‘This is chilling’ Piers Morgan horrified by Trump protesters ‘with rifles’ at vote count

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The US state in the south-west of the country, is a key battleground in this year’s US Presidential election, which carries 11 electoral college votes towards the 270 needed. It had previously been projected by several media organisations including Fox News to be likely to end up in Joe Biden’s column, but the race is tightening as late ballots appear to be favouring the President.

Commenting on footage screened by CNN, Mr Morgan tweeted: “This was chilling to watch.

“Angry pro-Trump protestors brazenly carrying semi-automatic rifles outside a crucial Arizona vote-counting centre.”

Mr Morgan was posting after CNN reporter Kyung Lah, reporting live from the scene in Maricopa Country, said: “This is a crowd that is armed.”

Ms Lah later confirmed the building was actually being shut over safety concerns.

She said: “We are just being told that this building is now going to close.

“We are the last news organisation allowed to do a live shot now.”

Ms Lah said there was an “exit plan” being formed by her and her team, adding: “What is going on behind those doors is that outside there is a very sizeable protest.

“This protest has been going on for some time now. It has fluctuated in time but it is sizeable.

“This is a crowd which is armed. There are a number of people who have been seen out there with long guns, with semi-automatic rifles, because this is an open carry state.”

An open carry state is one whereby individuals are permitted to carry unconcealed weapons, with most states in the US falling into this category.

In Arizona, current tallies put Mr Biden ahead with 1,469,341 votes compared with Mr Trump’s 1,400,951 – but his lead has shrunk significantly over the course of the last 24 hours.

Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has suggested more than half a million votes remain to be counted.

Mr Biden currently has 253 electoral college votes compared with Mr Trump’s 213, and will win the Presidency if he wins both Arizona and neighbouring Nevada, where he also has a razor-thin lead of just over 7,000 votes.

Simultaneously, the former Vice-President is closing the gap in the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, with Mr Biden likewise winning the Presidency if he overturns Mr Trump’s previously big lead and therefore takes the state’s 20 electoral college votes.

In Georgia, Mr Trump leads by just over 23,00 votes, but several of the large counties around Atlanta which lean Democratic have large numbers of ballots still to count.

With more than 95 percent of the expected vote counted, Mr Trump is ahead with 49.7 percent versus 49 percent for Mr Biden.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said he hoped to have a result by the end of Wednesday.

Mr Morgan is a persistent critic of US gun laws, and clashed with numerous gun rights activists when he hosted Piers Morgan Live on CNN between 2011 and 2014, and as a presenter with Good Morning Britain.

Perhaps most notably, he clashed with Alex Jones in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2013, with the far-right radio host saying: “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms.”

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