President Donald Trump’s team is struggling to decide who will have to tell him he’s lost the election as Joe Biden appears on the cusp of securing the White House.
Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia Friday morning as votes were counted overnight. There is no path to victory for President Trump without those states.
But Trump has told allies he won’t concede should the race be called for his Democratic rival.
So discussions have begun about an intervention with the president – who would go in and tell him he’s lost and it’s time to concede.
Names being floated include the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump, both of whom serve as advisers in the White House, CNN reported.
Their psychological state is unclear – but she tweeted what appeared to be a supportive message to her father and their eldest daughter Arabella flashed a V-for-victory sign as she left their Washington D.C. home in a car with her mother.
The sign was famously used by Winston Churchill during World War Two – and Arabella’s mother Ivanka Trump compared Donald Trump to the great British leader repeatedly in the dying days of the cmapaign.
Members of the Republican Party are also worried the president won’t go quietly and are discussing taking action of their own.
They are considering how to break it to Trump he needs to go, perhaps suggesting to him that leaving quietly can help him, his family, and his business along with reminding him he can run again in 2024, The New York Times reported.
Trump also is considering holding a political rally this weekend if there’s no final result in the presidential race, The Times reported.
Trump family: Arabella, Ivanka and Jared’s nine-year-old daughter, flashed a sign like V-for Victory as used by Winston Churchill – who her mother Ivanka compared to Donald Trump
Aides are discussing who should tell President Donald Trump he lost the election as Joe Biden appears on the cusp of winning the White House
Aides are discussing sending in the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump, both of whom serve as advisers in the White House, to have an intervention with Trump about losing the election
Trump held 14 rallies in seven states in the last three days of the election and draws energy from his cheering crowd of supporters – a round of cheering up he could use.
But he also uses his rallies to rile up supporters. Trump supporters have been demonstrating at vote counting centers in Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. In some place, the National Guard has been called in to maintain order.
Biden’s campaign shrugged off concern the president may not concede.
‘As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,’ said spokesman Andrew Bates.
Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania on Friday morning with 5,5870 votes. The remaining votes to be counted in the state – which is the largest prize in the electoral college carrying 20 votes – are mostly in Biden strongholds of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.
If Biden takes Pennsylvania, he will have soared past the 270 electoral college votes he needs to claim victory, an agonizing two-and-a-half days after polls closed.
Here is how the other states break down;
- In Georgia, Biden leads by 1,067 with some 8,000 votes left to count and another 8,000 possible mail-ins from overseas military. It is worth 16 electoral college points
- In Arizona, Biden leads by 47,000 votes with another 200,000 to count
- In Nevada, Biden leads by 11,438 with some 50,000 left to count
- North Carolina still has not been called. It is likely to go to Trump but makes no difference to the breakdown of electoral college seats
Trump is refusing to accept what now seems like an inevitable defeat. On Thursday night, he launched an astonishing, 17-minute tirade from the White House briefing room where he claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy by big tech, big money, the Democrats and the media.
He has vowed not to accept the final results, and some of his own children are telling the country to ‘fight to the death’ not to accept them either.
Trump claimed on Thursday that if all ‘legal votes’ were counted he would win the election as he charged Democrats with trying to steal the contest ‘corruptly’ through mail-in ballots.
All three broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – cut away from his press conference before it finished, warning their viewers that Trump had made ‘a number of false statements’ that needed clarifying.
Biden also gave a speech Thursday, calling for calm and patience while the votes are counted, insisting once again that when the dust has settled he will have beaten Trump.
‘Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,’ the former vice president said from the stage of Wilmington’s Queen theater late Thursday afternoon.
‘So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we’ll know very soon.’
He also tweeted: ‘No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.
‘Keep the faith, folks.’
Meanwhile Donald Trump Jr gave a speech in Georgia, where Trump’s lead is now just a few hundred votes, calling for his father to ‘fight to the death’ and urging him to ‘go to war’ to ‘expose all of the fraud that has been going on for far too long.’
‘Americans need to know that this is not a banana republic and right now very few people have faith that’s not the case,’ he added.
At the podium in the briefing room on Thursday night, President Trump read from from a script and listed his grievances at Biden’s campaign, ‘suppression polls’ and ‘fraud.’
He left without taking a question as CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta shouted: ‘Are you a sore loser?’ – then his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had to scuttle back to the podium because he had forgotten to take his notes with him.
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Forgotten and almost lost: Trump left his prepared script, in giant text and scrawled on with sharpie at the podium and it had to be retrieved by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany
Damning verdict: Larry Hogan, the Republican Maryland governor became its most senior voice to speak out. Adam Kinzinger is a Republican congressman from Illinois who was one of the first of his party to slam Trump
Republicans also turned on Trump within minutes with Larry Hogan, the Maryland governor, saying: ‘There is no defense. No person or election is more important than our democracy.’ Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger called it ‘insane.’
At the briefing room podium – where the only aide with him was White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnanany – Trump appeared downcast as he listed his enemies and claimed a victory which nobody has handed to him.
‘If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,’ he said during what he called a press conference.
Trump, whose campaign has launched lawsuits in several battleground states, spoke more about the polls than he did about his own campaign, calling them ‘phony’ and ‘suppression polls,’ claiming that errors by pollsters were a deliberate attempt to keep his supporters at home.
Then he turned on his own party saying that because of him was no ‘blue wave,’ referring to Democrats’ failure to win the Senate and add to their majority in the House.
‘We won by historic numbers. And the pollsters got it knowingly wrong, they got it knowingly wrong. We had polls that were so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time. There was no blue wave that they predicted,’ Trump said.
Trump had not been seen for more than 36 hours after appearing in the White House East Room at 2.30am on Wednesday morning in front of cheering fans in MAGA hats to claim then that he had ‘won.’
And the blizzard of litigation President Trump promised had been beset throughout the day by problems.
In Georgia, superior court judge James Bass said there was ‘no evidence’ to the Trump suit’s claims that a 53 ballots arrived late and got mixed with other ballots. In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the Trump campaign’s push to stop the count in order to gain additional access for its observers. ‘I have no basis to find that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,’ she said.
In Nevada, he sent Ric Grenell, his former acting director of national intelligence to announce legal claims that out of state residents had been voting.
But the press conference went badly wrong when Grenell refused to say what his name was and was laughed at by reporters then chased into a van refusing to answer questions on what evidence he had.