President Trump is in no mood to concede, but says will leave White House

He said he would leave the White House on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

  • By Franco Ordonez and Roberta Rampton/NPR

(Washington) — President Trump this week acknowledged that the transition for President-elect Joe Biden to take office is going ahead. But on Thursday, he made clear he’s in no mood to concede the election, even after the Electoral College formally votes this month.

“It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud,” Trump said, complaining that the U.S. election was “like a Third World country.”

Trump has kept a low profile since losing the election to Biden on Nov 3, appearing on camera only a handful of times, and steering clear of reporters’ questions.

But on Thanksgiving, after talking to troops serving overseas, Trump held forth, venturing into the weeds of the allegations that the election was rigged — baseless claims of widespread fraud that courts have repeatedly rejected.

President Donald Trump arrives to participate in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington.

Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

President Donald Trump arrives to participate in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington.

“There’s no way that Biden got 80 million votes,” he said, repeatedly.

When a reporter pushed back against his claims, Trump got angry. “Don’t talk to me that way,” he said. “You’re just a lightweight … I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.”

Trump said he would leave the White House on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. “Certainly I will — and you know that,” he said. “But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January, a lot of things.”

One of those things: Trump will campaign for the two Republican senators in the Georgia runoff races on Jan. 5. The White House said he will headline a rally on Dec. 5, and Trump said he may return to the state before the election, if needed. The results of the races will determine whether Republicans retain control of the Senate.

But he refused to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration ceremonies, as is tradition. And as far as his political future beyond Jan. 20 — Trump also declined to answer.

“Well, I don’t want to talk about 2024 yet,” he said.

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