President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will “certainly” leave office if the Electoral College votes to elect Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but vowed there will be “a lot of things happening between now and Jan. 20.” When asked by a reporter during a lengthy teleconference with military troops on Thanksgiving if he would vacate the presidency should he lose the Electoral College vote, the president said, “Certainly I will, and you know that.”
But the president earlier admitted that “it’s going to be a very hard thing to concede” because of the “massive fraud” he alleges took place during the 2020 election.
“As to whether or not we can get this apparatus moving quickly — because time isn’t on our side, everything else is on our side, facts are on our side, this was a massive fraud,” Trump stated.
“This was a rigged election,” he said, adding elsewhere, “This race is far from over.”
The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14. The states must first certify their results, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8.
The teleconference was the first time that the president has answered questions from reporters since the Nov. 3 election.
Several mainstream media outlets have called the race for Biden and officials in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia have taken steps toward certifying election results. But undeterred, the Trump campaign is pushing forward with legal challenges in many states hoping to demonstrate that widespread election fraud took place.
On Wednesday, the president’s legal team participated in a public hearing about election “irregularities” in Pennsylvania. Similar public hearings are scheduled to take place in Arizona on Monday and Michigan on Tuesday. Trump’s refusal to accept the reported election results has caused a stir among Democrats who say they feared that such an event like this would happen — that Trump would hold up in the Oval Office and need to be physically removed.
In October, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced legislation to create a commission that could recommend removing a president from office. In a statement earlier this month, Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates threatened, “the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”