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AFP
November 26, 2020

Trump’s election defiance in fresh chaos

World

AFP
November 26, 2020

President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to defy the results of the US election were thrown into fresh disarray Wednesday when he abruptly canceled a trip reportedly meant to showcase his grievances with an appearance at the epic Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg.

Officially, Trump had nothing on his schedule but US media reports quoted officials saying that he planned an impromptu trip there -- his first outside the Washington area since losing his reelection to Democrat Joe Biden.

Secret Service agents had reportedly shut down a hotel in the small Pennsylvania town, site of a turning point in the Civil War where President Abraham Lincoln’s North defeated the secessionist Southern forces.

A pool of journalists was gathered to accompany Trump from the White House to Pennsylvania but was told at the last minute that their trip was off. According to CNN and other US media reports, Trump planned to join his controversial lawyer Rudy Giuliani and state Republicans who were holding an unofficial "hearing" on their fraud claims in Gettysburg.

Trump’s lawyers have so far not produced any substantive evidence of fraud and national election officials say there was none. Biden won Pennsylvania by a margin of 80,000 votes on November 3, helping him assemble a convincing nationwide victory and making Trump a one-term president.

Trump, who tore up countless norms during his four years in power, is carving out new territory with his refusal to concede to Biden, while supporters suggest he is already eying an announcement of running for president again in 2024.

Building his brand ahead of a new campaign might be one explanation for the real estate tycoon’s dogged pursuit of such a lost cause. Giuliani and other Trump lawyers have seen baseless challenges to the vote counts thrown out by courts across the country.

And while Trump is alleging -- among other evidence-free conspiracy theories -- that voting machines deliberately deleted millions of his votes, the government election security agency declared this "the most secure" election in US history. After coming under pressure from a slowly building trickle of senior Republicans, Trump on Monday ended his blockade of government assistance to ease Biden’s preparation for assuming the presidency on January 20.