WASHINGTON / REHOBOTH BEACH (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said today that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, in the statement closest to an admission of his defeat in the United States elections. November 3, although the Republican continues to repeat his baseless accusations that there was widespread electoral fraud.
Speaking to reporters on Thanksgiving, Trump said that if Biden – who is due to take office on January 20 – is confirmed as the winner of the Electoral College elections, he will leave the White House.
But Trump said it would be difficult for him to admit defeat in the current circumstances, and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration.
“This election was a fraud,” Trump insisted in a sometimes inconsistent speech at the White House, in which he continued without offering concrete evidence of widespread electoral irregularities.
Biden won the election with 306 votes from the Electoral College – many more than the 270 needed to guarantee victory – against Trump’s 232, and the Electoral College meeting is scheduled for December 14 to formalize the result. Biden also leads Trump by more than 6 million votes in counting popular votes.
Trump has so far refused to fully acknowledge his defeat, although in the past week – with increased pressure from his own Republican Party – he has agreed to authorize the start of the official power transition process.
Asked if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for Biden, Trump said: “Certainly, I will. Certainly I will. And you know that,” he said. “But I believe that a lot of things will happen between now and January 20th. A lot of things,” he said. “Massive fraud has been discovered. We are like a Third World country.”