Trump, Nonetheless Claiming Victory, Says He Will Go away if Electors Select Biden

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President Trump mentioned on Thursday that he would depart the White Home if the Electoral Faculty formalized Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election as president, whilst he reiterated baseless claims of fraud that he mentioned 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 solid its votes for Mr. Biden on Dec. 14 as anticipated, Mr. Trump replied: “Definitely I’ll. Definitely 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 mentioned, “as a result of we all know that there was huge fraud.”

However whilst he continued to disclaim the fact of his defeat, Mr. Trump additionally appeared to acknowledge that his days as president have been numbered.

“Time isn’t on our aspect,” he mentioned, in a uncommon admission of weak spot. He additionally complained that what he referred to, prematurely, as “the Biden administration” had declared its intention to scrap his “America First” foreign policy imaginative and prescient.

The president was additionally strikingly testy at one level, lashing out at a reporter who interjected throughout certainly one of a number of of his rambling statements in regards to 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 USA. Don’t ever discuss to the president that approach.”

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 towards 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 occasion will acquire 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 mentioned 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 may 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 could 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 1996.

Mr. Trump insisted on Thursday that he had gained the vote by a big margin. “We have been robbed. We have been robbed,” he mentioned. “I gained that by tons of of 1000’s 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 mentioned, including, “I do know the reply, however I simply don’t wish to say.”

At occasions, Mr. Trump shifted his clarification of his defeat from claims of fraud to complaints that the political battlefield had been slanted towards him, casting the information media and expertise corporations as his enemies.

“If the media have been trustworthy and large tech was truthful, it wouldn’t even be a contest,” he mentioned. “And I might have gained by an incredible quantity.”

After seeming to concede actuality, Mr. Trump shortly caught himself and revised his conditional assertion.

“And I did win by an incredible quantity,” he added.