The Slatest

Trump, Who Was Golfing When Biden Became President-Elect, Refuses to Accept Defeat

Trump plays golf while standing next to a golf cart, looking like a loser.
President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, on Saturday. Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

President Donald Trump was out playing golf when the networks announced that Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States. Trump headed to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, on Saturday in what marked the president’s 209th golf outing while in office, according to the count by CBS News.

Trump reportedly knew what was coming and didn’t want to be in the White House when news broke. But his team was ready to make clear that he is not ready to accept that he has lost reelection. As the Associated Press and news networks called the presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump released a statement that said the election was “far from over.”

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump wrote in a statement. “The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”

The statement vowed that the Trump campaign would begin “prosecuting our case in court” on Monday to make sure that “election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.” Shortly after news outlets called the race for Biden, Rudy Giuliani held a news conference in which he vowed a lawsuit would be filed in Pittsburgh, as well as possibly in Philadelphia and Atlanta, claiming that Republicans were kept out of the ballot-counting process. “Networks don’t get to decide the election,” Giuliani said. “Courts do.”

Trump and his allies may promise a legal fight, but word from inside the White House is there isn’t much of a strategy. There’s been lots of finger-pointing among the president’s advisers in recent days amid frustration over what many see as an improvised legal effort that lacked any kind of clear planning, even though Trump had been saying for months he was ready to fight the election in court, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some close to the White House say Trump has lost the momentum to present any kind of evidence to make his case for fraud even slightly credible.

Over the past few days, advisers have been trying to get Trump ready for defeat but he hasn’t seemed very interested in that. Trump has told some advisers that he knows his chances are slim but he has insisted he wants to keep fighting, reports the Washington Post. The White House is now split in two camps, one led by the president and his family that believe there is still a way to eke out a victory and the other, larger group of people that believe it’s over. Yet many have been reluctant to tell that to Trump outright. “They know he’s lost, but no one seems willing to tell King Lear or Mad King George that they’ve lost the empire,” a Republican told the Post.