NEW YORK, Nov 15 (APP): US President Donald Trump Sunday appeared to recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election, but immediately followed up to clarify that he still has no intention of conceding the election as his legal bids aimed at challenging the results in several states continue.
In two one-hour apart tweets, Trump continued to claim — without providing any evidence — that there was widespread voting fraud, saying that led to Biden’s win over him.
With the presidential race in every state now called, Biden, a Democrat, secured 306 electoral votes over Trump’s 232, and the president-elect leads the Republican incumbent by more than 5.5 million votes.
“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote on Sunday, not referring to Biden by name. “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!”
About an hour later, Trump wrote, “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
Speaking on the NBC programme “Meet the Press,” Biden’s pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that.”
He said that a rapid transition is necessary to ensure the government is prepared to roll out a potential coronavirus vaccine early next year.
Tackling the raging pandemic will be a paramount priority for Biden, with the United States tallying record numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days. More than 245,000 people in the country have died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
Trump has thus far refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the State Department would “transition to a second Trump administration.”
But Trump on Friday did allow the possibility of a Biden administration while discussing the coronavirus pandemic, which is re-surging across the United States.
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the — the, whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown,” Trump said.
Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in multiple states, though without success, and legal experts say the litigation stands little chance of altering the outcome of the election.
Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities. Democrats and other critics have accused Trump of trying to delegitimize Biden’s victory and undermine public confidence in the American electoral process. Before the election, Trump had refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Trump’s refusal to concede did not change the fact that Biden was the president-elect, but it has stalled the government’s normal process of preparing for a new presidential administration.
The federal agency in charge of providing those resources, the General Services Administration, has yet to recognize Biden’s victory.
Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the main challengers to Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, criticized Trump’s post-election conduct.
“Trump will have the distinction of doing more than any person in the history of this country in undermining American democracy. The idea that he continues to tell his supporters that the only reason he may have lost this election was because of fraud is an absolutely disgraceful, un-American thing to do,” Sanders told CNN’s “State of the Union” programme.
Biden has spent days huddled with advisers as he weighs Cabinet appointments, fields congratulatory calls from world leaders and maps out the policies he will pursue after being sworn in on Jan. 20. He continued meeting with advisers in private on Sunday.
John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser turned critic, on Sunday called on Republicans to acknowledge Biden’s victory. Bolton last week accused his fellow Republicans of “coddling” and “kowtowing” to Trump as the incumbent despite his defeat.
“I think it’s very important for leaders of the Republican Party to explain to our voters, who are not as stupid as the Democrats think, that in fact Trump has lost the election and his claims of election fraud are baseless,” Bolton said on ABC’s “This Week” programme.
“I take this as a test for the Republican Party. … I don’t buy the argument that Donald Trump has hypnotized Republican voters,” Bolton added.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of flag-waving Trump supporters ventured into Washington to echo his claims of election fraud during the “Million MAGA March,” referring to Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s motorcade passed through the crowd on its way to his golf course in Virginia, producing cheers from demonstrators as the president waved from the back seat. The march was largely peaceful, though numerous scuffles broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters that continued after dark.