Fact check: Thin Blue Line flag has taken a prominent place at Trump rallies
A Thin Blue Line flag was used as a backdrop for President Donald Trump’s Oct. 24 rally in Wisconsin.At issue: A Thin Blue Line flag that was prominently featured behind Trump at an Oct. 24 rally in Waukesha. The flag essentially is a black-and-white version of the American flag, with a single red stripe replaced by a blue one.
As word finally came Saturday after an exhausting and tense week that Joe Biden will become the 46th U.S. president, cities across the nation braced for a darker side: potential violence.
Some supporters of President Donald Trump flocked to state capitols as encouraged by a campaign called "Stop the Steal," an effort to delegitimize the vote count that was booted from Facebook for spreading misinformation and inciting violence.
Amid a few exchanges of heated words, the initial counterprotests were mostly peaceful in the hours after Biden's victory was announced. Hundreds of fervent supporters of President Donald Trump massed outside the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, waving signs saying "it's not over" and chanting "we won."
Trump, Biden wait with the world for election results in a contest to decide course of America
Millions voted in an election between Trump and Biden to determine how the US responds to COVID-19 pandemic, bolsters the economy and heals divisions.Millions turned out to polls for an election that will determine how to respond to a pandemic that has killed a quarter of a million Americans, bolster an economy that has taken a beating from the virus and heal deep divisions over racial injustice.
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Outside the Capitol in Albany, New York, Trump supporters hoisted U.S. flags and posters saying "stop the steal."
At the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, protesters marched with signs that read "stop election fraud."
For months, Trump has sought to cast doubt on the integrity of elections that rely significantly on vote-by-mail ballots. He has claimed, without proof, that the election has been rigged against him, and he continued to fan those flames Saturday. But election experts say that taking time to count votes is not a sign of misconduct.
Kayleigh McEnany calls celebrations for Joe Biden 'superspreader events'
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called celebrations that occurred for President-elect Joe Biden "superspreader events"Shortly after major news networks projected that Biden would win, backers of the Democrat took the streets around the United States in celebration, honking horns, popping champagne, and gathering at landmarks, including the White House.
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Officials across the U.S. had reason to be concerned about violence. Armed protesters – some carrying shotguns, some handguns and others military semiautomatic rifles – have congregated throughout the week outside offices where workers were counting ballots. They showed up at voting centers fueled by unfounded accusations by Trump that Democrats were trying to steal the election.
In several battleground states, dueling groups engaged Friday in a war of words, with protesters chanting "count the votes" and other groups shouting "stop the steal."
Many major U.S. metropolitan areas have taken on the unsettling look of fortresses all week as restaurants, retail stories and other businesses have boarded up windows.
Trump supporters chant “We won!” at today’s protest outside the Capitol Building #Lansing#Election2020#electionspic.twitter.com/I11GUJlUUQ
Jill Biden will be historic first lady: Just call her ‘Professor FLOTUS’
Jill Biden promises to be a busy first lady: She plans to keep her day job as a college English professor in northern Virginia.After all, she continued teaching at Northern Virginia Community College during the eight years she served as second lady, working closely with the historic then-first lady Michelle Obama.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) November 7, 2020
A Belgium-based think tank that focuses on preventing deadly conflicts around the world – usually in places such as Ethiopia – had the U.S. in its sights for the first time, issuing a report warning about election violence
"The 2020 U.S. presidential election presents risks not seen in recent history. It is conceivable that violence could erupt during voting or protracted ballot counts. Officials should take extra precautions," warned the International Crisis Group.
Some of the protests and rallies earlier in the week took on a festive and joyful air. Demonstrators outside ground zero – Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House –on Friday danced to go-go music and hugged friends as smiles abounded.
Some carrying weapons outside polls say their mission is a peaceful one.
“I’m here to protect a peaceful protest,” said Keith Owen, who carried a semiautomatic assault rifle and wore a handgun in a holster strapped to his leg. His vest held extra ammunition. Owen, who described himself as a veteran who served in Afghanistan, was among roughly 100 Trump supporters gathered for a third straight day Friday in front of the Phoenix elections center.
