Donald Trump has claimed the “race is far from over”, as he finally answered questions from the media about the 2020 US election.
In a remarkable outburst that followed a video conference with members of the US military, the president claimed – again without evidence – he had been the victim of “a rigged election”.
He also said he would be heading to Georgia as early as the weekend in order to campaign on behalf of two Republican senate candidates, in races that will determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress.
“If the media were honest and big tech was fair, this wouldn’t even have been a contest,” he told reporters in the White House.
“And I would have won by a tremendous amount. And I did win by a tremendous amount, but it hasn’t been reported yet.”
Trump says America is ‘going to have a great year’ at Thanksgiving video conference
He added: “But people understand what’s happened. They know what happened.”
Much of what Mr Trump said on Thursday was not new; he has been tweeting about and denouncing the election result, which Joe Biden won by some margin, since election day.
Yet this was the first time the president had answered questions from reporters.
Also, his accusations of fraud, levelled without evidence, were delivered at the end of a Thanksgiving Day interaction with members of the US military, stationed at home and overseas. Typically, politics are kept out of such events.
The president’s comments at times appeared scattered. At one point he said if the electoral college – due to meet on December 14 to certify the result – found Mr Biden had won, they would have “made a mistake”. Mr Biden beat Mr Trump 306 – 232 in the electoral college and by more than 5m votes in the popular vote.
He then said he would “certainly” leave the White House in a peaceful transition. “And you know that,” he added.
Asked if he would attend Mr Biden’s inauguration, he said he made a decision, but did want to make it public yet. It has long been customary for outgoing presidents to attend the inauguration of their successor.