President Trump stated on Thursday that he would depart the White Home if the Electoral Faculty formalized Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election as president, at the same time as he reiterated baseless claims of fraud that he stated would make it “very arduous” to concede.
Taking questions from reporters for the primary time since Election Day, Mr. Trump additionally threw himself into the battle for Senate management, saying he would quickly journey to Georgia to assist Republican candidates in two runoff elections scheduled there on Jan. 5.
When requested whether or not he would depart workplace in January after the Electoral Faculty forged its votes for Mr. Biden on Dec. 14 as anticipated, Mr. Trump replied: “Actually I’ll. Actually I’ll.”
Talking within the Diplomatic Room of the White Home after a Thanksgiving video convention with members of the American navy, the president insisted that “stunning” new proof about voting issues would floor earlier than Inauguration Day. “It’s going to be a really arduous factor to concede,” he stated, “as a result of we all know that there was large fraud.”
However at the same time as he continued to disclaim the fact of his defeat, Mr. Trump additionally appeared to acknowledge that his days as president have been numbered.
“Time shouldn’t be on our aspect,” he stated, in a uncommon admission of weak point. He additionally complained that what he referred to, prematurely, as “the Biden administration” had declared its intention to scrap his “America First” international coverage imaginative and prescient.
The president was additionally strikingly testy at one level, lashing out at a reporter who interjected throughout considered one of a number of of his rambling statements concerning the supposedly fraudulent election.
“You’re only a light-weight,” Mr. Trump snapped, elevating his voice and pointing a finger in anger. “Don’t discuss to me that — don’t discuss — I’m the president of the US. Don’t ever discuss to the president that means.”
If Mr. Trump sees the tip of his presidency as inevitable, he clearly nonetheless believes he can bolster his legacy — and badly undermine Mr. Biden, the person who’s ending it — by serving to to protect a Republican Senate that might function a wall in opposition to the brand new Democratic agenda.
The election outcomes left Democrats holding 48 seats within the U.S. Senate. If Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic challengers in Georgia, can each pull off victories over Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, their celebration will achieve de facto management of a Senate divided 50-50 as a result of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would wield a tiebreaking vote.
In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Trump stated he would go to Georgia on Saturday. Judd Deere, a White Home spokesman, later clarified that the president meant Saturday, Dec. 5.
The president added that he might return to the state to again the Republicans a second time, “relying on how they’re doing.”
It’s unclear how useful Mr. Trump’s appearances can be for the 2 embattled Republican incumbents. After a hand recount of a detailed vote, Georgia declared Mr. Biden the winner there on Nov. 19 by a margin of 12,284 votes. Mr. Biden is the primary Democrat to hold the state in a presidential election since Invoice Clinton in 1992.
Mr. Trump insisted on Thursday that he had gained the vote by a major margin. “We have been robbed. We have been robbed,” he stated. “I gained that by a whole lot of hundreds of votes. All people is aware of it.”
Requested whether or not he would attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration, as is customary for a departing president, Mr. Trump was coy.
“I don’t wish to say that but,” the president stated, including, “I do know the reply, however I simply don’t wish to say.”
At instances, Mr. Trump shifted his rationalization of his defeat from claims of fraud to complaints that the political battlefield had been slanted in opposition to him, casting the information media and expertise firms as his enemies.
“If the media have been sincere and massive tech was truthful, it wouldn’t even be a contest,” he stated. “And I’d have gained by an amazing quantity.”
After seeming to concede actuality, Mr. Trump shortly caught himself and revised his conditional assertion.
“And I did win by an amazing quantity,” he added.