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The county treasurer in Detroit, Eric Sabree, said he had closed his office because of threats. In a statement, Sabree said the decision was made “in the interest of the safety of taxpayers and our staff” and because of “credible information” from the sheriff’s office.
In Philadelphia, two men with handguns were arrested Thursday night near the convention center where the vote-counting was going on. The men, ages 42 and 61, had driven up in a Hummer from Virginia and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said. The car had a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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A Trump supporter, at left, demonstrating the election results shouts with a counter protester at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.
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Counter-protesters, some wearing camouflage and carrying Black Lives Matter flags walk past a group of Trump supporters during a demonstration over election ballot counting outside the Michigan State Capitol building on November 07, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan.
Angelo Austin (right) of Detroit asks a Trump supporter to back away from him since she wasn't wearing a mask as Trump supporters gathered outside of the TCF Center in Detroit on Thursday, Nov 5, 2020 where the absentee ballot count for the city of Detroit occurred.
People gather on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House on Nov. 5, 2020, during the election process for the 2020 Presidential election between Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, and Republican candidate President Donald Trump.
Demonstrators display placards and shout slogans, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Boston's Nubian Square neighborhood, as ballots continue to be counted in some battleground states for the general election.
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Demonstrators march to urge that all votes be counted, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Philadelphia, following Tuesday's election.
A man with an Antifa badge walks with Detroit Detroit Will Breathe members and other organizations as they march through the city of Detroit on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 while demanding the counting of all votes for the 2020 elections.
A woman wears a mask showing the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while listening to speakers outside of Revolution Hall before marching in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following Tuesday's election.
NYPD trucks are parked across Fifth Ave from Trump Tower in Manhattan during election day Nov. 3, 2020. The Black Lives Matter logo was painted on the street in front of Trump Tower several months ago. Businesses and office buildings boarded up windows and storefronts, a police presence throughout the city was escalated in anticipation of election night upheaval.
Members of the NYPD gathered in midtown Manhattan several hours before the polls closed during election night Nov. 3, 2020. Businesses and office buildings boarded up windows and storefronts, a police presence throughout the city was escalated in anticipation of election night upheaval.
Heavily armed members of the NYPD stand guard outside Trump Tower in Manhattan during election day Nov. 3, 2020. Along with an increased police presence throughout the city, businesses and office buildings boarded up windows and storefronts in anticipation of election night violence.
A structure at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan is boarded up during election day Nov. 3, 2020. Businesses and office buildings boarded up windows and storefronts in anticipation of election night violence.
Workers board up Bergdorf Goodman department store, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in New York ahead of Tuesday's contentious presidential election. The moves come as retailers are trying to protect themselves against possible civil unrest in a year that has seen widespread protests over social justice that sometimes became violent.
A workman lays out metal fencing to be installed at an entrance to the White House in anticipation of unrest related to the presidential election on Nov. 2, 2020 in Washington DC. Preparations continue throughout Washington D.C ahead of the November 3 U.S presidential election with many business owners boarding up and securing their shops in anticipation of protests and rioting.
Joe Heilbrunn of CSI Construction cuts a board to cover up windows at the Huntington Building in Columbus November 2, 2020. Many downtown buildings were boarding up their windows in case of post election rioting.
A man passes by a boarded up store with Trump graffiti on it at a business that is boarded up on November 2, 2020, as people make plans for potential civil unrest during the US presidential race for the White House.
Ahead of the presidential election, workers with Baguer Construction LLC board up a Walgreens on U Street NW, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Washington. The site manager said they had been hired to put protective coverings on several Walgreens throughout the city.
A construction worker screws boards into place over windows at Highpoint Apartments on S. High St. in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Many buildings were boarding up their windows in case of post election rioting.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'It's not over': Trump supporters begin flocking to state capitols after Biden victory is announced
Election 2020 live updates: Trump’s national security adviser talks legacy, promises smooth transition .
Dr. Scott Atlas, who sits on Trump's coronavirus task force, said "the only way this stops is if people rise up," after Michigan enacted restrictions.Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on the election and the transition.