Dillon, campaign manager for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who said that "under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night."

O'Malley Dillon was responding to a report on Sunday by the Axios news site, which cited Trump sources claiming that he could declare victory if early results showed him ahead before mail-in ballots can be counted.

He said he would declare "only when there is victory. You know, there is no reason to play games. And I think we will have victory. You know, I look at it as being a very, you know, a very solid chance at winning."

In the same interview Trump renewed attacks on mail-in ballots, which an army of attorneys deployed by the Trump campaign is planning to dispute.

According to polls, voters sending in their ballot by post are more likely to vote Democrat, while those voting in-person often favor Republicans. 

Two Republican strategists on Saturday told The New York Times that Trump is hoping for election night wins in states such as Ohio, depriving Biden of a early path to victory, and that he would then focus on disputing mail-in ballots. 

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