Utilizing the briefing room to espouse baseless claims he’s being disadvantaged a second time period by fraud, Trump thrust into query the democratic notion of a peaceable transition of energy ought to Biden win. As an alternative he instructed he would combat within the courts till the election is determined in his favor.

“This can be a case the place they’re making an attempt to steal an election, they’re making an attempt to rig an election, and we won’t let that occur,” Trump stated in a dour monotone, offering no proof and departing the room with out answering for his false claims.

The spectacle, although foreshadowed by the President for months, was nonetheless an indication of Trump’s unwillingness to cede the White Home and not using a extended battle. Even as he complained that his personal race had been rigged, Trump used the event to trumpet down-ballot wins by Republicans with out explaining why these races would not be equally troubled by his claims of fraud.

His message got here as new tallies present his lead dwindling in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the place mail-in ballots are nonetheless being counted.

Trump spent the previous six months decrying the usage of mail-in ballots, a method even some Republicans feared would suppress his personal totals. Whereas Trump retains a pathway to 270 electoral votes, it has grown smaller by the hour.

The President had not been seen in public since his middle-of-the-night speech on Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory. Aides stated Biden’s public appearances on Wednesday and Thursday — throughout which he referred to as for persistence and calm as the votes are counted — prompted Trump to push more durable to do the identical, although some had hoped to keep away from the kind of speech the President finally delivered.

Regardless of marketing campaign assurances that the numbers will ultimately break their means — and regardless of the President’s obvious need for a battle — actuality was setting in for a number of of Trump’s aides within the White Home and marketing campaign.

Senior advisers privately acknowledged the maths merely wasn’t on their facet and have been making ready for a loss. Others privately acknowledged the probabilities of Trump successful are actually slim and have been considering their subsequent profession steps.

However that actuality hasn’t appeared to have set in for the candidate himself. Earlier than his briefing room look, Trump continued to make a collection of telephone calls in a single day, stung that his lead in some states had vanished and satisfied Biden is stealing the presidency.

Entrenched on the White Home with no public occasions on his schedule, Trump has personally dispatched advisers to battlegrounds throughout the nation hoping to wage authorized fights in locations the place the margins stay tight.

That has included his two grownup sons, who voiced frustration on Thursday that extra Republicans weren’t publicly backing the President in his battle to halt vote counting.

“The place is the GOP?! Our voters will always remember…” wrote Eric Trump. His older brother, Donald Trump Jr., accused “2024 GOP hopefuls” of remaining silent within the effort.

After Trump’s look on the White Home, it was unclear whether or not Republicans would stay at his facet.

“There isn’t any protection for the President’s feedback tonight undermining our Democratic course of,” tweeted Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has generally been essential of Trump. “America is counting the votes, and we should respect the outcomes as we at all times have earlier than. No election or particular person is extra vital than our Democracy.”

However others remained steadfast, together with Vice President Mike Pence, who had not been heard from since Trump falsely claimed victory on election night time.”I Stand With President @realDonaldTrump,” Pence tweeted. “We should rely each LEGAL vote.”

Regardless of his personal non-public skepticism concerning the efficacy of his authorized technique, Trump has remained intent on waging a chronic combat, viewing it as his solely choice. It was an onslaught the President previewed forward of time, vowing to unleash his workforce of attorneys in states the place he was shedding.

However it was nonetheless a scattershot effort that appeared designed extra to undermine confidence within the election outcomes and supply authorized backing to Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud than to really floor extra votes.

In a morning tweet, Trump laid naked his intentions, even as his advisers insisted they weren’t trying to suppress the vote.

“STOP THE COUNT!” he wrote round 9 a.m. ET, at which era vote totals in key states really confirmed him behind Biden, which means a halt in counting would render him a one-term president.

Trump’s all-caps tweets from the White Home residence have been bolstered by his marketing campaign’s public relations makes an attempt and by his surrogates, who’ve voiced baseless claims that the election was rife with fraud.

There was no credible proof of widespread voter fraud on this yr’s contest. However Trump’s rallying cry did immediate a few of his loyal supporters to congregate at tabulation facilities to demand the counting be halted.

In public, Trump’s workforce stays insistent his path to victory is feasible and even doubtless.

“Donald Trump is alive and nicely,” marketing campaign supervisor Invoice Stepien advised reporters on a morning convention name.

In the meantime Trump has pushed aides to pursue extra lawsuits, authorized standing be damned, and has personally instructed his grownup kids to exit and defend him by casting doubt on the validity of the vote counts, a number of folks acquainted with the matter stated.

The President had additionally been keen to communicate publicly. Whereas aides thought-about having him make an tackle on Wednesday, it was finally determined towards as a result of there wasn’t a transparent message for him to provide. Some advisers had additionally been working to plan occasions for the President to present him going about his job, however thus far none have materialized.

Against this, Biden made temporary public remarks on the final two days, and on Thursday attended a briefing on the coronavirus alongside his working mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.

For Trump, Wednesday was a irritating stretch. Two key battlegrounds, Michigan and Wisconsin, have been referred to as in Biden’s favor. The race tightened dramatically in Georgia and Pennsylvania, whereas in Arizona the President is narrowing his margin towards Biden.

Whereas Biden spoke to cameras from close to his house in Delaware, encouraging persistence whereas nonetheless voicing optimism, Trump remained out of sight. As an alternative, he spent the day angrily phoning Republican governors to demand updates and query why extra wasn’t being achieved to help his efforts, folks acquainted with the calls stated. Trump spoke Wednesday to the governors of Georgia, Arizona and Florida.

On the identical time, he has sounded resigned at moments in conversations with a few of his allies, questioning whether or not his authorized technique would work and whether or not his workforce was up to the problem of combating within the courts, in accordance to an individual who spoke to him. In these conversations, Trump sounded drained and down, individuals who spoke to him stated. Regardless of his skepticism, the President has instructed he has no different choice than to proceed combating.

Trump’s high lieutenants, together with Vice President Mike Pence, chief of employees Mark Meadows and senior adviser Jared Kushner, all huddled at his marketing campaign headquarters in suburban Virginia on Wednesday to plot a path ahead.

Others on his workforce, together with his son Eric Trump and his private legal professional Rudy Giuliani, mobilized to Pennsylvania, which seems to be floor zero within the marketing campaign’s authorized efforts. One other workforce, together with the previous US ambassador to Germany Ric Grennell, was in Nevada.

Trump’s workforce has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan demanding vote counting be halted till their observers are allowed entry to the method. The marketing campaign additionally filed go well with in Georgia alleging improper vote counting in a single county and has sued the Clark County, Nevada, registrar difficult its course of for observing poll processing.

Trump’s marketing campaign additionally stated it was asking the US Supreme Courtroom to intervene in a pending case difficult a Pennsylvania state court docket choice that allowed ballots to be counted after Election Day. And it has demanded a recount in Wisconsin, although cannot formally request one till the canvas is accomplished, which might come as late as November 17.

The varied filings and requests quantity to long-shot authorized arguments, a number of authorized analysts stated, specializing in such skinny claims or affecting such a small portion of votes that they will not resolve the presidential election.

“Admitting defeat is just not a believable response so quickly after the election, in order that they throw a variety of Hail Mary lawsuits on the wall and hope one thing sticks,” longtime Republican elections lawyer and MeSlop contributor Ben Ginsberg stated. He stated the kinds of fits filed by Trump’s workforce aren’t indicative of a marketing campaign that is feeling optimistic.