One day after President Donald Trump said he would leave the White House on January 20 barring a massive revolt from Electoral College voters, Trump walked back his statement on Friday.
In a tweet, Trump says that President-elect Joe Biden will only be allowed in the White House if he can prove that he had 80 million votes. In America, voters cast private ballots. Once a vote is tabulated, it is no longer traced to the voter. Lawmakers put in measures such as secret ballots in the late 1800s amid an era of voter intimidation. Non-secret ballots are generally a violation of international law.
“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained,” Trump tweeted. “When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”
Biden is slated to send 306 electors on his behalf to state capitols on December 4, 36 more than the 270 needed to become president on January 20. Trump has been trying to stop Biden’s electors from casting a vote by whatever means possible. After more than three dozen failed legal challenges since the election, Trump has been meeting with state legislative leaders, most recently on Wednesday with Republican members of the Pennsylvania legislature.
The latest failed legal challenge came on Friday when a Trump-appointed federal judge was among a three-judge panel that threw out a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. The other two judges were Judge Michael Chagares, a George W. Bush appointee, and Judge D. Brooks Smith, who has been appointed by both GOP and Democratic presidents.
“Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote. Bibas was appointed by Trump to the federal bench in 2017.
On Thursday, Trump answered questions for the first time since his Nov. 3 election defeat, saying that it would be a “mistake” if the Electoral College votes for Biden next month.
“This election was a fraud,” Trump claimed.
Two weeks ago, a joint statement released by federal and state officials described the presidential election as the “most secure in American history.”
The letter was signed by leaders of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of State Election Directors, among others. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was established two years ago as a branch of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.
In bold, the authors of the statement wrote, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This statement matches those from secretaries of state and boards of election throughout the US.
In response to the letter, Trump fired US election security head Chris Krebs.
“I know one thing, Joe Biden did not get 80 million votes,” Trump claimed on Thursday.
Trump was asked if he would attend Biden’s inauguration. He said he knew the answer but would not say whether he would or not. It has been a long-standing tradition that the incoming and outgoing president meet at the White House and travel to the Capitol together before the inauguration.
Trump said, “certainly I will, you know that,” when asked if he would leave the White House on January 20.
The president criticized Biden for beginning to fill out his prospective cabinet before taking office. But Trump as president-elect had named his UN ambassador and secretary of education nominees on the day before Thanksgiving in 2016.
Earlier this week, the General Services Administration recognized Biden’s victory and has been overseeing the transition between the Trump and Biden administrations.
The Biden transition has confirmed that the president-elect will begin receiving intelligence briefings ahead of his inauguration.