President Donald Trump has insisted he is not conceding the election, despite seemingly acknowledging for the first time that Democrat Joe Biden won.
He tweeted: “He won because the Election was Rigged.”
About an hour later the president said he was not conceding the November 3 vote.
President Trump has launched a slew of lawsuits in key states, but has not provided any evidence to back his claims of fraud.
All the lawsuits have so far been unsuccessful.
On November 13, election officials said the vote was the “most secure in American history” and there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised”.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden remains president-elect.
He has 306 votes in the Electoral College which far exceeds the 270 threshold to win. Any recounts or legal challenges are not expected to overturn the overall result.
Joe Biden’s lead in the popular vote has also surpassed five million.
Nevertheless, President Trump had refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory until – apparently – now.
In a news conference on November 13, Presiden Trump said “who knows” which administration would be in power in the future.
The president’s refusal to concede has heightened concerns about the US government’s ability, going forward, to tackle growing Covid-19 infection rates.
Twitter added warnings to President Trump’s latest allegations of wrongdoing on November 15, saying: “This claim of election fraud is disputed.”
The Trump campaign has launched a series of lawsuits saying Republican poll watchers were wrongly denied access to observe the counting of ballots in key battleground states.
Election officials have denied this and insisted rules were followed. Most of the lawsuits have been dismissed over lack of evidence.
However, thousands of President Trump’s supporters protested in Washington DC on November 14 to back his appeals.
Flag-carrying demonstrators were joined by members of far-right groups including the Proud Boys, some wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests.
The largely peaceful demonstration saw some violence later in the evening, as Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed in several skirmishes.
Officials said 20 people had been arrested on a variety of charges, including assault and weapons possession. One stabbing was reported. Two police officers were also injured.
Donald Trump’s refusal to concede has stalled the normal handover process to the new government, ahead of the January 20 inauguration.
The General Services Administration (GSA), the government agency tasked with beginning the process, has yet to recognize Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris as winners.
The Biden team has not been given access to classified security briefings, federal agencies and funding needed to ensure a smooth transition of power.