The US president, Donald Trump, said on Thursday that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalizes Joe Biden’s victory even as he insisted that such a decision would be a “mistake” _ as he spent his thanksgiving renewing his claims that “massive feud” and crooked officials in battleground states caused his defeat in the election.
“Certainly, I will, but you know that,” Trump said on Thursday when asked whether he would vacate the building and allow a peaceful transition of power in January. But Trump, taking questions for the first time since election day insisted that “a lot of things” would happen between now and then that might alter the results.
“This has a long way to go,” Trump said, even though he lost.
The fact that a sitting American president had to address whether or not he would leave office after losing reelection underscores the extent to which President Donald Trump has smashed one convention after another over the last few weeks.
While there’s no evidence of the kind of fraud Trump has been alleging, he and his legal team have nonetheless been working to cast doubt on the integrity of the election and trying to overturn voters’ will in an unprecedented breach of Democracy.
Trump spoke to reporters in the White House’ ornate Diplomatic Reception Room after holding a teleconference with the U.S military leaders stationed across the globe.
He thanked them for their service and jokingly warned them not to each too much turkey then turned to the election after ending the call.
He repeated grievances and angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key swing States that helped give Biden the win.
Trump claimed despite the results, that this may not be his last Thanksgiving at the White House. His administration has already been given the green light for a formal transition to get underway. But Trump took issues with Biden moving forward.
One of the reasons Republicans have stood by Trump and his baseless claims of fraud has been to keep his loyal base energized ahead of those runoffs on January 5. But Trump in his remarks, openly questioned whether the election would be fair in a move that could dampen Republican turnout.
“I think you’re dealing with a very fraudulent system, am very worried about that,” he said. “People are very disappointed that we were robbed.”
As for the Electoral College, Trump made it clear that he may never formally concede, even if he said he would leave the White House.