After the declaration on Saturday that Democrat Joe Biden had received the race for the White House, Republican President Donald Trump and his allies made one factor clear: he doesn’t plan to concede anytime quickly.
The president, who has spent months attempting to undermine the election outcomes with unproven allegations of fraud, pledged on Saturday to go ahead with a authorized technique that he hopes will overturn state outcomes that gave Biden the win in Tuesday’s vote. Trump aides and Republican allies, whereas considerably conflicted on proceed, largely supported his technique or remained silent.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump mentioned in a press release launched by his marketing campaign round noon.
The president’s allies and advisers privately admitted that the previous New York businessman’s probabilities of overturning the election outcomes and staying within the White House had been slim. While making ready for an eventual concession, they referred to as for time to let the authorized challenges run their course.
“He should allow the recounts to go forward, file whatever claims there are, and then if nothing changes he should concede,” mentioned one Trump advisor.
The Trump marketing campaign and Republicans have introduced quite a few lawsuits over alleged election irregularities. Judges tossed circumstances in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.
In Pennsylvania, judges sided with Republicans and ordered some provisional ballots put aside and granted Republican observers better entry to vote counting. Legal consultants mentioned the authorized challenges had been too slim in scope to have an effect on the end result of the election.
Meanwhile, Republicans are attempting to lift at the very least $60 million to fund authorized challenges, sources advised Reuters.
“He should make sure every vote is counted and demand transparency. That puts him on solid rhetorical grounds,” mentioned one other former White House official.
Trump was at his golf property in Virginia when the race was referred to as for Biden. Clusters of Biden supporters lined two blocks of his motorcade’s route again on Saturday afternoon. Trump re-entered the White House sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat, trying glum with a cellphone in his hand. Biden supporters gathered and celebrated loudly close to the White House.
Republicans fearful that Trump might tarnish his legacy if he doesn’t ultimately make a sleek exit, eroding his future political energy. “It will be impossible for him to run again in 2024 if he’s seen as a sore loser,” a congressional Republican supply mentioned.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham, a staunch Trump defender, on Friday urged the president, if and when the time got here, to just accept an unfavorable end result with “grace and composure,” and the Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial board wrote that Trump “needs evidence to prove voter fraud.”
“If Mr. Biden has 270 Electoral College votes at the end of the counting and litigation, President Trump will have a decision to make. We hope in that event he would concede gracefully,” it mentioned.
Biden crossed that essential threshold on Saturday by profitable the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
One Trump adviser mentioned White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would doubtless be the aide who would increase with Trump the thought of conceding. Meadows got here down with the coronavirus this week and is underneath quarantine.
Another former adviser mentioned Vice President Mike Pence or senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner would have the job of telling the president when it was time to concede.
Indeed, CNN reported late on Saturday that Kushner had approached Trump about conceding. A White House spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
“President Trump is entitled to take the time he wants to absorb this. It was close and it’s not productive to demand an immediate concession,” mentioned Ari Fleischer, who was a White House press secretary within the George W. Bush administration.
“The best thing to keep this country together is to give the president a reasonable period of time to accept the results.”