Former United States President Barack Obama on Sunday said that it was time for incumbent President Donald Trump to concede defeat as there was no scenario under which the outcome of the presidential elections held earlier this month could be reversed.
President-Elect Joe Biden currently has 306 of the 538 electoral college votes, well above the required halfway mark of 270. Trump, who is refusing to concede, has 232 electoral college votes. He has challenged the election results in various states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona, alleging, without evidence, that there was fraud in the electoral process.
“I think it was time for him [Trump] to concede probably the day after the election or at the latest, two days after the election,” Obama said in an interview with CBS News.
Asserting that a president is a public servant, Obama said that they are by design, temporary occupants of the office. “When your time is up then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments,” he said. “My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it is time for you to do the same thing.”
On being asked about Trump’s allegations of widespread election fraud, Obama said that he “does not like to lose and never admits loss”. “I am more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humouring him in this fashion,” he said.
He added that Trump’s handling of the mandate was “not unique” to the United States. “There are strongmen and dictators around the world who think that ‘I can do anything to stay in power’,” Obama said. “‘I can kill people. I can throw them in jail. I can run phony elections. I can suppress journalists’...But that’s not who we’re supposed to be.”
He also noted that there are a set of traditions that the US has followed in the peaceful transfer of power. “At that point, the outgoing president is a citizen like everybody else and owes the new president the chance to do their best on behalf of the American people,” Obama said. “Whether Donald Trump will do the same thing we’ll have to see. So far, that’s not been his approach. But you know hope springs eternal. There’s a promised land out there somewhere.”
‘I won the election,’ says Trump
Meanwhile, Trump continued to deny Biden’s victory in the elections and on Monday in a rather direct tweet, claimed that he had won the election. However, Twitter flagged his post with a message saying: “Official sources called this election differently”.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, he accused the American media of taking sides and not reflecting his side of the story. “Why does the Fake News Media continuously assume that Joe Biden will ascend to the Presidency, not even allowing our side to show...” he tweeted.
He reiterated his unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the election process and said: “The World is watching!”
This came a day after he backtracked after acknowledging for the first time that Democrat Joe Biden had won the presidential election. On Sunday, he tweeted saying that the election was “rigged” and that Biden had won only in the eyes of “fake news media”.
“I concede NOTHING!” he tweeted. This tweet too was flagged by Twitter.