Trump won’t leave White House for usual Thanksgiving golf vacation at Mar a Lago

Joe Biden receives congratulations on win from longtime Trump ally Benjamin Netanyahu as his transition continued

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Wednesday 18 November 2020 01:23 GMT
Biden warns 'more people may die' if Trump refuses to co-operate on transition

Donald Trump will not leave the White House for his usual Thanksgiving golf vacation in South Florida, an aide to First Lady Melania Trump said.

The first family plans to spend their final Turkey Day at the executive mansion, where he has been holed up –  other than a Veterans Day trip to Arlington National Cemetery – since Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election earlier this month.

The announcement inevitably will intensify speculation that Mr Trump will try to stay at the White House even after the president-elect is sworn in on 20 January. Mr Biden's camp has said he would not hesitate to give federal law enforcement the go-ahead to remove Mr Trump once he is the 46th president.

Mr Trump and a slowly shrinking number of surrogates continue challenging election outcomes in Nevada, Pennsylvania and a small number of other battlegrounds – though federal judges have barely hidden their frustration at the flimsiness of the Trump camp’s arguments.

They have yet to reveal promised evidence of widespread ballot shenanigans.

“The Radical Left Democrats, working with their partner, the Fake News Media, are trying to STEAL this Election. We won’t let them!” the outgoing president tweeted on Monday.

Mr Trump has yet to concede the 2020 race, even though he trails by more than 5m votes nationally, and by tens of thousands in the last competitive swing states to be called by major media outlets. He contends, like in that tweet, that the election was somehow stolen.

He made similar claims before he won in 2016, telling rally crowds then-democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic officials coast-to-coast were conspiring against him. He dropped any talk of voter fraud after his victory, however.

That talk returned earlier this year as polls showed him trailing Mr Biden nationally and in many swing states that the former vice president went on to win, according to state election officials.

Asked late last week if Mr Trump intends to attend, as is custom, the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News: “I think the president will attend his own inauguration.”

Though Mr Trump contends he will rightfully be in the executive mansion beyond noon on 20 January, around the time Mr Biden is on track to assume the full powers of the presidency, the new chief executive would have the legal right to have him removed.

Notably, as GOP lawmakers mostly stood by Mr Trump, Mr Biden chatted with more world leaders on Tuesday who had been close allies of the 45th president, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a summary of that call, the Biden transition office made sure to note that Mr Netanyahu congratulated him on his election victory.

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