* Melania, allies advising him against legal battle
Martins Ifijeh in New Jersey, USA
The United States President Donald Trump has vowed not to recognize Democrat Joe Biden as the elected 46th president of the country, saying the election was clearly stolen from him by thieves.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the First Lady of the US, Melania Trump, son-in-law and Senior Adviser, Jared Kushner and some allies are putting pressure on him not to embark on any legal battle against the results as this would put a dent on the country’s democratic system, especially in the eyes of the world.
Biden won the election Saturday after polling 290 Electoral College votes as against Trump’s 214 votes. Results are still being counted from the three remaining states.
In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump, who is yet to declare his next line of action, said he clearly won the presidential election but that Democrats and big city machines were thieves and corrupt elements who clearly did not allow observers see the manipulations done during the vote count.
He said: “We believe these people are thieves. The big city machines are corrupt. This was a stolen election. Best pollster in Britain wrote this morning that this clearly was a stolen election, that it is impossible to imagine that Biden outran Obama in some of these states. Where it mattered, they stole what they had to steal.
“We should look at the votes. We are just beginning the tabulation stage. We should look at these allegations. We’re seeing a number of affidavits that there has been voter fraud. We have a history in this country of election problems. In Pennsylvania you had an order by how these ballots were authenticated, because if there’s a problem in the system about authentication, that would seriously affect the entire election – And what concerns me is that we had over a 100 million mail-in ballot in cities like Philadelphia and Detroit with a long series of election problems to put it mildly.”
In what appeared to be a consolation, he also tweeted that he had 71,000,000 legal votes – the most ever for a sitting US president, adding that: “I won this election. I got 71 million legal votes. Bad things happened which observers were not allowed to see; this never happened before. Millions of mail-in ballots were sent to people who never asked for them.”
Will Trump challenge the results in court?
While Trump has continued to share his displeasure with the outcome of the result, his delay in conceding defeat suggests he may head to the court to challenge the outcome of the contest.
But it appears some close allies of the president have started to discuss with his campaign team to concede defeat and accept the election outcome in good faith.
For instance, Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Adviser, Jared Kushner, has told him to concede defeat in order not to put America’s democracy to ridicule, according to reports by CNN Sunday.
There are also indications that the First Lady, Melania Trump, is currently pressuring her husband to concede defeat and accept the election loss.
Though the first lady has not publicly commented on the election, she has privately weighed in with her opinion, a source also told CNN.
Trump asserted in a statement from his campaign – moments after CNN and other networks projected that Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States — that Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and that the race is “far from over”.
“I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that democracy demands,” Trump said in the statement, which explains that the campaign’s legal battle may begin soonest.
Republicans split over Trump’s false claim to election fraud
As Trump continues to make claims against the integrity of the presidential election, die hard loyalists believed he is on track while some Republicans have subtly or vigorously condemned his claims, with some saying they were outright false.
According to a Republican senator from Kentucky, Senator, Mitch McConnel, “Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted,” He is the majority leader in the parliament. “Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws and resolve disputes. That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result,” he added.
Notably absent from Mr. McConnell’s statement was any suggestion that Democrats were stealing the election through an elaborate national conspiracy that included pollsters and the news media, as Trump asserted with no evidence in a rambling news conference. It also implicitly rejected Trump’s calls for a halt to vote counting in states where his early leads have been threatened or eliminated.
In a stinging statement, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said that Trump, while free to request recounts and present valid evidence of fraud, “is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so weakens the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundations of the republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions”.
In a victory speech, Biden vows to unite America
Meanwhile, Biden has vowed to unite the deeply divided nation, saying the grim era of demonisation was over.
In a victory speech Saturday night in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, he made that plea for unity and understanding despite President Trump showing no understanding to concede defeat.
After jogging on stage wearing a mask, Biden repeated his promise that he would seek to unify rather than divide. He pledged to govern by the creed that he does not see blue states and red states, but only the United States.
When the campaign started nearly two years ago, it would have been extraordinary to think that Americans would show up to a victory rally wearing masks. The fact that they had to, and at a drive-in event outside in November, was a reminder of the moment of national extremis that Biden and his deputy, Kamala Harris will inherit in January.
Biden said: “For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I have lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It is time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. This is the time to heal in America.”
The speech marked the time-honored pivot between a hard-fought campaign and the calls for unity that are traditional after an acrimonious election. It also epitomised the perceptible start of the process of shifting of power to a newly elected president from a defeated one, who scorned tradition at every turn. And it was a rare moment in the last five years that Trump was not the dominant figure seizing the attention on the national political stage.
Cognizant of the historic import of the moment, the Biden campaign opened the event by having Vice President-elect Harris introduce her running mate. Harris will be the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice president.
Harris said: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.
“And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before. And we will applaud you every step of the way.”