Former President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge defeat on Wednesday, more than seven months after the 2020 election.
Trump stated the results of the 2020 election were “shocking” in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. President Joe Biden received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, but the results are still being debated.
“We got them by surprise in ‘16, and in ‘20 we did much better than we did in ‘16,” Trump told Hannity. “Shockingly, we were supposed to win easily at 64 million votes and we got 75 million votes. We didn’t win, but let’s see what happens on that. The whole thing was shocking.”
Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona were among Biden’s critical battleground states. He received over 81 million votes in total, whereas Trump received just over 74 million. Both of these numbers were higher than any other presidential contender in history.
In the interview, Trump expressed his desire for Biden to succeed as president.
“I think the election was unbelievably unfair, but I want this guy to go out and do well for our country,” he said.
Before Biden took office, Trump acknowledged the election, but the former president and his allies continue to challenge the results in several states. In this election, there has been no indication of massive voting fraud.
A hand recount of 2.1 million ballots in Arizona’s most populated county is one of the audits. It took nearly two months to count the votes after Trump claimed there was voter fraud in the state. The recount’s results have not been made public.
The ongoing election audit in Arizona has piqued Trump’s interest. The recount is being managed by an outside firm whose CEO has propagated electoral fraud charges on social media. It has no formal legal power and cannot modify the results of the presidential election. Three times, Maricopa County’s election results have been investigated and upheld, and the county’s Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors has labeled the audit a “farce.”
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In Michigan, plans are in the works to conduct a similar audit.
Approximately 60 lawsuits challenging the election results were lost by the Trump campaign and its allies. The former president also sought unsuccessfully to persuade state officials, Justice Department officials, members of Congress, and former Vice President Mike Pence to block Biden’s triumph.
On Wednesday, Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time in person. According to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, it was at that point that Trump and others around him felt,“Oh, someone else is president and not Donald Trump.”
“This is the event that underscored for people around Trump and the former president himself the fact that he’s not president anymore,” Haberman said in a CNN interview Thursday. “This was the kind of event on the world stage, getting enormous attention, that he really enjoyed, that he saw as one of the trappings of the office that he thought spoke to a sense of power and strength.”