“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote, before falsely claiming that no watchers or observers had been allowed.
It was not clear whether this represented a grudging or accidental concession by Trump that he had lost the election, which he has repeatedly claimed to have won, even after every major news organization declared Biden the victor.
One White House official, asked if Trump was admitting Biden won, said: “It looks like it.”
Asked if the tweet was the beginning of a Trump version of a concession, the official said, “It very well may be” and noted it was the second such signal Trump had sent in recent days. The first was his Rose Garden slip-up, where he mused on the possibility of another administration taking over. And he has also seemed to admit that Biden had won Arizona.
But a few minutes after the tweet, Trump appeared to rush back to Twitter to make it clear he was not conceding.
“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” Trump wrote. “I concede NOTHING!” He went on to repeat his false claim that the election was rigged.
In his tweets, Trump falsely stated that mechanical glitches with voting machines on election night “were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes.”
Top government and industry officials have said that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history” and that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.”
Twitter quickly added a warning onto Trump’s post. The company has added multiple labels to tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account, including many that made unfounded allegations of voting fraud.
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Trump is yet to concede the election and the delay — which has extended for over a week — is already keeping Biden from receiving high-level intelligence briefings and complicating his team’s plans to move swiftly on the coronavirus.
Biden’s team has said the transition is progressing despite the Trump administration’s continued refusal to recognize a new president-elect, but it acknowledged that the longer the delay goes on, the worse its effects will be.
Lauren Egan and Alicia Victoria Lozano contributed.