First lady Melania Trump has privately told President Donald Trump that he should accept his loss to Joe Biden in last week's election, CNN reported on Sunday, as the president continues to refuse to concede.
Soon after the report, the first lady wrote on her Twitter account:
"The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal - not illegal - vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency."
After nearly four tortured days of counting yielded a victory for Biden on Saturday, Trump was still insisting the race was not over. He threw out baseless allegations of voter fraud, promised a flurry of legal action and fired off all-caps tweets falsely insisting he’d “WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT.”
Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has told others that he has urged the president to accept the outcome of the race — even if Trump won’t come to terms with how it was reached. However, the New York Times said a White House official had disputed this and said that Kushner was urging Trump to pursue "legal remedies."
Trump is not expected to ever formally concede, according to people close to him, but is likely to grudgingly vacate the White House at the end of his term. His ongoing efforts to paint the election as unfair are seen both as an effort to soothe a bruised ego and to show his loyal base of supporters that he is still fighting. That could be key to keeping them energized for what comes next.
“He intends to fight,” Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said as it was becoming clear that the president was headed for defeat.
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There are many in his inner circle egging him on, including his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor has been promising to provide the president with evidence of voter fraud but has produced little, including during a press conference he held Saturday in the parking lot of a small Philadelphia landscaping company next to an adult bookstore.
Trump’s adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have also urged their father to keep fighting and challenged Republicans to stand with them.