President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time on Sunday that Democratic challenger Joe Biden won the election. He then agreed to a peaceful transition of power and wished good old “sleepy” Joe the best of luck during his White House tenure.
Nah, I’m just kidding about that last part. God, remember when presidential elections weren’t such an absolute shit show? Yeah, me neither.
In a barely coherent Twitter tirade Sunday morning, Trump claimed without evidence that Biden’s victory was the result of a “RIGGED ELECTION” and that the Democratic challenger only won in the eyes of the “FAKE NEWS MEDIA.”
“I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go,” he 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
Twitter flagged many of his posts with a disclaimer warning that his claims about widespread election fraud are disputed. Trump’s own federal agencies have said as much, too. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency almost daily debunks the slew of voter fraud conspiracy theories pushed by Trump and his allies to undermine election results. On Thursday, the DHS council on election cybersecurity and its industry-led partner association called the 2020 presidential race “the most secure in American history” in a joint statement. (Just in case there was somehow any doubt left that this isn’t just a geriatric temper tantrum).
Undeterred by these facts, the Trump campaign has continued its witch hunt for reasons he might have lost other than his own incompetence. In addition to churning out flimsy legal challenges, it established a hotline for Americans to report “voter suppression, irregularities, and fraud” that impacted the election, then set up a second hotline after the first was spammed with prank calls.
In his Twitter rant, Trump continued to blame his loss on debunked conspiracy theories. These included claims that GOP poll watchers weren’t allowed to observe ballot tabulations in some states (they were) and that Dominion Voting Systems, one of the nation’s largest sellers of voting machines and election software, is secretly run by the radical left (it’s not). A few minor technical issues did affect Dominion’s systems during election week, including an embarrassing gaffe in Michigan after a clerk missed a software update, but state and local election officials quickly identified and corrected these issues before posting official presidential race tallies.
To date, fact-checkers have found zero evidence supporting Trump’s bogus claim that Dominion somehow quietly “deleted” 2.7 million votes for him, or really evidence of any sort for the kind of widespread voter fraud alleged by many hardcore Trump supporters.
Most major news networks declared Biden the victor more than a week ago after he secured Pennsylvania and surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the presidency. He’s currently sitting at 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 after wins in the Republican strongholds of Arizona and Georgia. And as far as ballots go, Biden currently leads Trump by more than 5 million votes.
Many Trump-themed hashtags started trending on Twitter by Sunday afternoon because of the president’s rant, including “I CONCEDE NOTHING” and “DeactivateTrump.” Edited screenshots of Trump’s tweet made to look like he actually conceded also went viral along with the hashtag “TrumpConcedes.” Maybe if we all visualise that happening for long enough, we can manifest it. Just like in Peter Pan: Clap if you believe in Democracy, everyone, clap if you believe!