President Donald Trump’s quixotic bid to overturn the Nov 3 election results was dealt another blow on Friday when a recount confirmed he had lost Georgia, while the, President-elect Joe Biden, filled more jobs in his incoming U.S. administration.
Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on Jan. 20, but Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is searching for a way to invalidate or overturn the results in several states, claiming widespread voter fraud.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger poured more cold water on the Trump campaign’s effort when he confirmed that a manual recount and audit of all ballots cast in the southern state had determined that Biden was the winner.
“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or courts, or of either campaigns,” Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters.
With the door seemingly slammed shut in Georgia and having been stung by a series of court defeats, the Trump team is resting its hopes on getting Republican-controlled legislatures in other battleground states won by Biden to set aside the results and declare Trump the winner, according to three people familiar with the plan.
It is focusing on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, but even if both those states flipped to the president he would need to overturn the vote in another state to vault ahead of Biden in the Electoral College.
Such an extraordinary event would be unprecedented in modern U.S. history. Trump not only would need three state legislatures to intervene against vote counts as they stand now, but then also have those actions upheld by Congress and, almost certainly, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Undeterred by the long odds, Trump was meeting with Michigan’s state legislative leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House of Representatives Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans, at the White House on Friday, according to a source in Michigan.
The two lawmakers will listen to what the president, who requested the meeting, has to say, the source said. Shirkey told a Michigan news outlet earlier this week that the legislature would not appoint a second slate of electors.
Upon arriving at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, Shirkey and his colleagues were met by a swarm of protesters. Some held signs that read “SHAME” while others chanted “Certify the results” and “respect Michigan voters.” One protester asked, “What has Trump promised you?”
U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, called the meeting “totally inappropriate” in a news conference with other lawmakers from the state and vowed that Democrats would resist any attempt to overturn Biden’s victory.
Biden, who turned 78 on Friday, continued to lay the foundation of his administration, naming Louisa Terrell as the incoming director of the White House’s office of legislative affairs, the main liaison with Congress, and announcing other appointments.
Terrell worked as a deputy chief of staff for Biden in the Senate and was a special assistant to President Barack Obama. She also has held roles in the private sector with Yahoo! and Facebook.
Biden was due on Friday to meet Democratic leaders in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.