United States President Donald Trump on Sunday backtracked after acknowledging for the first time that Democrat Joe Biden had won the presidential election. He claimed again that the election was rigged.

“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” Trump tweeted. “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”. The president’s tweet was flagged by the microblogging site, like many others, alleging election fraud.

Trump’s tweet came less than two hours after he accepted Biden’s victory. “He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump had tweeted. “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!”

Meanwhile, Biden’s White House Chief of Staff pick Ron Klain urged the Trump administration to begin working on presidential transition and warned that a delay could hinder the new government’s coronavirus vaccine distribution efforts, NBC reported.

The General Services Administration, which is headed by a Trump appointee, has not recognised Biden as the president-elect. This has stopped him from getting access to government offices and funding, according to Reuters.

“Joe Biden is going to become president of the United States in the midst of an ongoing crisis,” Klain told NBC. “That has to be a seamless transition.”

He added that there was a possibility of a vaccine “starting perhaps in December, January”. “There are people at [the Department of Health and Human Services] making plans to implement that vaccine,” Klain said. “Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power.”

Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and filed a flurry of lawsuits in the last few days to challenge the election outcome. He has continued to claim that there was a multi-state conspiracy by the Democrats to stop him from achieving a second term.

On Friday, Trump had come closest to accepting his defeat in the elections as he declared that his administration will not order a new lockdown to control the coronavirus.

“I will not – this administration will not be doing a lockdown,” Trump had said during a speech at the White House about vaccine development efforts. “Hopefully whatever happens in the future – who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell.”

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The US president’s remarks came after the media projected results in two uncalled states. Trump was projected to win North Carolina, according to The Washington Post, while President-elect Biden was projected to secure Georgia. With this, Biden was projected to get 306 electoral votes, while Trump would bag 232.

On Thursday, US federal officials rejected Trump’s claims of fraud in the 2020 elections, and said that the polls were the “most secure in American history”. They said that there was no evidence to show that the election process had been compromised.