Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump said he was ready to step aside for President-elect Joe Biden, he has reversed his position, claiming that Biden must first “prove” he actually won the 80 million votes that states across the nation have tabulated in his favor.
On Friday, a federal appeals court panel in Philadelphia shot down Trump’s legal team’s attempt to challenge election results in Pennsylvania, a state Biden won. Yet in a tweet completely detached from reality, Trump insisted that it’s now Biden who has a “big unsolvable problem.”
The president-elect 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 Friday. He did not indicate how Biden was expected to prove the legitimacy of votes that have already gone through a certification process.
Trump also falsely said Biden only did well in the large cities of Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Milwaukee, which he claimed have “long [been] known as being politically corrupt.” Trump won the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin in 2016, but not this year.
Twitter marked both of Trump’s tweets as “disputed.”
“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,” Trump appointee Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote in an opinion filed Friday for the three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges on the panel were all appointed by GOP presidents.
“Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” the court said. “The campaign cannot win this lawsuit.”
When reporters had asked Trump on Thursday if he would leave the White House when his term is up, the president had responded: “Certainly I will. … Certainly I will, and you know that.”
But he also said it was “going to be a very hard thing to concede” and again falsely insisted there “was massive fraud.”
Electors will meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes in their respective states, a move that constitutionally determines the next president.
Trump refused to say on Thursday if he planned to attend Biden’s inauguration.
The president golfed on Friday at his club in Virginia before traveling on Marine One to Camp David.