Trump sticking to his conspiracy theory over election fraud

 Mr Trump declined to say on Fox News whether he sees an expiry date for his unsuccessful legal campaign.
Mr Trump declined to say on Fox News whether he sees an expiry date for his unsuccessful legal campaign.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON • In the first TV interview since losing his re-election bid, President Donald Trump indicated that he will never concede to Mr Joe Biden and never abandon his conspiracy theory about mass ballot fraud.

"It's not like you're gonna change my mind. My mind will not change in six months," Mr Trump told Fox News interviewer Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.

"This election was rigged. This election was a total fraud," he claimed, again without backing up his allegations. "We won the election easily."

The 45-minute interview, Mr Trump's first on television since the Nov 3 election, was mostly a monologue of evidence-free claims concerning election fraud, which went virtually unchallenged by Ms Bartiromo.

Despite Mr Trump's unprecedented attack on the validity of the US election system, his legal team has yet to provide any evidence that stands up in court.

Case after case has been rejected by judges around the country. The latest rebuff came from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which last Saturday turned down a lawsuit filed by Mr Trump's supporters seeking to contest Mr Biden's win in the state.

"We're trying to put the evidence in and the judges won't allow us to do it," Mr Trump said. "We are trying. We have so much evidence."

Ignoring the usual boundaries between his office and the judicial and law enforcement system, Mr Trump complained that the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were not helping him. They are "missing in action", he said, also questioning the point of the Supreme Court if it does not intervene.

"We should be heard by the Supreme Court. Something has to be able to get up there. Otherwise, what is the Supreme Court?" Mr Trump asked.

The 2020 election was not especially close. Mr Biden won the electoral college vote - the state-by-state competition deciding the winner - by 306 to 232. In the popular national vote, which does not decide the result, but still has political and symbolic heft, Mr Biden won by 51 to 47 per cent.

Losers of US presidential elections traditionally concede almost immediately. But whether or not Mr Trump ever acknowledges defeat, the electoral college is all but certain to go through the formal motions of confirming Mr Biden when it meets on Dec 14, and the Democrat will be sworn into office on Jan 20.

Even as the clock runs down on his single term, Mr Trump declined to say on Fox News whether he sees an expiry date for his unsuccessful legal campaign.

"I'm not going to say a date," he said. Asked if he saw a path to victory, he said: "I hope so."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2020, with the headline 'Trump sticking to his conspiracy theory over election fraud'. Print Edition | Subscribe