President Donald Trump said in a statement that he is refusing the results of the 2020 election after losing to Democrat Joe Biden and that Biden is ‘rushing to pose as the winner.’
UPDATE (11/7/2020 @ 6:20 p.m. EST): Donald Trump has since taken to Twitter once again since Joe Biden was named as winner of the 2020 election. “THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!” the current President alleged. “71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!” he also wrote.
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Donald Trump is not going down without a fight. The 74-year-old president lashed out on Twitter after the 2020 race was called for Democratic opponent Joe Biden on November 7 — even by his beloved Fox News — by doing what critics feared the most: refusing to accept the results of the election. In a statement, Trump called the race “far from over” and that Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” the president said. “I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.” Trump is currently golfing in Virginia.
Scene outside the White House:
Hundreds cheer, wave flags, blast music and celebrate after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidency
You can hear a chant of “na na na na hey hey hey, goodbye” pic.twitter.com/S6WvXzZHAE
— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) November 7, 2020
Trump warned that he wouldn’t accept the results in a 2:00am speech on November 4 at the White House, questioning the legality of states counting votes after polls closed (which, of course, is legal and how elections work). “We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court,” the president said. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00am and add them to the list. To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have won this.” At the time, Biden was leading in the popular vote and electoral vote.
Trump continued to express confusion about how votes are counted. He tweeted on November 4, “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key states, in almost all instances Democrat run and controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely and historically wrong.”
Legally, a United States president cannot simply refuse to leave office, although Trump has “joked” about doing so frequently. With high enough pressure, the ballots can be recounted, however, like what happened in 2000 with George W. Bush and Al Gore. In the swing state of Florida, many polling stations used punched card ballots, which resulted sometimes in partially punched chads (“hanging chads”). These votes were not counted by tabulating machines, and Bush called a recount (Bush v. Gore). He ultimately won the election after it was expected to go to Gore.
Trump has cried foul play for nearly a year preceding the 2020 election, saying that the heightened popularity of mail-in voting would lead (incorrectly) to widespread voter fraud. An unprecedented number of Americans opted to mail their ballots this election in an attempt to avoid crowded polling stations and long lines during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which Trump has still failed to contain. Trump’s constant false claims about mail-in voting (he himself voted absentee) led Twitter to flag his tweets as misleading about the election.
Every losing presidential candidate in United States history has conceded. Trump threatened not to concede in 2016, when it was expected that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election. “Well, we’ll have to see what happens,” the president said at a news conference at the White House in September 2020. “You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very — you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.” He added that he believes the election results will be sent to the Supreme Court, as they did twenty years ago.
If it comes down to it and there’s truly no resolution to the situation, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are still legally required to vacate the White House by noon on January 20, Inauguration Day. In that scenario, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi will become president until a resolution is reached. Biden, who won in a landslide after Pennsylvania was called for him on November 7, has not yet responded to Trump’s refusal to concede. This article will be edited to reflect his response when it becomes available.