U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to publicly acknowledge for the first time that Democratic challenger Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 presidential election, although reiterating his baseless claims that it was rigged.
“He won because the Election was Rigged,” the 74-year-old Republican president tweeted. Trump has yet to concede the race after Biden was declared winner on Nov. 7 by major U.S. media outlets.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (Getty/Kyodo)
In a tweet posted more than an hour later, the president said, “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!”
Trump has claimed that the election was rigged through “illegal” ballots, alluding to mail-in ballots that he has baselessly criticized as vulnerable to voter fraud. He has also insisted that Republican poll watchers were improperly denied access to observe the ballot-counting process in some locations.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several battleground states, although some of them have been quickly dismissed. Concerns have grown that the dispute could complicate the process of transferring power.
In the race for the White House, a winning candidate needs to secure at least 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes allocated to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The candidate who wins the popular vote in a state captures that state’s electoral votes, usually in a winner-take-all manner.
According to U.S. media projections, Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, has secured a total of 306 electoral votes as compared with 232 for Trump.
The president-elect will be sworn on Jan. 20, a date that is stipulated in the Constitution.