WASHINGTON – Despite recently suffering the most consequential in a string of defeats in his quest to subvert the results of November’s election, President Donald Trump continued to insist that his plans to challenge his loss were “not over”.
“It’s not over. We keep going,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox News that aired on Sunday (Dec 13) and was taped on Saturday at the Army-Navy football game.
“And we’re going to continue to go forward.”
The president’s vow to press on came the day after the Supreme Court rejected a Texas lawsuit against four battleground states, effectively ending his attempt to overturn the results.
Mr Trump’s allies have also lost dozens of times in lower courts.
The Electoral College meets on Monday to cement President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Many top Republicans in Congress continued to stand by Mr Trump in refusing to recognise Mr Biden as the president-elect. Republican Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No 2 House Republican, did so again on Sunday, arguing on “Fox News Sunday” that the legal process was not over despite the Supreme Court ruling.
“There will be a president sworn in on Jan 20, but let this process play out,” he said.
Some party elders, though, have begun to say more than a month after Election Day that it is time to move on.
“The courts have resolved the disputes. It looks very much like the electors will vote for Joe Biden,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in a prerecorded interview aired on Sunday by NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
“And when they do, I hope that he puts the country first – I mean, the president – that he takes pride in his considerable accomplishments, that he congratulates the president-elect and he helps him get off to a good start, especially in the middle of this pandemic.”
Mr Alexander, who will retire at the end of the year, said Mr Trump had lost the election because of “the president’s conduct, his behaviour” and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Trump has made baseless claim after baseless claim of election fraud in his attempt to deny Mr Biden’s victory. Some states “got rigged and robbed from us,” he falsely claimed in the interview. “But we won every one of them.”
When the interviewer, Brian Kilmeade, tried to ask if Mr Trump would attend Mr Biden’s inauguration, Mr Trump interrupted. “I don’t want to talk about that,” he said. “I want to talk about this. We’ve done a great job.”
He also tore into Attorney General William Barr again for not violating Justice Department guidelines against publicly discussing open cases and trying to keep information from leaking out about an investigation into the finances of Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, during the presidential campaign.
Mr Trump, who spent months denouncing the work of Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, used Mr Mueller as a positive example when compared with Mr Barr.
The president noted that Mr Mueller had said that an article by TheNewstip claiming that Mr Trump had directed his lawyer to lie to Congress was flawed. He argued that Mr Barr should have contradicted Mr Biden’s statements in one of the presidential debates minimising questions about his son.
“Bill Barr, I believe – not believe, I know – had an obligation to set the record straight, just like Robert Mueller set the record straight,” Mr Trump said, saying that Mr Mueller “stood up” against a false report.