US President Donald Trump has said for the first time that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College selects Joe Biden as the President but refused to concede in a nuanced statement. This is the closest Trump has come to accepting defeat since the November 3 presidential election, which was decided by razor-thin margins in key swing states.
"Certainly I will, and you know that .. "I will and, you know that," Trump answered reporters who asked him if he would leave the White House if the electoral college declares Biden as the winner.
Asked if he would concede, he said it was going to be a hard decision because of the electoral fraud that took place. "It's going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud," he added.
He appeared to say that he came around to the decision to give up the fight as time was not on his side. "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," the president said on Thursday, during a White House press conference.
Electoral College to Meet on December 14
The electoral college is scheduled to meet on December 14 to formally elect the next president of the United States. Democrat Joe Biden has 306 Electoral College votes against Trump's 232. A candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to be declared the winner of the presidential election.
There has been speculation even before the election that the president would refuse to concede the election and stay on in the White House if he lost. One extreme fringe of Democrats feared Trump would take the country to a constitutional crisis by refusing to accept the outcome of the election. Part of the fuel for such theories was supplied by Trump himself, who said umpteen times the election was rigged.
However, earlier this week, his administration gave the nod to the General Services Administration (GSA) to go ahead with the transition process. The GSA, Emily Murphy, sent a letter to Biden on Monday, detailing her role in the presidential transition. The GSA's letter is a clear indication that the transition process may have got the nod from the presidential team.
Thursday's statement has given clear direction as to how Trump is going to handle his defeat. He will deny the Democrats the spectacle of a President who would refuse to leave the White House and trigger national unrest. Yet, Trump would have done better if he made a similar announcement a couple of weeks ago.
Who Really Stole the Election?
The best strategy for Trump would have been to gracefully concede the election when it became clear that he was outvoted, albeit marginally, in the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Trump repeated the charge that the election was stolen, but apparently got it wrong on who exactly 'stole' the election.
Irregularities in voting and counting were hard to prove but a more plausible argument to support a 'stolen election' theory would have been the fact that the entire American media stood against him in a seemingly conspiratorial bond. The Big Media and Big Tech viscerally hated Trump, and he was never given a fair assessment in the media. We did not see fair, independent journalism at all in the course of this US election. Trump did take this argument to his supporters, calling out the 'fake news media', rightly so, most of the time.
Instead of dithering on his decision to concede, Trump should have accepted the loss gracefully and taken his case to the American people, holding the people and institutions that entered into a 'corrupt bargain' against him.
It's indisputable that the media, the liberal elite, the Big Tech and the Washington insiders tried unabashedly to oust Trump from power. Only look at the opinion polls. All the mainstream pollsters factually lied to the American people about a double digit lead for Biden across the span of months.
They propped up the Biden campaign with a steady flow of lies. You don't need to be a psephologist to measure the impact of these poll-lies on voters. The Biden voters got the momentum from inflated projections while Trump lost his voters.
Big Tech's Open Bias
And it's not exactly the case that this election was so complicated, and every single poll got it wrong. There were outlier polls that called this election right. So it was possible to see it right. But a whole lot of them - the big media - chose to play it differently.
The biased media projected Trump as a criminal while they did not bother to put Biden under scrutiny over serious charges. The Big Tech commanded the mindscape, sitting there with a filter. They controlled which side of the argument the general public got to see. From a plain Google search result to how things panned out on Twitter and Facebook, it was all too evident.
If Trump wants to take his case against his real adversaries to the Americans he should drop the rigged election charge, accept defeat and and continue campaigning against the liberal excesses in the media. That's the way forward if he dreams about his Andrew Jackson moment.