Trump and Biden honour veterans separately | Daily News

Trump and Biden honour veterans separately

US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - AFP
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - AFP

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend a wreath-laying ceremony to mark Veterans Day on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

US:US President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden attended on Wednesday separate, simultaneous ceremonies marking Veterans Day, as what should have been a moment of national unity was marred by the Republican’s refusal to acknowledge election defeat. On a rainy, gray day in Washington, the president visited Arlington National Cemetery for a somber wreath-laying ceremony, his first official appearance since the November 3 vote. He made no public remarks.

At the same time Biden appeared at the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia for his own solemn wreath-laying ceremony, four days after US media projected the former vice president winning the White House.

Since media called the race Trump has not addressed the nation other than via Twitter and a written statement released to mark Veterans Day, and has not conceded to Biden, as is traditional once a winner is projected in a US vote.

With Covid-19 cases shattering records across the country and states imposing new restrictions in a push to contain the virus before winter arrives, Trump seems to have all but shelved normal presidential duties.

Instead, he has remained shut up inside the presidential mansion, claiming that he is about to win and filing lawsuits alleging voter fraud that so far have been backed up by only the flimsiest evidence.

Early Wednesday he was tweeting fresh evidence-free claims of election wins and ballot tampering, despite the consensus from international observers, world leaders, local election officials and US media that the vote was free and fair.

Claiming that a poll in Wisconsin on Election Day had resulted in “possibly illegal suppression” he said he was “now preparing to win the state,” which was called for Biden one week ago.

“Many such ‘deplorable’ instances!” he added on Twitter.

Some Republicans were adding their voices to growing calls for the president to concede, with experts warning his refusal to do so was undermining the democratic process and holding up the transition to Biden, who takes office in January.

Among them was Republican secretary of state for Montana, Corey Stapleton, who heralded the “incredible things” Trump accomplished in office.

“But that time is now over. Tip your hat, bite your lip, and congratulate @JoeBiden,” he tweeted.

However, some of the most powerful figures in the Republican party -- among them Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senate leader Mitch McConnell -- have appeared to back Trump in his bid to undermine Biden’s victory.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said in a sometimes testy news conference Tuesday, while McConnell has said the president was “100 percent within his rights” to challenge the election in court.None of the lawsuits appears to have the potential to change the result and even a manual recount announced Wednesday in Georgia where Biden has a paper-thin lead is unlikely to alter the fundamental math.“Georgia voters deserves accurate, secure results. We stand by our numbers,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger tweeted.

Trump’s victory in Alaska, which US media called for him on Wednesday, putting another three electoral votes in his column, was not enough either.“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden said Tuesday, when asked what he thinks about the president’s refusal to acknowledge defeat.