A week after losing the US election, President Donald Trump remained shut up in the White House on Tuesday, pushing an alternate reality that he is about to win, while Democrat Joe Biden ignored him and acted like a leader in waiting by taking a string of calls from foreign capitals.
Biden is increasingly moving toward the moment in 71 days when he will take the oath of office.
In his latest exchanges with international leaders, he talked Tuesday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ireland’s prime minister, Micheal Martin, and was due to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron later.
But the formal process of Biden’s transition is being blocked by Trump while he attempts to overturn the election results in court on the basis of so far flimsy fraud allegations.
“WE WILL WIN!” the Republican president tweeted early Tuesday. “WATCH FOR MASSIVE BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE.”
Trump’s attempt to hold on to power has become all consuming for the man who often makes a point of publicly mocking rivals as “losers.”
Emphasizing the atmosphere of intransigence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a testy news conference that he was preparing for “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Since Election Day on November 3, Trump has made few public appearances and seems to have all but shelved normal presidential duties.
His only known activities outside the White House have been to play golf twice over the weekend, after the results came in.
Normally routine secret presidential intelligence briefings have been off the daily schedule. He has made no mention of the dramatic rebound in the Covid-19 pandemic across the country.
And his once near daily press conferences, interviews with Fox News or impromptu question-and-answer sessions with White House journalists have dried up.
In place of that, Trump has spent much of his time tweeting, mostly about what he claims is the stolen election.
Trump’s only significant presidential action has been the abrupt firing of defense secretary Mark Esper on Monday, which he announced on Twitter.