President Donald Trump refused on Thanksgiving to say if he will attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, didn’t rule out a run for the White House in 2024 and said the Electoral College will make “a massive mistake” if it formally votes for Biden on Dec. 14.
“It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede, because we know there was massive fraud,” Trump said, repeating false claims in comments to the press after a teleconference with members of the military. “This was a massive fraud, this should never take place in this country. We’re like a third-world country.”
The president said he wouldn’t comment on his attendance at any inauguration event on Jan. 20, adding: “I know the answer to that, but I don’t want to say it yet.” When pressed by reporters, Trump said that he would leave the White House in January.
“Certainly I will. … Certainly I will, and you know that,” Trump said before adding, “There will be a lot of things happening between now and January 20th, a lot of things.”
Trump and his surrogates have lost virtually all of their court challenges to the results of the presidential election in the key battleground states of Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Biden won more than 80 million votes in the election, a historic number, and currently leads the president by more than 6 million votes.
“I know one thing, Joe Biden did not get 80 million votes,” Trump said without evidence. “This race is far from over.”
Electors will meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes in their respective states, a move that constitutionally determines the next president.
Biden holds 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. Congress counts and certifies the results on Jan. 6. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Trump on Thursday demeaned Republican election officials in Georgia and said he “didn’t lose” in the state despite a hand recount that confirmed Biden led in the state by just over 12,000 votes. That recount, Trump said, was “meaningless.” (It is not.) He said his loss in the Electoral College would be “fraud,” a statement not supported by any evidence.
“If they do, they’ve made a mistake,” the president said, referring to the Electoral College certifying Biden as the winner next month.
Trump also blasted efforts by the president-elect to prepare to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans shouldn’t “let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccines,” he said.
“Don’t let him take credit, because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve been pushed before,” he said, a statement not supported by the facts about the vaccines currently under development.
Asked about a potential run in 2024, Trump had a brief response. “I don’t want to talk about 2024 yet,” he said, “because this is far from being over.”
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