U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after the media announced U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington, D.C., on November 7, 2020. Carlos Barria, Reuters.
WASHINGTON - After Saturday's announcement that Democrat Joe Biden won the race for the White House, Republican President Donald Trump and his allies made one thing clear: he has no plans to give up soon.
The president, who has spent months undermining election results on unverified rigging charges, promised Saturday to implement a legal strategy that he hopes will reverse the statewide vote that gave Biden victory Tuesday. Republican supporters and allies, though somewhat contradictory, mostly supported his strategy or spoke in silence.
"The simple fact is that this election is far from over. Joe Biden was not recognized as a winner in any of the states, much less in any of the highly contested states that are going to a mandatory recount, or in any of the states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal claims that could determine the ultimate winner," Trump said in a statement released by his campaign around noon.
Biden called for unity in his victory speech after his victory over Trump.
Allies and advisors to the president privately acknowledged that the former New York businessman's chances of releasing the election results and staying in the White House were slim. In preparation for a possible concession, they asked for time to let the legal problems take their course.
"I should let the recount go ahead, file any claims and then, if nothing changes, give in," said a Trump counselor.
Trump and the Republicans have filed numerous lawsuits for alleged election irregularities. Judges have withdrawn cases in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.
In Pennsylvania, judges sided with the Republicans and ordered that some provisional votes be set aside and that Republican observers have greater access to the vote count. Legal experts said that the legal problems were too narrow to affect the election results.
Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to raise at least $60 million to support the election. Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to raise at least $60 million to fund legal problems, according to Reuters sources.
"It must ensure that every vote is counted and demand transparency. That gives him a firm rhetorical basis," said another former White House official.
Trump was on his golf course in Virginia when the race was called to Biden. Groups of Biden supporters lined up two blocks from his motorcade route on Saturday afternoon. Trump returned to the White House with a "Make America Big Again" hat, looking grim with his cell phone in hand. The sponsors gathered and celebrated aloud at the White House.
HE "GAVE IN GRACEFULLY
Republicans feared that Trump would tarnish his legacy if he didn't make an elegant exit by eroding his future political power. "He won't be able to run again in 2024 if he's considered a sick loser," a Republican source in Congress said.
Fox News anchor Laura Ingram, Trump's staunch supporter, asked the president on Friday to accept, if and when the time comes, an unfavorable outcome with "grace and self-control," while the conservative Wall Street Journal wrote that Trump "needs evidence to prove election fraud.
"If Mr. Biden has 270 votes at the end of the vote count and the Electoral College trial, President Trump will have to make a decision. We hope that in that case he will graciously concede," he said.
On Saturday, Biden crossed that decisive threshold by winning the battlefield of Pennsylvania.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, one of Trump's advisers, said he is likely to be an aide who will raise the idea of concessions with Trump. Meadows fell ill with a coronavirus this week and is in quarantine.
Another former advisor said that Vice President Mike Pence or Senior Advisor and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kouchner would have to tell the President when it was time to make concessions.
In fact, CNN reported late Saturday that Kouchner had appealed to Trump for concessions. The White House spokesman did not respond immediately to the request for comment.
"President Trump has the right to take his time. It was close and unproductive to demand immediate concessions," said Ari Fleisher, who was a White House spokesman for the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after the media announced U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election in Washington, DC, on November 7, 2020.
Photo by Carlos Barria, Reuters