US President Donald Trump rejected the outcome of the 2020 election and promised further legal challenges as Democrats and liberal groups celebrated Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump, who was at his golf course in Northern Virginia when the race was called, issued a statement continuing to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the election with unfounded accusations of widespread voter fraud.
“This election is far from over,” Trump said. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”
Networks and the Associated Press called the race on Saturday after Biden won Pennsylvania. Biden’s Twitter account was swiftly updated to identify him as the “president-elect.”
“I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice-President-elect Harris,” Biden said in a statement, referring to his running-mate, California Senator Kamala Harris.
Trump’s allies, led by his attorney Rudy Giuliani, held a press conference in Philadelphia where they complained that Trump’s supporters were unable to observe ballot counting as closely as they wanted.
Spontaneous celebrations erupted on the streets of cities including New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles after news organisations called the race over. There were cheers and honking horns across New York City, including outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement that Biden’s victory “marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America.”
Former vice-president Al Gore said Biden’s victory “marks the beginning of a new commitment to self-government by, of and for all of our people.”
Ben Jealous, president of the liberal group People For the American Way, said Biden’s victory “affirms the people’s commitment to our core values under the most trying of circumstances.”
“Americans have soundly rejected the bigotry and divisiveness of the Trump years and chosen leaders who stand for opportunity and dignity for all people,” Jealous said.