Trump concedes 'nothing' on election; Biden team says smooth transition essential

By Sarah N. Lynch, Susan Heavey and Trevor Hunnicutt WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump appeared on Sunday to acknowledge losing the U.S.

Reuters November 16, 2020 00:10:49 IST
Trump concedes 'nothing' on election; Biden team says smooth transition essential

Trump concedes nothing on election Biden team says smooth transition essential

By Sarah N. Lynch, Susan Heavey and Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump appeared on Sunday to acknowledge losing the U.S. election but then backtracked and said he concedes "nothing" while a top aide to President-elect Joe Biden called a seamless transition vital for national security and combating the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, due to take office on Jan. 20, defeated Trump in the Nov. 3 election by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016. The Democratic former vice president also won the national popular vote by at least 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points, with some ballots still being counted.

Trump, who is pursuing long-shot litigation contesting election results in several states, made conflicting statements in a series of Twitter posts in which he initially appeared to admit for the first time publicly that Biden won, then reversed course. Trump also repeated unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

"He won because the Election was Rigged," Trump wrote, not referring to Biden by name. "NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn't even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!"

About 90 minutes later, Trump wrote, "He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!"

"WE WILL WIN!" he added.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, Biden's pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, "Donald Trump's Twitter feed doesn't make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that."

The decision by the General Services Administration, headed by a Trump appointee, not to recognize Biden as president-elect has prevented Biden and his team from gaining access to government office space and funding normally afforded to an incoming administration to ensure a smooth transition.

Klain called on the agency to formally recognize Biden, saying it is critical to ensure that the president-elect receives intelligence briefings describing national security threats before taking office and to facilitate coordination with the White House coronavirus task force.

"Joe Biden is going to become president of the U.S. in the midst of an ongoing crisis. That has to be a seamless transition," Klain said.

Klain also urged Congress to pass bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation. Talks on such legislation stalled before the election. Democratic congressional leaders last week called upon Republican lawmakers to join them in passing a relief measure before the end of the year.

"This could be a first example of bipartisan action post-election," Klain said. Klain added that Biden's team plans to meet with Pfizer Inc and other drugmakers starting this week regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Klain previously said a smooth transition is necessary to ensure the government is prepared to roll out a vaccine early next year.

Tackling the pandemic will be a paramount priority for Biden, with the United States tallying record numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days. More than 245,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 .

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" program, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, also urged speedy transition efforts to help confront the pandemic.

LEGAL STRATEGY

Trump's campaign has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in multiple states, though without success. Legal experts have said the litigation stands little chance of altering the election's outcome.

Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities. Democrats and other critics have accused Trump of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory and undermine public confidence in the U.S. electoral process. Before the election, Trump had refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Senator Bernie Sanders, one of Biden's main challengers for the Democratic presidential nomination, criticized Trump's post-election conduct.

"Trump will have the distinction of doing more than any person in the history of this country in undermining American democracy. The idea that he continues to tell his supporters that the only reason he may have lost this election was because of fraud is an absolutely disgraceful, un-American thing to do," Sanders said on "State of the Union."

John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser turned critic, on Sunday called on Republicans to acknowledge Biden's victory. Bolton last week accused his fellow Republicans of "coddling" and "kowtowing" to Trump as the incumbent despite his defeat.

"I think it's very important for leaders of the Republican Party to explain to our voters, who are not as stupid as the Democrats think, that in fact Trump has lost the election and his claims of election fraud are baseless," Bolton said on ABC's "This Week" program.

Biden has won 306 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College system that determines the presidential winner, according to Edison Research, far more than the 270 needed to secure a majority. States are in the process of certifying their election results. The Electoral College meets to formally vote for the new president on Dec. 14.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Susan Heavey and Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Global Markets: Stocks ascend to record on economic recovery, vaccine outlook
Business

Global Markets: Stocks ascend to record on economic recovery, vaccine outlook

By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks hit a record and oil prices jumped on Monday as the newest positive data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine and signs of economic recovery in Asia boosted sentiment. U.S. stocks advanced, with the Dow Industrials setting a record as it neared the 30,000 mark for the first time, after pharma company Moderna said its prospective vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing the illness, which has crushed economies across the globe

Airbnb IPO filing shows third-quarter earnings beating virus with cost cuts, new focus
Business

Airbnb IPO filing shows third-quarter earnings beating virus with cost cuts, new focus

By Anirban Sen and Joshua Franklin (Reuters) - Airbnb Inc's initial public offering (IPO) registration showed on Monday that the home rental startup turned a profit in the third quarter despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as it gears up for one of the most anticipated stock market debuts in recent years. The filing, published ahead of Airbnb's anticipated stock market debut in December, showed a dramatic recovery in its fortunes, after the coronavirus outbreak dragged down its core home rental business during the first half of the year. The slump forced it to lay off 25% of its workforce in May, suspend marketing activities for the year and seek $2 billion (£1.5 billion) emergency funding from investors, including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, at a valuation of $18 billion

Biden says U.S., allies need to set global trade rules to counter China's influence
Business

Biden says U.S., allies need to set global trade rules to counter China's influence

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Monday the United States needed to negotiate with allies to set global trading rules to counter China's growing influence but declined to say whether he would join a new China-backed Asian trade pact signed on Sunday.