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US election: President Trump makes first public appearance on Veteran’s Day

President Trump has attended his first official post-election event for Veteran’s Day in the US as he remains defiant about his defeat to Joe Biden.

The President visited Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday morning local time.

Trump has refused to concede four days after US media unanimously projected his Democratic rival would take the White House and more than a week after America went to the polls.

Since then, President Trump has not addressed the defeat but taken to Twitter to repeat unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Meanwhile, US cases of coronavirus infections have surged to more than 200,000 in a single day.

Joe Biden marked Veterans Day with a visit to the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia.

The president-elect made a brief foray out with his wife, Jill, to the memorial, where he laid a wreath.

Biden’s son Beau was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard and died in 2015 of brain cancer. Biden often spoke emotionally of his son’s service on the campaign trail.

Jill Biden made military spouses and families one of her signature issues when Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president, and aides say that may be one of her focal points as first lady.

Biden was otherwise spending Wednesday in private briefings with his transition team.

Early Wednesday, Trump 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 November 3 vote was free and fair, and that there have no credible allegations of fraud.

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.

Trump has made no public comments since President-elect Joe Biden surpassed the 270 electoral votes on Saturday needed to win the presidency. Instead, he’s offered postings on Twitter alleging unfounded claims of irregularities in voting in several battleground states that went for Biden.

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

Meanwhile, his legal team as filed a barrage of lawsuits alleging fraud in the battleground states.The president’s resistance to acknowledging the outcome of the race has stalled the transition process as the head of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee, has held off on certifying Biden as the winner of the election.

The certification — known as ascertainment — frees up money for the transition and clears the way for Biden’s team to begin putting in place the transition process at agencies.

Biden was not expected to deliver public remarks on Wednesday, but he sought to lower the national temperature the previous day as he addressed reporters from his makeshift transition headquarters near his home in downtown Wilmington.

He described Trump’s position as more of an “embarrassing” mark on the outgoing president’s legacy than a genuine hindrance, predicting that Republicans on Capitol Hill would eventually accept the reality of Biden’s victory.

The Republican resistance, Biden said, “does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do.”

Additional intelligence briefings “would be useful”, Biden added, but “we don’t see anything slowing us down”.

– Agencies, Associated Press

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