US President Donald Trump makes his first official post – election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran ’ s Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden ’ s win.
The president was to visit Arlington National Cemetery around 11 : 00 am , four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House .
Since then he has not addressed the nation other than via Twitter , and has not conceded to Biden , as is traditional once a winner is projected in a US vote.
And with Covid- 19 cases shattering records across the country and states imposing new restrictions in a push to contain the virus before winter arrives , Trump seems to have all but shelved normal presidential duties .
Instead, he has remained shut up inside the presidential mansion , pushing an alternate reality that he is about to win and filing lawsuits alleging voter fraud that so far have been backed up by only the flimsiest evidence .
Early Wednesday he was tweeting fresh evidence – free claims of election wins and ballot tampering , despite the consensus from international observers , world leaders , local election officials and US media that the November 3 vote was free and fair , and that there have no credible allegations of fraud .
Claiming that a poll in Wisconsin on Election Day had resulted in “ possibly illegal suppression ” he said he was “ now preparing to win the state , ” which was called for Biden one week ago .
“ Many such ‘ deplorable ’ instances!” he added on Twitter .
Some Republicans were adding their voices to growing calls for the president to concede , with experts warning his refusal to do so was undermining the democratic process and holding up the transition to Biden , who takes office in January .
Among them was Republican secretary of state for Montana , Corey Stapleton , who heralded the “ incredible things” Trump accomplished in office .
“ But that time is now over . Tip your hat, bite your lip , and congratulate @ JoeBiden , ” he tweeted .
– ‘ Embarrassment ’ –
However , some of the most powerful figures in the Republican party — among them Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senate leader Mitch McConnell — have appeared to back Trump in his bid to undermine Biden ’ s victory.
“ There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration , ” Pompeo said in a sometimes testy news conference Tuesday, while McConnell has said the president was “ 100 percent within his rights ” to challenge the election in court .None of the lawsuits appears to have the potential to change the result of votes and even a planned recount of Biden ’ s paper-thin victory in Georgia, or anywhere else, would be unlikely to change the fundamental math .
“ I just think it ’ s an embarrassment , quite frankly , ” Biden said Tuesday , when asked what he thinks about the president’ s refusal to acknowledge defeat .
But otherwise he has largely ignored Trump , signaling that despite attempts by the Republican to stymie his transition to power he was increasingly a president in waiting .
With Biden addressing the nation , setting up a coronavirus task force , speaking with world leaders including Trump allies, vetting potential cabinet members and delivering policy speeches, the president’ s only known activities outside the White House have been to play golf twice over the weekend, after the results came in .
Normally routine secret presidential intelligence briefings have been off the daily schedule . He has made no mention of the dramatic rebound in the Covid- 19 pandemic across the country.
Trump ’ s only significant presidential action has been the abrupt firing of defense secretary Mark Esper on Monday, which he announced on Twitter .
His failure to concede has no legal force in itself, but the General Services Administration, the usually low- key agency that manages the Washington bureaucracy , has refused to sign off on the transition , holding up funding and security briefings .
Biden ’ s inauguration is on January 2
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