It's more than a day since the US Presidential Election results were out and Joe Biden is gearing up to take over the reins from incumbent President Donald Trump. However, Trump seems to be in no mood to accept defeat, which now has left his inner circle divided. While first lady Melania Trump and Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law and senior adviser, have advised him to concede defeat, Trump, supported by his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, continue to reject the election results.
Given Trump's unwillingness to accept the truth, it is quite likely that he may now do what hasn't happened in the history of the United States. It won't come as a surprise if Trump refuses to vacate the White House by January 20, the day Biden takes oath as the 46th President of the nation.
Melania's Advice to Trump
According to a CNN report, Melania and Kushner have advised Trump to come to terms with Biden's victory. However, that hasn't helped much. Trump is still not ready to concede defeat. Instead his campaign is planning a messaging blitz to fuel arguments that Trump has been stolen off his second term through voter fraud in battleground states.
However, how Trump's campaign is going to do it is still unclear but the objective behind the messaging blitz is to raise doubt in the minds of people about the results so that secretaries of state in battlegrounds come under pressure to open investigations or call on their own for recounts. This at the same time will give Trump the time to push his attorneys to pursue legal challenges that would delay formal certification of the results.
Last Days in White House?
Officially, Trump is eligible to stay in the White House till January 20, when Biden takes oath as President and moves into the Oval office. However, given that Trump is in no mood to accept defeat speculation is rife that he might not willingly vacate the White House. And that's quite possible.
If that happens, he would be the first President in the history of the United States to do so. Of the 44 Presidents preceding Trump, 35 willingly handed over power to their successor after either their two-term limit expired or they lost an election, or they chose not to run again. Eight other Presidents died and one quit.
According to the 20th Amendment of the US Constitution, Trump automatically ceases to be President on January 20 but if he refuses to physically leave the White House even after that, he in all likelihood will have to be removed physically.
However, there's a rule behind that also. According to a Newsweek report quoting a former US official and two experts, only the Secret Service can physically remove Trump from the White House if he overstayed his welcome.
That said, there's no reason today to assume things will ever get to that point. Normally, Congress certifies the Electoral College results on January 6 (two weeks before Inauguration Day). However, the legal challenges could cause a delay. If Trump moves the Supreme Court — that has three Trump-appointed justices on it — it could issue a ruling in his favor. But to put it straight, if Trump refuses to vacate the White House even after everything goes against him, he simply will be removed physically.