Donald Trump backtracks on acknowledging Joe Biden won election, concedes 'nothing'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • President Donald Trump backtracked on Sunday after appearing to concede for the first time that Democrat Joe Biden had won the US elections.
  • Trump's campaign has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in multiple states, though without success.
  • Tens of thousands of flag-waving Trump supporters ventured into Washington to echo the president's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.


President Donald Trump backtracked after appearing on Sunday to acknowledge for the first time that Joe Biden won the election, saying he conceded "nothing" and repeating his unfounded claims of widespread voting fraud.

Biden defeated Trump by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016. The Democratic former vice president also won the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points.

Trump made his conflicting statements in a series of Twitter posts.

"He won because the Election was Rigged," Trump wrote on Sunday morning, not referring to Biden by name. "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!"

About an hour later, Trump wrote, "He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!"


Speaking on the NBC program "Meet the Press," Biden's pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, "Donald Trump's Twitter feed doesn't make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that."

Trump's campaign has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in multiple states, though without success, and legal experts say the litigation stands little chance of altering the outcome of the election.

READ | What it will take for Trump to concede, according to a psychologist who specialises in narcissism

Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities. Democrats and other critics have accused Trump of trying to delegitimise Biden's victory and undermine public confidence in the American electoral process. Before the election, Trump had refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Trump's refusal to concede did not change the fact that Biden was the president-elect, but it has stalled the government's normal process of preparing for a new presidential administration.

The Trump administration's decision not to recognise Biden as the winner has prevented Biden and his team from gaining access to government office space and to funding normally afforded to an incoming administration to ensure a smooth transition.

The federal agency in charge of providing those resources, the General Services Administration, has yet to recognize Biden's victory.

'Absolutely disgraceful'

Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the main challengers to Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, criticised Trump's post-election conduct.

"Trump will have the distinction of doing more than any person in the history of this country in undermining American democracy. The idea that he continues to tell his supporters that the only reason he may have lost this election was because of fraud is an absolutely disgraceful, un-American thing to do," Sanders told CNN's "State of the Union" program.

Biden has spent days huddled with advisers as he weighs Cabinet appointments, fields congratulatory calls from world leaders and maps out the policies he will pursue after being sworn in on 20 January. He is expected to continue meeting with advisers in private on Sunday.

ALSO READ | Conservatives flock to 'alt' social media in US election dispute

Biden has won 306 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College system that determines the presidential winner, according to Edison Research, far more than the 270 needed to secure a majority. States are in the process of certifying their election results. The Electoral College meets to vote for the new president on 14 December.

John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser turned critic, on Sunday called on Republicans to acknowledge Biden's victory. Bolton last week accused his fellow Republicans of "coddling" and "kowtowing" to Trump as the incumbent despite his defeat.

"I think it's very important for leaders of the Republican Party to explain to our voters, who are not as stupid as the Democrats think, that in fact Trump has lost the election and his claims of election fraud are baseless," Bolton said on ABC's "This Week" program.

"I take this as a test for the Republican Party... I don't buy the argument that Donald Trump has hypnotized Republican voters," Bolton added.

Trump supporters rally

On Saturday, tens of thousands of flag-waving Trump supporters ventured into Washington to echo his claims of election fraud during the "Million MAGA March," referring to Trump's campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again."

Donald Trump's Supporters
Pro-Trump groups and supporters gathered on 14 November 2020 in Washington, DC for the Million MAGA March to protest the election results.

Trump's motorcade passed through the crowd on its way to his golf course in Virginia, producing cheers from demonstrators as the president waved from the back seat. The march was largely peaceful, though numerous scuffles broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters that continued after dark.

Klain said this week that a rapid transition is necessary to ensure the government is prepared to roll out a potential coronavirus vaccine early next year.

Tackling the raging pandemic will be a paramount priority for Biden, with the United States tallying record numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days. More than 245,000 people in the country have died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 68 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
27% - 138 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
60% - 310 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.26
(-0.33)
ZAR/GBP
20.30
(+0.07)
ZAR/EUR
18.24
(-0.67)
ZAR/AUD
11.27
(-0.69)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.48)
Gold
1784.10
(-1.34)
Silver
22.62
(-2.42)
Platinum
963.00
(+0.49)
Brent Crude
47.75
(-1.52)
Palladium
2425.50
(+2.45)
All Share
57822.50
(-0.17)
Top 40
53021.58
(-0.12)
Financial 15
11577.71
(-0.58)
Industrial 25
79894.95
(-0.12)
Resource 10
52804.55
(+0.03)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo