President Donald Trump said Thursday he will leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College chooses Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, but he told reporters Thursday that he was not prepared to concede.
“Certainly I will, and you know that,” Trump said when asked if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden.
“But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January.”
The president’s comments, coming after a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the U.S. military, marked the first time he has answered questions directly from reporters since the Nov. 3 election.
“It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud,” Trump said, referencing his campaign’s legal fight over alleged fraud and voting irregularities in several battleground states.
“You take a look at all the mistakes they made.”
The Trump campaign has pointed to issues with the vote in states that include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Despite multiple anecdotal incidents, proof has yet to surface of a widespread effort to distort the vote in such a way that would have impacted the final results of the presidential election.
“I don’t know what is going to happen. I know one thing: Joe Biden did not get 80 million votes,” the president said.
Many on the left have claimed Trump will have to be removed from the White House by force.
Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington told The Atlantic that there was “a zero percent chance that he would gracefully transfer power.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House might have to be gassed to get Trump to leave.
“Just because he might not want to move out of the White House doesn’t mean we won’t have an inauguration ceremony to inaugurate a duly elected president of the United States. … There is a process. It has nothing to do with that the certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there,” the California Democrat said in July.
Biden himself has suggested the U.S. military might be needed “to escort [Trump] from the White House with great dispatch.”
The president announced Monday night in a series of tweets he was recommending that the General Services Administration make federal resources available to the Biden transition team, but he also emphasized he will not stop his legal battle over the results of the election.
“What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history? We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion,’” the president said.
Most of the Trump campaign’s legal challenges to overturn the election results have been dismissed, The Hill reported.
Emily Murphy, administer of the GSA, wrote to the Biden campaign and said she had made the decision to release funds for the transition on her own.
“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy said in the letter, according to Fox News. “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision.
“To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
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