The Russian government will not acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US election, the Kremlin’s representative said early Monday.
“There are ongoing legal processes,” Dmitry Peskov said in a statement. “We believe the correct thing to do is wait for the official election result.”
Biden is projected to win at least 279 electoral votes with victories in battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all of which President Donald Trump won in the 2016 election. Insider projected Biden’s victory on Friday, and other outlets did so on Saturday.
Though Biden is the projected winner of the election, the results will not be certified until January. On December 14, electors will convene in all 50 states and Washington, DC, and formally cast their votes for president and vice president. The vote count will be finalized and the results certified on January 6 at 1 p.m. ET.
The Trump campaign has refused to concede the election, filing a flurry of lawsuits in at least five battleground states to contest the results.
Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have circulated bogus claims of widespread voter fraud, election rigging, and a conspiracy between the Democratic Party and “big media” to tilt the race in Biden’s favor. Trump also falsely declared himself the winner shortly after Election Day even though millions of ballots had not yet been counted.
There is no empirical evidence or data suggesting that the election was rigged against Trump or that widespread voter fraud occurred.
None of the lawsuits the campaign has filed alleges voter fraud or election conspiracies. Instead, they’re focused on delaying ballot counting or discarding a small number of ballots in states that would have no effect on the final result because of Biden’s margins of victory.
Overall, as Business Insider previously reported, this election was among the safest and most secure in part because of the use of paper ballots and voting machines with verifiable paper trails.
Paul Nakasone, the director of the National Security Agency, also said there was less foreign interference this time than there was in the 2018 midterm elections.
But Nakasone added the caveat that the US was bracing for foreign interference in the electoral process to ramp up after the race’s winner was projected, particularly if it took a few days to call the results.
The New York Times also reported last month that officials believed Russia would interfere to help Trump in part by “exacerbating disputes around the results.”
The US intelligence community determined that Russia waged an organized and elaborate campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to propel Trump to the Oval Office. Over the summer, the intelligence community concluded that Russia was once again meddling in Trump’s favor.
Most world leaders have congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on winning the election, including staunch Trump allies like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But Russian President Vladimir Putin and other nationalist strongmen like China’s Xi Jinping and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro have not yet acknowledged Biden’s victory.