As he struggles to come to terms with losing the election, US president Donald Trump has lashed out at a journalist in a bitter tirade at the White House.
On Thursday (local time) Trump took questions from the media for the first time since election day, but didn’t like being confronted with the reality of his loss.
The president renewed baseless claims that “massive fraud” and crooked officials in battleground states cost him the election. He angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key swing states that helped give Democrat Joe Biden the win, as “communists” and “enemies of the state”.
When he was challenged by a reporter over his team’s inability to provide actual evidence for his nonsensical claims, Trump berated him.
“Don’t talk to me that way,” he snapped at Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason.
“You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way. I'm the President of the United States. Don't ever talk to the President that way.”
The nasty exchange was prompted by the president being asked whether he would concede and a subsequent follow-up query pressing for an answer.
JUST IN: President Trump snaps at reporter objecting to the President's false claims about the election: "You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way. I'm the President of the United States. Don't ever talk to the President that way." pic.twitter.com/RbTKItjs9L
— The Hill (@thehill) November 26, 2020
Trump said it “would be a mistake” for officials of the country’s electoral college system to formally elect Joe Biden as the next president, which is set to take place in mid December followed by a Senate confirmation on January 6.
When pressed, he said he would leave the White House if that happens, but would not say if he will attend Biden’s inauguration which is customary for outgoing presidents.
“This has a long way to go,” Trump said during the press conference, despite the fact that President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner weeks ago. “This election was a fraud. It was a rigged election.”
It’s not the first time Trump has attacked the reporter. The president also mocked him for wearing a coronavirus face mask in October.
State officials and international observers have repeatedly said no evidence of mass fraud exists and Trump’s campaign has repeatedly failed in court to subvert the election process.
Nonetheless, an embittered Trump said he’ll go to Georgia to rally supporters ahead of two Senate runoff elections.
This is a real photo he chose to take. pic.twitter.com/uDdA56Zr2c
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 27, 2020
Trump said he would hold a rally with thousands of supporters in Georgia to support a pair of Republican candidates — Senator David Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler — whose runoff elections on January 5 will determine which party controls the Senate.
Trump initially said the rally would be Saturday. The White House later clarified he meant December 5.
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