Trump appears in public for Veterans Day

Zeke Miller and Aamer Madhani
·2-min read

US President Donald Trump has visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, emerging in public for the first time since major media networks called the election for his rival Joe Biden.

Trump, who honoured veterans in a ceremony that was held during a steady rain, has made no public comments apart from tweets alleging voter fraud since president-elect Biden surpassed the 270 electoral votes on Saturday needed to win the presidency.

Although his official schedule has been devoid of public events, Trump has made several personnel moves - firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper and installing three staunch loyalists in top defence jobs.

Trump's pick to serve as acting defence secretary, Christopher Miller, was among the Pentagon brass that joined the president for the solemn Veterans Day ceremony.

Trump was joined at Arlington National Cemetery by first lady Melania Trump as well Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence.

Pence had been scheduled to travel to Sanibel, Florida, on Tuesday through Saturday but scrapped plans for the holiday.

The Washington Post reported Pence gave Republican senators a presentation on Tuesday on Trump's legal efforts to cast doubt on Biden's victory and urged them to stick by the president's side.

Trump's legal team has filed a barrage of lawsuits alleging voting fraud in the battleground states that went for Biden.

"I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly," Biden said on Tuesday of Trump's refusal to acknowledge the election results.

The president-elect and his wife, Jill Biden, marked Veterans Day with a visit to the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia.

With the exception of weekend visits to his private golf club in northern Virginia, Trump has remained at the White House since election day and last appeared before cameras to deliver a statement six days ago.