President Donald Trump looks on after posting an update on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump publicly admitted for the first time that President-elect Joe Biden won the election, more than seven days after media such as NBC News launched the race for Biden.
The president’s comments, made in what appeared to be an impromptu post on social media, stem from his campaign continuing to question the results of the court elections and his government holding back formal transition processes. In subsequent tweets, Trump wrote that he would not admit it.
The apparent recognition of the defeat came on Twitter in response to a post on the Fox News show “Watters’ World,” suggesting that Biden “did not deserve” the presidency.
“He won because the election was rigged,” wrote Trump, reiterating a claim debunked by election officials across the country and his own Department of Homeland Security.
Shortly after writing that Biden had won, Trump wrote in another post that he admitted “NOTHING” and claimed that “WE WILL WIN!”
“He only won in the eyes of FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” wrote Trump.
The spate of tweets comes as the president continues to argue without evidence that the election was rigged against him, energizing his base even if he is defeated.
Thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington, DC on Saturday to protest the results. At least 20 people were arrested after pro-Trump groups clashed with counter-protesters.
A White House official told NBC News when asked if Trump would admit defeat, “It looks like this.” The official added that this could be the start of Trump’s clean sheet.
The Biden transition team did not immediately provide a comment.
So far, more than 97% of the expected votes in the 2020 race have been tabulated. NBC News is projects that Biden will garner 306 votescompared to Trump’s 232. It takes 270 votes to win.
Biden also leads Trump in the referendum by more than 5 million votes, although the referendum is not legally significant.
The importance of recognizing the President was not immediately clear, especially given his later revisions.
Trump’s re-election campaign continues to track litigation across the country to slow down the electoral certification process in key states or otherwise challenge electoral processes. Most of these efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
His administration has also yet to announce formal recognition of Biden’s victory, which has delayed millions in funding and other government funding for the transition effort.
General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy must sign the paperwork for the transition process to begin. The GSA did not return an email requesting a comment. A Biden transition official told NBC News that they had not received any information about the GSA process on Sunday morning.
The Biden team has continued to advance the transition effort despite the stone walls of the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Biden appointed a longtime advisor, Ron Klain, to be his chief of staff. Biden is expected to take on additional roles in the coming weeks.
The former vice president has instilled confidence that the president’s efforts would not hamper the peaceful transfer of power. The Democrat team has repeatedly responded to inquiries on the matter: “The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting intruders from the White House.”