Pro-Trump Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen on Wednesday afternoon joined a growing chorus of conservatives criticizing President Donald Trump’s premature claim of electoral victory and unfounded cries of election fraud, saying it is a “huge mistake” that hurts the president’s credibility.
During the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the president delivered a bombastic speech—picked up by all the networks—in which he declared that he “did win this election” while raging over the numerous battleground states still in play, accusing Democrats of stealing the election.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, re-emerged as the favorite to capture the 270 electoral votes as early mail-in votes were tallied on Wednesday, causing the president to lash out and call for the Supreme Court to step in.
While many of the president’s allies at Fox News backed his calls to invalidate millions of swing-state votes, others have pushed back against the president’s heated rhetoric and baseless accusations.
During an appearance on Fox News’ The Daily Briefing, Thiessen—a former George W. Bush speechwriter—was asked by host Dana Perino what he would recommend Trump do in a moment like this.
“I would recommend patience,” Thiessen said before praising Trump’s opponent. “I think Joe Biden’s message has been right and I think the president going out and saying he won the election was a huge mistake.”
“It hurts his credibility because there may be very legitimate questions about the ballots being counted,” he continued. “Why would you make a false charge, an unsubstantiated charge when we don’t know that there is fraud yet?”
After arguing that a legal case could be made that some of Pennsylvania’s mail-in votes shouldn’t be counted, Thiessen again suggested Trump was shooting himself in the foot.
“Charging fraud when there is no evidence is just a huge mistake,” he concluded.
Thiessen’s criticism of Trump’s premature victory claim came on the heels of Trump ally Chris Christie saying there was “just no basis” for Trump to “make that argument” and pro-Trump CNN commentator Rick Santorum lamenting that the president’s comments made him “very distressed.”