Topline

Less than a day after saying he would leave the White House should President-elect Joe Biden be voted in by the electoral college, President Donald Trump backtracked, baselessly insisting Friday that Biden “can only enter the White House as President if he can prove” his 80 million votes were not “fraudulently or illegally obtained,” and effectively recanting his closest admission to electoral defeat.

Key Facts

In the tweet, Trump continued to make baseless claims of voter fraud that somehow denied him the election, singling out Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Milwaukee as particularly troublesome. 

His insistence that Biden may only enter the White House if he can prove the votes for him were illegal backtracks on a pledge he made on Thanksgiving, where he said he would “certainly” leave the White House if Biden was elected by the electoral college. 

Trump claimed Biden would have a tough time proving the legality of his record-breaking 80 million votes, describing it as a “big unsolvable problem.”

Twitter, which has flagged dozens of his tweets claiming voter fraud since Nov. 3, promptly added under the post: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

 

What To Watch For

Members of the electoral college formally convene on December 14 to cast votes for president and vice-president. Weeks later, these votes are counted and certified in a joint session of congress on January 6. This session is presided over by the incumbent vice president, who, in this instance, is Mike Pence.

Key Background

Since before the election, Trump has made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and illegal voting. He has ramped up the accusations in the weeks after, refusing to concede and launching a barrage of largely meritless legal attacks in increasingly desperate bids to overturn the result, with one member of his legal team being ousted from the campaign after pushing an outlandish conspiracy theory somehow implicating a deceased Hugo Chavez in a plot to rig voting machines. 

Further Reading

Trump Says He Will Physically Leave White House If Biden Wins Electoral College (Forbes)

These Are The Republicans Who Have Acknowledged Biden’s Victory (Forbes)

Trump Campaign Cuts Ties With Lawyer Sidney Powell Who Promoted Wild Election Fraud Conspiracy Theories (Forbes)

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