[NFA] U.S. President-elect Joe Biden solidified his victory over President Donald Trump on Friday after the state of Georgia went his way, leaving Trump little hope of reversing the outcome through legal challenges and recounts.
In his first public remarks in over a week following his election loss to his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge that his administration may not extend into a second term - the closest he has come to conceding the race to the President-elect.
TRUMP: "Ideally, we won't go to a lockdown.
I will not go.
This administration will not be going to a lockdown.
Hopefully, the... the, uh, whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration will be?
I guess time will tell.
But I can tell you, this administration will not go to a lockdown." Trump made the comments at an Operation Warp Speed news conference, during which he said he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available to the general population as soon as April.
He left the podium without taking questions despite loud clamoring from reporters.
Friday's briefing came just hours after Edison Research projected that Biden won the state of Georgia, while Trump won North Carolina.
Those two states were the last to be called in the U.S. presidential race, lifting Biden's Electoral College vote total to 306 - the same number Trump reached in 2016, which he called a landslide victory.
Biden's team has been pressing ahead with a transition despite the Trump administration's refusal to provide intelligence briefings, access to federal office space and other resources.
In an exclusive interview with Politico, Trump's former Chief of Staff John Kelly said Trump doesn't have to concede but said the wait over Biden receiving intelligence briefings "hurts our national security." Meanwhile, Trump is forging ahead with a long-shot litigation effort to try to overturn the results of the presidential election.
In the most recent blow to that strategy, a Michigan state court on Friday rejected a request by Trump supporters to block the certification of votes in Detroit, which went heavily in favor of Biden.
In another setback on Friday, the Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit in Arizona seeking an audit of all ballots, after it was clear the margin of victory could not be overcome.
Biden was projected as the winner in Arizona late Thursday night, according to Edison Research.
Biden's legal advisers have dismissed the Trump lawsuits as political theater and legal experts say they're very unlikely to change the outcome of the election and are likely mostly about fundraising.
In recent days, Trump's supporters have been bombarded with fundraising emails asking for money to help pay for what the campaign says are legal challenges to the election results.
But a Reuters review of the legal language in the solicitations found that any small-dollar donations won't be going to legal expenses at all.
And the fine print makes clear that most of the money will go to other priorities.
Trump's campaign has been working on retiring its debt and contributions to his legal fund can also be used for that purpose.