WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 election are likely to fail, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a national television audience Sunday morning.
“I expect Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States,” the state’s Republican governor said during a “Meet the Press” appearance. “It was good, actually, to see President Trump tweet out that [Biden] won. I think that’s a start of an acknowledgment.”
While Trump hasn’t formally conceded, the Florida Republican briefly seemed to acknowledge losing to the Delaware Democrat, tweeting Sunday morning, “He won because the Election was Rigged.”
After Biden supporters highlighted the language, Trump insisted the fight against Biden being declared the winner will continue, tweeting “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede nothing! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
Though trailing in areas with 306 electoral votes, the Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several states challenging the tallies.
Twelve days after the polls closed, Biden led by more than 5.5 million in the popular vote, with most ballots tallied.
While the court challenges should proceed, the nation needs to come together once the litigation is resolved, Hutchinson said.
“There are some constitutional assertions in Pennsylvania. There’s a recount in Georgia. It is important that those processes go through,” Hutchinson said. “The president does not want to undermine those legitimate processes by jumping ahead and conceding the election, but we still have to start that transition.”
Until a final determination is made, key information should be shared with the former vice president, Hutchinson said.
“It is very important that Joe Biden have access to the intelligence briefings, to make sure that he is prepared. During times of transition our enemies have an opportunity to try to take advantage of us,” he said.
Information about covid-19 prevention and treatment should also be shared, he said.
A vaccine developed by Pfizer, said to be 90% effective, could arrive in a matter of weeks, but it will take months to inoculate the entire population.
As a result, the process — if begun — would still be underway at noon on Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration.
“We want to make sure that there is a smooth transition, particularly when it comes to the vaccine distribution, the coronavirus, that everybody understands what we’re doing there and what the plan is for the future,” Hutchinson said.
Trump won a 2016 election he dubbed as “rigged.” He’s alleging the 2020 election was corrupt as well.
With the White House attempting to de-legitimize the vote totals, many Republicans on Capitol Hill have tried to sidestep the controversy.
“Meet the Press” invited all 53 Republican U.S. senators to appear on Sunday’s program, moderator Chuck Todd said; none accepted the invitation, he added.
Spokesmen for U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Little Rock said the lawmakers declined their invitations due to unavailability.