Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden but has refused to concede, even as an official transition gathers pace
Trump acknowledged that it would be difficult to bring his allegations all the way to the Supreme Court
In the first TV interview since losing his re-election bid, US President Donald Trump indicated Sunday that he will never concede to Joe Biden and abandon his conspiracy theory about mass ballot fraud.
“It’s not like you’re gonna change my mind. My mind will not change in six months,” Trump told Fox News interviewer Maria Bartiromo.
“This election was rigged. This election was a total fraud,” he claimed, again without backing this up. “We won the election easily.”
The 45-minute interview, Trump’s first on television since the November 3 election, was mostly a monologue of evidence-free claims concerning election fraud.
Bartiromo encouraged the president during the interview, arguing that “this is disgusting” and “we cannot allow America’s election to be corrupted”.
Despite Trump’s unprecedented attack on the validity of the US election system, his legal team has yet to provide any evidence that stands up in court.
Case after case has been rejected by judges around the country. The latest rebuff came on Sunday when
confirmed Biden won the battleground state by more than 20,000 votes.
On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court turned down a lawsuit filed by Trump supporters seeking to contest Biden’s win in the state.
“We’re trying to put the evidence in and the judges won’t allow us to do it,” Trump said. “We are trying. We have so much evidence.”
Ignoring the usual boundaries between his office and the judicial and law enforcement system, Trump complained that the Department of Justice and FBI were not helping him.
They are “missing in action,” he said, also questioning the point of the Supreme Court if it doesn’t intervene.
“We should be heard by the Supreme Court. Something has to be able to get up there. Otherwise, what is the Supreme Court?” he asked.
The Supreme Court has always been unlikely to tip the election in Trump’s favour, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Trump’s Pennsylvania challenge was a particularly poor vehicle for getting to the high court because it involves a procedural question about whether Trump’s campaign should have been allowed to expand the case, Levinson said.
“There is nothing for the Supreme Court to decide,” she said.
The 2020 election was not especially close.
Biden won the electoral college vote – the state-by-state competition deciding the winner – by 306 to 232. In the popular national vote, which does not decide the result but still has political and symbolic heft, Biden won by 51 to 47 per cent.
Losers of US presidential elections traditionally concede almost immediately.
But whether Trump ever acknowledges defeat, the Electoral College is all but certain to go through the formal motions of confirming Biden when it meets on December 14 and the Democrat will be sworn in on Inauguration Day January 20.
Even as the clock runs down on his single term, Trump declined to say on Fox News whether he sees an expiry date for his unsuccessful legal campaign.
“I’m not going to say a date,” he said.
Asked if he saw a path to victory, he said: “I hope so.”
Trump has hinted that he will not leave the White House quietly. He is starting to strategise ways to remain relevant even after Biden takes office. He’s considering a 2024 run for president and reportedly plans to host a campaign event on the same day as Biden’s inauguration.
Aides say Trump has also discussed starting a television channel or social media company to keep himself in the spotlight ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid.