United States President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden attended separate, simultaneous Veterans Day ceremonies Wednesday, as the Republican’s refusal to recognize Biden’s election victory was intended to undermine the moment of national unity.
On a rainy, gray day in Washington, shortly before 11:30 a.m., the President visited Arlington National Cemetery for a grim wreath-laying ceremony, his first official appearance since the November 3 election. He made no public remarks.
At the same time, Biden appeared at the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia for his own wreath-laying ceremony.
US media predicted four days ago that Biden would win the White House.
Since then, Trump has only addressed the nation through Twitter and a written Veterans Day statement, and has not conceded Biden, as is traditionally the practice when a winner is projected in a U.S. vote.
With Covid-19 cases shattering records across the country and states imposing new restrictions to contain the virus before winter comes, Trump appears to have all but suspended the president’s normal duties.
Instead, he remained locked in the president’s mansion, pushing for an alternate reality he seeks to win, and filing election fraud lawsuits that have so far been supported only by the weakest evidence.
Early Wednesday, he tweeted new, evidence-free claims of election victories and election rigging, despite consensus from international observers, world leaders, local election officials and the US media that the November 3rd vote was free and fair and that there were no credible allegations of fraud.
He claimed a poll in Wisconsin on election day resulted in “possibly illegal repression” and said he was preparing “now to win the state,” which Biden called for a week ago.
“Lots of such ‘unfortunate’ cases!” he added on Twitter.
Some Republicans added their votes to growing calls for a presidential concession. Experts warned that his refusal is undermining the democratic process and halting the transition to Biden, who will take office in January.
Among them was Republican Secretary of State for Montana, Corey Stapleton, who announced the “incredible things” Trump had accomplished in office.
“But that time is over now. Tap your hat, bite your lip and congratulations @JoeBiden,” he tweeted.
– ’embarrassment’ –
Some of the Republican Party’s most powerful figures – including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell – appear to support Trump in his quest to undermine Biden’s victory.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said in a sometimes irritable press conference on Tuesday, while McConnell said the president was “100 percent entitled” to challenge the election in court.
None of the lawsuits appear to have the potential to change the outcome of votes, and even a planned recount of Biden’s razor-thin victory in Georgia or elsewhere probably wouldn’t change the basic math.
Trump’s victory in Alaska, which the US media demanded for him on Wednesday and which got three more votes in his column, was also not enough.
“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden said Tuesday when asked what he thought of the president’s refusal to acknowledge defeat.
Otherwise, he has largely ignored Trump, signaling that despite the Republican’s attempts to hinder his transfer of power, he was increasingly a waiting president.
Since his planned victory was announced on Saturday, Biden has been reaching out to the nation, establishing a coronavirus task force, speaking to world leaders including Trump allies, reviewing potential cabinet members and delivering political speeches.
The only known activities for the President outside the White House were playing golf twice the weekend after the results were received.
Routine intelligence meetings were usually not part of the daily schedule. He made no mention of the dramatic upsurge in the Covid-19 pandemic across the country.
Trump’s only significant action by the president was the sudden sacking of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, which he announced on Twitter.
His failure to admit has no legal force in and of itself, but the General Services Administration, the normally reluctant agency that runs the Washington bureaucracy, has refused to approve the transition by holding up funding and security briefings.
Biden’s inauguration is on January 20th.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)