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Trump makes first public comments in over a week... but doesn't mention the election

This was Trump’s first public remarks since 5 November, when he falsely claimed to have won the election.

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has not yet conceded that he has lost the presidential election, and instead talked up his administration’s response to the pandemic in his first press conference in over a week. 

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, however, Trump did at one stage ponder “whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell” when referring to the potential for future lockdowns.

The US President also went on the attack against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, suggesting that the vaccine would be made available to all Americans except for those in New York state.

He said this would be for “political reasons”, and suggested Cuomo had made a series of errors in his handling of the coronavirus. He said it “pained” him that New Yorkers wouldn’t get the vaccine. 

The briefing centred on Operation Warp Speed – the Trump administration’s efforts to produce and distribute a vaccine – and came in the wake of Democrat Joe Biden solidifying his election win with a final tally of 306 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, against 232 for Trump.

The result came after several US networks called traditionally Republican-leaning Georgia in Biden’s favor, while Trump took North Carolina.

Trump won by the same margin in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and has repeatedly referred to his own 306-vote victory as a “landslide”.

He had not had a press conference since last week’s election and the last time he addressed the nation was 5 November, when he falsely claimed to have won.

Trump has spent the last 10 days consumed by his pursuit of a conspiracy theory that Biden was declared winner only through massive ballot rigging.

Despite his own intelligence officials’ declaration yesterday that the election was “the most secure in American history,” Trump and his right-wing media allies show no sign of giving up their crusade.

Today, Trump tweeted thanks to supporters backing his claim that the “Election was Rigged” and said he might “stop by and say hello” at a rally planned in Washington on Saturday.

In reality

Biden, meanwhile, is steadily preparing to take over on January 20 and the list of world leaders accepting that he will be the new president keeps lengthening.

China was the latest nation on board, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying “we express our congratulations.”

However, Biden’s newly appointed chief of staff, Ron Klain, told MSNBC late Thursday that moves by Trump to block the incoming administration from access to confidential government briefings posed a growing risk.

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Klain highlighted the inability to join in on preparations for rolling out the Covid vaccine in “February and March when Joe Biden will be president.”

“The sooner we can get our transition experts into meetings with the folks who are planning the vaccination campaign the more seamless,” he said.

With reporting from AFP

About the author:

Sean Murray

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