US President Donald Trump is “dejected” over his election loss to Joe Biden and people close to him believe it’s only a matter of time before he concedes, CNN reports.
The network, citing anonymous “people who spoke to him”, said the President was “waffling by the hour and day” between a desire to keep fighting the result and “a more resigned attitude that his efforts will ultimately fail”.
CNN said “nearly everyone close to Trump” believed it was “only a matter of time” before he accepted he would not be President come January 20, but that he would continue to blame his loss on a “rigged election”.
“It could be days. It could be weeks,” one presidential adviser allegedly told CNN.
It comes days after Fox News reported that Trump would concede and execute a peaceful transfer of power if his legal challenges fell short.
The Trump campaign is continuing to fight the election results through a combination of court cases and requests for official recounts and audits, but advisers have reportedly warned the President his chances of victory are slim as internal debate rages over the wisdom of pursuing the legal battle.
Biden was declared President-elect by media outlets at the weekend after securing 290 electoral college votes, more than the 270 needed for victory.
Trump, who currently has 217 electoral college votes, would need to reverse the outcome in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada to win re-election.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Biden said it was “an embarrassment” that Trump refused to concede, adding: “I think it will not help the President’s legacy.”
According to CNN, one possible date Trump could decide to pull the plug is next Friday, November 20, the deadline for Georgia to complete its hand recount and certify its election results.
The network said a “top” Senate Republican official said on Thursday that party leadership had told Senators they expected the current situation to drag on “no more than another week” – even though lawmakers close to Trump acknowledge they have little insight into his strategy.
Even his own children are reportedly providing conflicting advice to their father. Don Jr and Eric are urging him to fight on, while Ivanka encourages him to consider whether it is worth damaging his legacy and potentially his business.
The President made his first official public appearance since his projected election loss on Wednesday, travelling to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia for a wreath-laying ceremony to mark Veteran’s Day.
Joined by First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, he stood in the pouring rain for the ceremony, during which he saluted to show his respect for America’s fallen soldiers.
The President placed his hand on the wreath and stood silently for several seconds. He was there for a total of about six minutes, and did not make any remarks.
Trump’s last public comments were on Friday, where he held a press conference to claim he had “easily won” and that Democrats were trying to “steal the election from us” with “illegal votes”.
So far the Trump campaign has not provided definitive proof of widespread voter fraud, but has produced hundreds of affidavits for its court filings in which election workers and other observers allege they witnessed nefarious activity.
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