President Donald Trump has appeared to publicly acknowledge for the first time that his Democratic rival Joe Biden won the November 3 United States presidential election, but reiterated his false claims that the vote was rigged.
“He won because the election was rigged,” Trump tweeted.
“No vote watchers or observers allowed, vote tabulated by a radical left private company,” the president added.
Twitter flagged the tweet as “disputed”.
He won because the Election was Rigged. 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! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
Trump has refused to concede the election and repeatedly said he intends to overturn the result through legal cases – though no evidence of mass fraud in the November 3 election has been found.
While Trump’s comments may hint at a slow acceptance of defeat, Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan said Trump’s other tweets on Sunday seem to suggest he still intends to contest the results.
“He has put out other tweets … that show his campaign is still very much committed in challenging the result of the November 3 election, promoting the efforts of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani … and other members of his campaign legal team,” Jordan said, reporting from Washington, DC.
A US president is not bound by law to concede defeat in the elections but is expected to publicly acknowledge it.
Thousands rally behind Trump
Trump’s comments come after thousands of his supporters on Saturday took to the streets of the capital to protest against the election results.
After night fell, the relatively peaceful demonstrations in Washington turned from tense to violent.
Videos posted on social media showed fistfights, projectiles thrown and club-swinging as Trump supporters clashed with those demanding they leave.
A variety of charges, including assault and weapons possession, were filed against those arrested, officials said. Two police officers were injured and several firearms were recovered by police.
Biden had further solidified his victory on Friday as results from Edison Research showed him winning Georgia, giving him a final tally of 306 Electoral College votes, far more than the 270 needed to be elected president and above Trump’s 232.
The 306 votes were equal to what Trump won in his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, which he then called a “landslide”.
Biden has also won the popular vote. With a few states still counting ballots, he leads Trump by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percent.