WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has not yet brought himself to accept the election he lost at the hands of President-elect Joe Biden. He now agrees that he will leave the White House if Biden’s victory is confirmed by the Electoral College, which is hard to do in a few weeks.
When asked if voters would vacate the campus after Biden’s victory was formalized, he said Thursday “surely I will”. “But you know it.”
Trump, who took questions from reporters for the first time since the election, has released another round of complaints and dramatic warnings about the vote, saying “too many things” will happen before the Electoral College meets December 14, which could change the outcome. While he is provoking uncertainty over how he will behave in the coming weeks, there is no real suspense about the outcome.
All states must verify their results before the Electoral College convenes and any challenge must be resolved by December 8th. States, including Michigan, have already begun that process, where Trump and his allies have failed to delay the process, as have Georgia and Pennsylvania.
With a clear margin of election votes, Biden has nothing on his way to power on January 20.
Biden needs no concessions from Trump to become president, nothing is given and he may not admit that Trump has hit him fairly and squarely. But Trump has received some signs of his loss.
He expressed concern that Biden would gain fame from the coronavirus vaccines pending at one stage. “Do not allow him to take credit for the vaccines, because the vaccines are me, and I’ve pushed more people than ever before,” Trump said.
The sitting U.S. president also needs to decide whether he will retire after losing the re-election, as it remains to be seen how far Trump has broken one meeting after another over the past three weeks.
Vote certification at the local and state levels is usually a ministry task that receives little notice, but this has changed with Trump’s serious but futile legal challenges and attempts to change the certification process in the battlefield states he has lost.
There is no evidence of widespread voting fraud, which Trump and his legal team have repeatedly accused of killing only judges and state election officials.
Trump spoke to reporters in the decorated Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House after holding a teleconference with U.S. military leaders around the world. He thanked them for their service, joked that they should not eat more turkey, and then went to the polls after the call was over. He repeated the complaints and angrily denounced the authorities in Georgia and Pennsylvania, saying the two key states had helped Biden win.
The Trump administration has already given the green light to an official transition. Yet Trump took issue with Biden moving forward.
“I think it is not right that he is trying to elect a cabinet,” Trump said, adding that officials from both teams are already working together to speed up the Biden team.
Asked if he would attend the inauguration, Trump said he knew the answer but did not want to say.
He said he would go to Georgia to mobilize supporters before the two Senate runoff elections to decide which party the Senate will control. The White House said it expects a rally on December 5.
One reason Republicans stand up for Trump and his deceptively baseless arguments is to strengthen his loyal base for the January 5 runoffs. But, in his remarks, Trump openly questioned whether those elections would be fair, expressing doubts that Republican polling could be curtailed.
“I think you are dealing with a very fraudulent system,” he said. “I’m so scared about it.” He said: “People are very disappointed that we have been robbed.”
Trump has made it clear that he will never formally accept that he will leave the White House.
“It’s a very difficult thing to accept,” he said. “We know there is massive fraud.”
He said voters had “made a mistake” by confirming Biden’s victory.
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Yet “time is not on our side.”
Will he run again in 2024? Trump said he “does not want to talk about 2024 yet.”
Despite the defeat, Trump said, “it has to go a long way.”