In the early hours of Wednesday morning, US President Donald Trump took to a podium at the White House to accuse rivals of fraud.
The Republican incumbent said he would seek the US Supreme Court to stop the vote count for early ballots in key states where he led the race.
With votes for he and Democrat challenger Joe Biden and neck and neck, he appeared to suggest that some of the more than 64 million postal votes cast should not be counted.
And he reiterated unsubstantiated claims that the Democrats were attempting to steal the election through fraud.
Joe Biden's campaign called the suggestion the vote could be halted "outrageous and unprecedented".
Here is the president's speech in full:
"Thank you very much. Please sit thank you. This is without question the latest news conference I've ever had. Thanks. I appreciate it very much.
"And I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support … millions and millions of people voted for us tonight.
"And a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people. And we won't stand for it, we will not stand for it.
"I want to thank the First Lady, my entire family and Vice President, Mr Pence, Mrs Pence for being with us all through this. And we were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything. And all of a sudden, it was just called off.
"The results tonight have been phenomenal. And we are getting ready. I mean, literally, we were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was so beautiful, so good. Such a vote, such a success.
"The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers, this is a record. There's never been anything like it to support our incredible movement. We won states that we weren't expected to win – Florida, we didn't win it, we won it by a lot.
"We won the great state of Ohio. We won Texas, we won Texas. We won Texas by 700,000 votes, and they don't even include it in the tabulations.
"It's also clear that we have won Georgia – we're up by 2.5 per cent or 117,000 votes with only 7 per cent left, they're never gonna catch us. They can't catch us.
'Good areas where they happen to like your president'
"Likewise, we've clearly won North Carolina. Where we're up 1.4 per cent or 77,000 votes with only approximately 5 per cent left – they can't catch us.
"We also, if you look and you see, Arizona, we have a lot of life in that. And somebody said ... somebody declared that it was a victory for us. And maybe it will be, I mean, that's possible.
"But certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get because we're now just coming into what they call Trump territory.
"I don't know what you call it. But these were friendly Trump voters. And that could be overturned. The gentleman that called it, and I watched tonight, he said, 'Well, we think it's fairly unlikely that he could catch … well 'fairly unlikely' – and we don't even need it.
"We don't need that that was just a state that if we would have gotten it, it would have been nice, Arizona.
"But there's a possibility, maybe even a good possibility, in fact, since I saw that, originally, it's been changed. And the numbers have substantially come down just in a small amount of votes. So we want that, obviously, to stay in play. But most importantly, we're winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount of votes.
"Think of this, think of this, we're up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania – 690,000. These aren't even close. It's not like 'Oh, it's close'. With 64 per cent of the vote in it's going to be almost impossible to catch. And we're coming into good Pennsylvania areas where they happen to like your president. So we'll probably expand that.
'We want all voting to stop'
"We're winning Michigan, but I'll tell you, I looked at the numbers. I said woah. I looked, I said wow, that's a lot by almost 300,000 votes, and 65 per cent of the vote is in.
"And we're winning Wisconsin. So we're winning. We don't need all of them. We need ... because when you add Texas in, which wasn't added – I spoke with the really wonderful governor of Texas just a little while ago, Greg Abbott. He said, congratulations, he called me to congratulate me on winning Texas. I believe we won Texas.
"I don't think they finished quite the tabulation. But there's no way. And it was almost complete. But he congratulated me. And he said, by the way, what's going on? I've never seen anything like this. Can I tell you what? Nobody has.
"So we won by 107,000 votes with 81 per cent of the vote. That's Michigan. So when you take those three states in particular, and you take all of the others, I mean, we have, we have so many we had such a big night.
"You just take a look at all of these states that we've won tonight. And then you take a look at the kind of margins that we've won by.
"And all of a sudden, it's not like we're up 12 votes, and we have 60 per cent left. We won states and all of a sudden, I said what happened to the election? It's off. And we have all these announcers saying, what happened?
"And then they said, oh, because you know what happened?
As far as I'm concerned, we already have won it
"They knew they couldn't win. So they said, let's go to court. And did I predict this, huh? Did I say this, I've been saying this from the day I heard they were gonna send out tens of millions of ballots, I said exactly.
"Because either they were going to win or if they didn't win, they'll take us to court. So Florida was a tremendous victory … 377,000. Texas, as we said. Ohio, think of this, Ohio, a tremendous state, a big state, I love Ohio, we won by 8.1 per cent – 460,000, almost 500,000 votes.
"North Carolina, big victory with North Carolina. And so we won there, we lead by 76,000 votes with almost nothing left. And all of a sudden, everything just stopped. This is a fraud on the American public.
"This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.
"So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the US Supreme Court.
"We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four o'clock in the morning and add them to the list.
"OK. It's, it's very sad, it's a very sad moment. To me, there's a very sad moment. And we will win this.
"And as far as I'm concerned, we already have won it. So I just want to thank you and I want to thank all of our support. I want to thank all of the people that worked with us."