President Donald Trump appeared on Sunday to publicly acknowledge for the first time that his Democratic rival Joe Biden won the November 3 U.S. presidential election, before an additional tweet doubling down on his unsubstantiated claim that the election was "rigged."
Biden defeated Trump by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016. The Democratic former vice president also won the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points.
Trump seemed to acknowledge Biden's victory in a Twitter post in which he listed unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. His post prompted #TrumpConceded to trend on Twitter.
"He won because the Election was Rigged," Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning, not referring to Biden by name. "NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn't even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!"
Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities.
The issues raised by Trump’s campaign and his allies are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by substantial margins in key battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.
But Trump, who primed his supporters for months to doubt this election’s outcome with false tales of ballots being “dumped in rivers” and baseless tweets warning of a “rigged election,” has continued his assault on the U.S. vote in more than 40 Facebook and Twitter posts since Election Day.
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A poll from Politico/Morning Consult taken after the election found that "70 percent of Republicans now say they don’t believe the 2020 election was free and fair, a stark rise from the 35 percent of GOP voters who held similar beliefs before the election."
Trump’s campaign and its allies have filed lawsuits that aim to delay the certification and potentially provide evidence for a failed election. But so far, Trump and Republicans have had meager success — at least 10 of the lawsuits have been rejected by the courts in the 10 days since the election. The most significant that remain ask courts to prevent Michigan and Pennsylvania from certifying Biden as the winner of their elections.