US Election: Critics respond to Donald Trump's speech claiming election being stolen from him

US political commentators have reacted in shock and disgust at Donald Trump's speech where he claimed without evidence the election was being stolen from him.

The President's speech on Thursday night (local time) broke about 36 hours of silence after he prematurely declared victory on Wednesday morning.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," Trump started off, providing no evidence for his claim.

"If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."

The President went on to repeat claims that late votes were false.

"We were winning in all the key locations by a lot actually, and the numbers started miraculously whittling away in secret," he said.

Immediately after his speech, CNN's Chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper said it was a "sad night" for the US.

"What a sad night for the United States of America to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with his feast of falsehoods."

"It's not true, it's ugly, it's frankly pathetic."

"He did not win, he has not won - the President falsely depicting the counting of votes as a fraud and an embarrassment - that is not what's going on." 

CNN's Anderson Cooper said Trump was behaving "like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun realising his time is over".

"But he just hasn't accepted it and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country."

Social media users were also quick to call him out.

"This speech is the most rambling string of Trump's lies I've ever seen. If it weren't so terrifying, it would almost be funny," one person tweeted.

"Trump's speech is so embarrassing omg his ego is really hurt," another wrote.

Others defended him and said his speech was a "calm" and "clear".

"Good speech by POTUS. Calm & resolute. 'We want every legal vote counted'. He's not backing down an inch. Trump is behaving like a man with a plan," one person tweeted.

"Good, honest, clear and calm speech by President Trump tonight. No place for election shenanigans in the US. Legal action, probably the Supreme Court will have the last word. President Trump will win the elections. Nuff said."