Donald Trump stated this week that he will leave the White House once the electoral college officially votes for Democratic presidential-elect Joe Biden. This marks the first time Trump has even hinted at the idea of conceding to Biden since it was announced that he was projected to win some two weeks ago.
Biden won the presidential election with 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232; 270 is required to win the election. Biden also led Trump by more than 6 million popular votes. By refusing to concede, Trump is defying a long lasting presidential tradition that marks a smooth transition of power and is meant to represent the continuous existence of democracy.
Despite Trump and his administration’s adamant efforts to overturn the election results with constant baseless claims of voter fraud, all recounts still gave Biden the win. Speaking to reporters on Thanksgiving Day, Trump said if Biden was certified the election winner by the electoral college he would leave the White House.
Trump made the comments to reporters at the White House after the traditional Thanksgiving Day address to US service members. Trump was specifically asked by a reporter if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him and he replied: “Certainly I will. And you know that, if they do, they’ve made a mistake.”
Trump did continue, however, that it would be a “very hard thing to concede” and declined to mention whether or not he would attend Biden’s inauguration; which is scheduled for January 20th. This marked the first time Trump took questions from reporters since the actual election day, and despite his combative attitude and avoidance of talking about his loss, his administration has still begun the process for a formal transition of power.
Later that evening, Trump defied his comments to the reporters, however, by claiming that the media had not covered the conference in a way that he wanted, and stated that his main point was that he won the election: Twitter immediately flagged his comments for spreading false information.
The electoral college is officially set to meet on December 14th when each state’s nominated electors will cast their votes for winner of the 2020 presidential election, and the votes are then officially counted by Congress on January 6th.
Despite Trump and some of his team members adamant claims that he won his reelection, Biden and his team have been carrying on with the transition. For example Biden campaign spokesperson, Michael Gwin recently spoke with the press about Biden’s win, claiming: “President-elect Biden won 306 electoral votes. The Electoral College will soon meet to ratify that outcome. Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.