WRAPUP 4-A week after loss, Trump supporters march in Washington to support false election claims
As the marches picked up steam, Biden told reporters in Delaware that he was getting closer to forming his Cabinet. Biden further solidified his victory on Friday as results from Edison Research showed him winning Georgia, giving him a final tally of 306 Electoral College votes, far more than the 270 needed to be elected president and above Trump's 232.Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 15-11-2020 00:50 IST | Created: 15-11-2020 00:48 IST
Thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters marched through downtown Washington on Saturday to back his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud as he pushes ahead with long-shot legal challenges to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
A week after his Democratic rival clinched the election, Trump's lawsuits have made little headway in the courts while Biden has received congratulatory calls from world leaders and pushed ahead with work on forming his Cabinet. For the first time on Friday, Trump began to sound doubtful about his prospects, telling reporters "time will tell" who occupies the White House from Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
Flag-carrying Trump supporters, however, were out in force on Saturday to complain of alleged electoral fraud. Chanting "Stop the steal!" and "We are the champions!", they streamed from Freedom Plaza near the White House to the U.S. Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill. Scores of members of the far-right Proud Boys group, clad in black with some wearing helmets and ballistic vests, were among the marchers. Some left-wing groups planned counter-demonstrations but there were no reports of major incidents.
Trump's motorcade briefly drove slowly through the crowds on the way to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia. Video on social media showed Trump, wearing a red baseball cap, waving to his supporters from inside the presidential limousine. As the marches picked up steam, Biden told reporters in Delaware that he was getting closer to forming his Cabinet.
Biden further solidified his victory on Friday as results from Edison Research showed him winning Georgia, giving him a final tally of 306 Electoral College votes, far more than the 270 needed to be elected president and above Trump's 232. The 306 votes was equal to Trump's tally in his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, which at the time he called a "landslide."
Trump briefly appeared close to acknowledging the likelihood he will be leaving the White House in January during remarks about the coronavirus response at a White House event on Friday. "This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, uh, whatever happens in the future - who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell," Trump said.
With the election outcome becoming clearer, Trump has discussed with advisers possible media ventures and appearances that would keep him in the spotlight ahead of a possible 2024 White House bid, aides said. His supporters were fired up on Saturday.
Mike Seneca stood near Freedom Plaza with his dog Zena, a King Corso who he clad in a red tee shirt emblazoned with "All American Dog", said he was backing the president. "It's hard to believe he wouldn't have won," Seneca said, and he echoed Trump's unfounded allegations that mail-in ballots that favored Biden were fraudulent.
Donald Tarca Jr., who traveled to Washington from West Palm Beach, Florida, held a massive U.S. flag sporting a giant portrait of Trump. "I think it was rigged on multiple fronts," he said of the election. "Also the media was so biased that they convinced millions of Americans to vote for Biden. They hate Trump."
Protesting against the marches, opponents on social media sought to create confusion by flooding the hashtags #MillionMAGAMarch and #MarchforTrump with photographs of pancakes. FAILING IN COURT
Trump has refused to concede to Biden and claims without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud. State election officials report no serious irregularities, and several of his legal challenges have failed in court. A Michigan state court on Friday rejected a request by Trump's supporters to block the certification of votes in Detroit, which went heavily in favor of Biden. And lawyers for Trump's campaign dropped a lawsuit in Arizona.
Federal election security officials have found no evidence that any voting system deleted, lost or changed votes, "or was in any way compromised," two security groups said in a statement released on Thursday by the lead U.S. cybersecurity agency. To win a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden's lead in at least three states, but he has so far failed to produce evidence that he could do so in any of them.
States face a Dec. 8 deadline to certify their elections and choose electors for the Electoral College, which will officially select the new president on Dec. 14. Trump's refusal to accept defeat has stalled the official transition. The federal agency that releases funding to an incoming president-elect, the General Services Administration, has yet to recognize Biden's victory, denying him access to federal office space and resources.
Biden, who will meet with advisers about the transition on Saturday in his home state of Delaware, has pressed ahead with the process, identifying legislative priorities, reviewing federal agency policies and preparing to fill thousands of jobs in the new administration. The Democrat took a bike ride on Saturday morning with his wife Jill and some secret service agents at Delaware's Cape Henlopen State Park. A reporter called out "Are you any closer to making a cabinet decision?" Biden replied, "Yes" as he rode by.
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