President Donald Trump on Sunday acknowledged for the first time that Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election.
Trump however said he conceded “nothing” while maintaining that the poll was rigged.
The Democratic former vice president won the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points.
Biden also defeated Trump by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016.
Trump made his conflicting statements in a series of Twitter posts.
“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote on Sunday morning, not referring to Biden by name. “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!”
About an hour later, Trump wrote, “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
Speaking on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” Biden’s pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that.”
Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in multiple states, though without success, and legal experts say the litigation stands little chance of altering the outcome of the election.
Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities. Democrats and other critics have accused Trump of trying to delegitimize Biden’s victory and undermine public confidence in the American electoral process. Before the election, Trump had refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Trump’s refusal to concede did not change the fact that Biden was the president-elect, but it has stalled the government’s normal process of preparing for a new presidential administration.
The Trump administration’s decision not to recognize Biden as the winner has prevented Biden and his team from gaining access to government office space and to funding normally afforded to an incoming administration to ensure a smooth transition.
The federal agency in charge of providing those resources, the General Services Administration, has yet to recognize Biden’s victory.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of flag-waving Trump supporters ventured into Washington to echo his claims of election fraud during the “Million MAGA March,” referring to Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s motorcade passed through the crowd on its way to his golf course in Virginia, producing cheers from demonstrators as the president waved from the back seat. The march was largely peaceful, though numerous scuffles broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters that continued after dark.