Donald Trump has stated that he will leave the White House when the Electoral College votes next to the elected Democratic president, Joe Biden, the next time the outgoing president reaches defeat.
Biden won the presidential election with 306 voter college votes – well in excess of the required 270 – for Trump’s 232. Biden also leads Trump in the referendum with more than 6 million.
Trump has so far defied tradition by refusing to acknowledge defeat, instead making unfounded allegations of alleged voting fraud and launching legal attempts to test the results in several states, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Trump’s remarks, made to White House reporters after speaking to teams during a speech to U.S. service members on Traditional Thanksgiving Day, appear to be one step closer to admitting defeat and dispelling fears about the outcome.
Asked if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him, Trump said, “Of course I will. And you know that. If so, they made a mistake.
However, Trump said that in the current circumstances, “it is a very difficult thing to allow” and refused to attend Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.
“This election was a fraud,” Trump insisted, giving no concrete evidence of such voting irregularities.
The Electoral College is due to meet on December 14, when the nominated voters of each state will sell their votes to the winner of the presidential vote. The votes will be officially counted by Congress on January 6th.
Some Republicans have raised the idea that they can ignore a referendum and appoint pro-Trump voters to change the outcome of each state, which could raise concerns that the president might refuse to leave office.