BY ARUL LOUIS
New York, Nov 15 (IANS) United States President Donald Trump made a low-key concession in a tweet on Sunday conceding the election to Joe Biden but maintaining the Democrat’s victory was a fraud.
In a passive-aggressive concession tweet, Trump said: “He won because the Election was Rigged.”
Trump had refused to accept the media declaration that Biden was the winner based on their projections of the November 3 election’s outcome, even though the counting was still continuing and there have been no official announcements.
On Friday, the media gave 306 electoral college votes to Biden and 232 to Trump. To win, 270 electoral college votes are needed.
The media declaration of the election results has been acknowledged by many US politicians, including a few Republicans, and international leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has congratulated Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris.
On Friday, Biden declared: “I am the President-elect,” while giving a warning about the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The immediate future of the transition is still uncertain because Trump’s administration has so far refused to give Biden’s transition team facilities or share information.
Trump has not yet given an indication if he would cooperate with Biden’s transition or if he will be dropping the cases filed by his campaign around the country.
Thousands of his supporters marched in Washington on Saturday in a rally they called, “Stop the Steal” – a reference to the allegations of fraud.
Trump drove by the rally but did not stop or speak to them.
Later in the evening, anti-Trump demonstrators clashed with Trump supporters and about 20 people were arrested, but there was no widespread violence or looting.
Continuing with his allegations of voter fraud, Trump added in his tweet: “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!”
Dominion is a company that provides software for conducting elections and Trump supporters have asserted that it switched thousands of Trump’s votes to Biden.
In Michigan, where inaccuracies in reporting the votes were discovered, officials said that they were due to human error and were not committed by the software.
Officials in Georgia said that Dominion software problems delayed the reporting of vote counts but did not affect the numbers.
In another tweet Trump said: “All of the mechanical ‘glitches’ that took place on Election Night were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes. They succeeded plenty, however, without getting caught. Mail-in elections are a sick joke!”
At a White House briefing on Friday on the progress of his Covid-19 vaccination program, Operation Warp Speed, Trump gave an indication that he was reconciled to a defeat.
While discussing the possibility of a coronavirus-induced lockdown he said: “Whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration will be, I guess time will tell.”
Jen Psaki, a Biden transition official, said on Friday they did not have access “to the ongoing work on COVID, so that we can prepare to govern” or to national intelligence briefings and other important information.
Legally a president-elect has to be given official facilities for transitioning into the office and access to briefings.
The Trump administration official in charge of giving the Biden team access to information and facilities has said that they were waiting for an official announcement of the result.
A formal acknowledgement even before the official announcements by Trump that Biden has won would allow Biden transition team access to the federal facilities and information.
After a series of legal setbacks in Pennsylvania and Michigan, Trump appointed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to run his cases on alleged election irregularities.
At least one law firm withdrew from representing Trump.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)
BY ARUL LOUIS