When will Trump realize he lost? Are you surprised at his behavior? He’s been consistent from day one. I bet many Americans saw this coming.
Aides said the president had no plans to immediately deliver the kind of concession speech that has become traditional in past elections, and his campaign vowed to continue waging its legal battle across the country.
Donald Trump was at his golf course in Virginia when the Associated Press declared that Joe Biden had won the election.
President Trump’s motorcade was just pulling into the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Virginia on Saturday morning when news organizations ended days of waiting and declared that he had lost the presidency to Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Aides called Mr. Trump to let him know that their predictions over the past several days had come true: Every major news outlet had projected Mr. Biden to be the winner. But the president — who an hour earlier had said on Twitter that “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” — was not surprised, they said. And he did not change his plans to go ahead with legal challenges to the election results that several of his own advisers warned him were long shots at best, or to play golf.
The aides said Mr. Trump had no plans to immediately deliver the kind of concession speech that has become traditional in past presidential elections, and his campaign vowed to continue waging the legal battle across the country. In a statement issued while he was still on the golf course, Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden was trying to “falsely pose” as the winner.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the president said, “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Mr. Trump’s advisers said the president has refused to acknowledge that he has lost, maintaining his baseless accusation that Democrats had stolen the election.
But they do not believe he will try in any way to block Mr. Biden from taking office, and said that if he has not delivered a formal concession speech by the time he departs, pressure may mount on his Republican allies, family members and friends to convince him that he must give in to the inevitable and let the American people know that he accepts their judgment.
“This kind of thing, all it does is inflame without informing. And we cannot permit inflammation without information,” Mr. Christie said on ABC News on Thursday night.
Now that Mr. Biden has been declared the winner, White House advisers must confront the reality that Mr. Trump will be a lame-duck president for the next two and a half months.
Since early Wednesday morning, when Mr. Trump angrily declared the election to be a “fraud” on the public, he has split his time between the Oval Office and the presidential residence, watching television coverage and brooding.
As he played golf on Saturday, aides said, Mr. Trump was surprisingly calm, given the news he had received when he arrived at the club.
But that was before he watched television coverage of Mr. Biden’s victory. Nearly two hours after an uneventful return to the White House, Mr. Trump again began posting angry, and false, tweets insisting that he had won the election and complaining that “MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!”
It was unclear whether Mr. Trump would follow tradition and invite Mr. Biden to the White House for a symbolic meeting like the one he had with President Barack Obama during his own transition four years ago. It is also tradition for the departing president to attend the inauguration of his successor, but Mr. Trump has ignored many of the norms of the office.
Mr. Biden, as a former vice president, does not require the tour of the White House that Mr. Trump did. Such a meeting would send a signal that could help reduce the anger of the president’s supporters over his defeat — but it would be a gesture strikingly out of character for a president who has so often sought to inflame passions.
Democrats are concerned that an array of steps traditionally involved in a presidential transition could be ignored or disrupted by Trump administration officials. But the initial stages of the transition have begun without any disruptions.