While Trump Refuses to Concede, Preparations for a Biden Presidency Proceed

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AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Trump supporters gather outside the Wyndham Hotel (where the PA State Senate Majority Policy Committee is scheduled to meet) to protest the election results. A large majority of Trump voters believe the election was stolen by “fraudulent” voting.

Mimi Jiang-Yu, Contributing Writer

On November 7th, 2020, a little less than a week after the highly anticipated election, major news networks, including the Associated PressCNN, and Fox News, declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the Presidential race. However, shortly after the news broke, current President Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT.” Since then, Trump has adamantly refused to give a concession speech or to accept the results of the election.

Later that same day, the President issued a statement claiming that “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.” He also announced that his campaign “will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

In the following days, the Trump Campaign filed lawsuits in ArizonaPennsylvania, and Michigan while pushing recount efforts in Georgia and Wisconsin. Trump’s legal team struggled to maintain their claims of incorrectly cast rejected votes, irregularities, incompetence, and unlawful vote counting over more than thirty lawsuits. These claims have been consistently proved false by judges, state election officials, and even members of his own administration’s Homeland Security Department.

Judge Matthew W. Brann, of the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, said one of the claims he heard, “’like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.” Further, he dismissed the case stating that “this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.”

In a joint statement from the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, the Homeland Security Department’s members declared that “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” assuring that election officials were “reviewing and double checking” election results. Further, indicating that states with close elections will have recounts of ballots, they also assured, “there is no evidence that any system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Christopher Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, affirmed in a statement that the election was completely secure. He noted, “after millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies.” Later, Trump took to Twitter to argue that Krebs’ statements were “highly inaccurate,” consequently firing Krebs from the position. 

This week, key battleground states that determined the outcome of the election, including Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, officially certified their election results. Although the election results are not considered official until December 8th, these state-level certifications are a step toward recognizing the victory of Joe Biden.

In response to these certifications, Trump’s legal team issued a statement claiming that “certification by state election officials is simply a procedural step.” Further, maintaining that they were “going to continue combatting election fraud around the country,” Trump made it clear he that still refused to concede to President-Elect Biden.

On November 23rd, 2020, despite Trump’s adamant refusal to admit he lost the election, Emily W. Murphy, Administrator of the U. S. General Services Administration, approved the presidential transition to begin. Citing the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, Murphy indicated that “certain post-election resources and services” have been made available for Biden and his administration to begin his transition into the White House. Further, noting that she “came to [her] decision independently,” she admitted, “even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.” Murphy’s approval plays an important role in the presidential transition. It gives Biden access to $10 million in federal money to begin the process of hiring staff and provide access to office space and various government agencies.

In response to Murphy’s approval, Trump tweeted his support for her decision, writing, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country.” However, he maintained that his campaign’s case “STRONGLY continues,” and that they “will keep up the good fight.” Trump later tweeted that he “will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion,’” indicating that the GSA’s “preliminary work” with President-Elect Biden and the “Dems” have nothing to do with “the most corrupt election in American political history.”

The next day, Trump rescinded his support for Murphy’s decision entirely by tweeting, “Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be.” One Twitter user responded, “I agree. The GSA doesn’t determine who the President is. We [the people] do,” clapping back at Trump’s claims that the electoral system in America is faulty just because he did not win the election.

Since the election and even more so since the GSA approved the presidential transition, Trump has maintained his contempt for election results in his unceasing wave of tweetsReferring to the election as “the 2020 Election Hoax,” retweeting multiple claims of election fraud, and baselessly claiming, “There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!!!” because the election was “100% RIGGED,” Trump continually refused to concede. Almost all of his tweets, including one that declared, “’DEAD PEOPLE VOTED,’” bear the warning, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.” Most notably, his declaration that he “WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT” bears the disclaimer, “Multiple sources called this election differently.”

A poll of 2020 voters conducted by Politico found that 79% of Trump voters believe that the election “Was stolen through illegal voting and fraud.” As of November 19th, 2020, the same poll also reported that 62% of Trump voters “do not accept the result of the election despite no evidence of widespread illegal voting or fraud.” This indicates that Trump’s strong rhetoric of distrust for the electoral system has festered among his supporters, increasing their demurrals of American democracy.

As of the morning of November 27th, 2020, Trump’s latest tweet claims that “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.” Evidently, by maintaining claims of “massive voter fraud,” Trump still refuses to concede despite the GSA’s approval for the presidential transition to begin. In response to Trump’s tweet, one user wrote, “suspend this account NOW. This is insanity. You’re just giving him a platform to destroy our country’s transition of power… This is beyond ridiculous.”

Hingham High School junior John Phillips expressed his concern for the country’s well-being as well as his confusion for Trump’s actions. “I don’t know what he’s doing. He looks petulant and dangerous on a national and global stage, he’s turning some of his allies against him, and after all, the transition of power will happen whether he wants it to or not. All he has done is convince some 40% of the population that U. S. democracy doesn’t work.”

Miranda McGeoghegan, another Hingham High School junior agreed, stating, “[Trump’s] refusal is proof that he is an extremely immature man [and] unfit to lead this country.” She feels that “[the president] can’t act like a child in the White House,” and “he shouldn’t act like a dictator either.” Further, McGeoghegan thinks, “it’s frustrating… that someone who denies the democratic system in America is our president.”