A senior Bethel pastor who apologised after mistakenly prophesying that Donald Trump would win the US presidential election has retracted his statement pending a number of legal challenges launched by the Trump campaign alleging fraud at the polls.
Pastor Kris Vallotton says he has decided to "wait until the official vote count is complete" due to his belief that there may have been a "significant amount of discrepancy in the [election] process".
President Trump has yet to concede the election and has continued to assert that illegal votes were tallied in favour of his Democratic rival, and now president-elect, Joe Biden.
On Monday, Attorney General William Barr authorised the Department of Justice to investigate alleged "post-voting election irregularities", prompting the resignation of a top lawyer from the DOJ's election fraud department. Richard Pilger, director of the elections crimes branch in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, argued that Barr's actions had violated a "forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested".
While the claims of fraud are unsubstantiated at this time, Pastor Vallotton said he would be withholding his prophecy apology until all the investigations are concluded.
"In the meantime I will be praying and believing for the will of the Lord to be done," he wrote on Instagram. "If the outcome remains the same, I will repost my apology video. If my prophetic word turns out to be right, I will do the chicken dance in my spandex. God’s speed - humility is still the way forward!"
On Monday, Bethel's senior pastor, Bill Johnson, said that, in his opinion, "there was voter fraud in this election".
"If what I think is true, the fraudulent activities must be uncovered and exposed and justice brought to the American people," Johnson added. "But if it is not true, those accused must be fully vindicated so that confidence in the election process can be restored to those in doubt."
Johnson noted that "regardless of who ends up in the White House, I will prayerfully support them".
As Joe Biden gears up to become the next president, one little-known Trump appointee has sparked outrage after refusing to allocate federal funds required for the official transition. Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration (GSA), insists that the election has not yet been decided.
"An ascertainment has not yet been made,” said GSA spokeswoman Pamela Pennington. “And its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”
The Trump campaign's latest lawsuit concerns the key state of Pennsylvania, where Biden won by roughly 45,000 votes. The campaign is seeking an injunction against Pennsylvania's secretary of state and seven counties, prohibiting them from certifying the state’s official results of the 2020 election.
The lawsuit claims that the state implemented an illegal “two-tiered” voting system whereby votes were subjected to different processing standards depending on whether they were cast in-person or by mail. In their suit, Trump campaign lawyers allege that Republican poll observers were not granted sufficient access to watch the process of vote tabulation.
It was a claim reiterated by Press Secretary Kayla McEnany during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters yesterday. Speaking in a “personal capacity” as a Trump campaign adviser, McEnany said the GOP's poll watchers "were put behind barricades in a massive room" at counting centres across Pennsylvania.
"They were many feet from the counting process," she added. "And in fact when you look at all the tables, many hundreds of feet in fact from the tables in the back. They were completely in the dark.
"What are Pennsylvania Democrats hiding?"
In an extraordinary live TV moment, Fox News decided to cut away from the conference due to the unsubstantiated nature of many of McEnany's claims.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, I think we have to be very clear," anchor Neil Cavuto said as he interrupted the live feed. "She's charging that the other side is welcoming fraud and illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue showing you this."
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, insisted that the Trump campaign's latest lawsuit was “meritless".
“This is the latest meritless lawsuit to challenge Pennsylvania’s election, which was overseen by bipartisan election officials and was lawful, fair and secure," he said in a statement. "For months, the vast majority of these lawsuits have been dismissed and found to have no merit by Courts at all levels, and this one is no different.
“I am confident Pennsylvania law will be upheld and the will of the people of the Commonwealth will be respected in this election."