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George W. Bush congratulates Biden on win and his 'patriotic' victory speech as he tells Trump to concede because the election 'was fundamentally fair and its outcome is clear'

 George W. Bush congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory Sunday - and delivered an unmistakable message to Donald Trump that he must now concede.

The only living former Republican president broke his silence, more than 24 hours after Biden was declared the winner in a call by TV networks and the Associated Press, to say that he had spoken to the Democratic victor, and to Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect.

'I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden,' he said in a statement. No Republican leader has so far called Biden president-elect.


'Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.'

And in what will be instantly read as a rebuke to Trump over his claims of fraud and a direct message that he must publicly concede the election, Bush said there were no doubts over the integrity of the result.

'No matter how you voted, your vote counted,' he said.

Hail to the new chief: George W. Bush made clear that Donald Trump must give up his refusal to concede, saying that he and Laura congratulate the president-elect, Joe Biden, and that he had spoken to both Biden and Kamala Harris and offered them his prayers

Hail to the new chief: George W. Bush made clear that Donald Trump must give up his refusal to concede, saying that he and Laura congratulate the president-elect, Joe Biden, and that he had spoken to both Biden and Kamala Harris and offered them his prayers

'A good man.' George W. Bush said the 46th president would be Joe Biden and that they had political differences, but he believed in Biden's ability to 'unify' the country - another pointed message to Trump

'A good man.' George W. Bush said the 46th president would be Joe Biden and that they had political differences, but he believed in Biden's ability to 'unify' the country - another pointed message to Trump

Will he listen? Donald Trump headed for his golf course in Virginia where he was later spotted golfing - the same place where he learned that the election had been called for his rival Joe Biden

Will he listen? Donald Trump headed for his golf course in Virginia where he was later spotted golfing - the same place where he learned that the election had been called for his rival Joe Biden 


'President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated.

'The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.'

The message from the 43rd president could hardly be clearer and shows the pressure mounting on Trump to give up his apparently doomed fight to remain in the White House for a second term.

His family appeared split on the issue, with Jared Kushner reported to be telling him to give up the fight and concede, but his sons Eric and Don Jr. aggressively tweeting claims of voter fraud - none of them with evidence - and demands for a 'manual recount' across the country.

Vocal allies took to the Fox News circuit this morning, including Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, all pushing for the fight to continue. 

But the intervention by Bush will serve to remind Republicans of the damage not conceding could present to the party in the future.

Trump himself called the election 'stolen' Sunday morning as he tweeted claims from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that Democrats 'stole what they had to steal.'

But he avoided using his own voice in a series of tweets, instead highlighting Gingrich - who had appeared on Fox and Friends - and Turley, a registered Democrat who had spoken against Trump's impeachment as a Republican witness to the House Judiciary Committee.

Almost immediately, the tweets were flagged by Twitter as possible misinformation. 

At the same time, Trump left the White House to play golf again, just like he did on Saturday. 

The tweets suggest that Trump is not backing down or planning to concede despite signs he is already fracturing his family with his sons and Jared Kushner at odds over whether he should concede.

But Sunday morning also saw his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani aggressively claim he will contest the election, telling Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that he had 'four or five' lawsuits which would be ready by the end of the week.

He claimed Republican observers were not allowed close enough to see mail-in ballots being processed in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and that dead people in Philadelphia had voted in the past.

He also claimed that he would sue in Nevada, which has been called for Biden, without specifying how. Asked 'where is Bill Barr on this?' - a reference to the attorney general, who in theory at least could investigate allegations of mass-scale vote rigging - he said: 'I don't know and I can't worry about that.'

Giuliani claimed he has '50 witnesses' to voter fraud, and might make 'one or two' public. So far there have been a handful of anecdotal witnesses in videos posted on social media but none who have made claims to authorities.

Another key member of Trump's kitchen cabinet, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, used the same show to tell the president not to concede.

'If we don't challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again,' he claimed. 

Gingrich's claims the election was corrupt came from a Fox & Friends interview in which he called Democrats 'corrupt' and claimed the outcome was a 'left-wing power grab.'

Swinging for the fences: President Donald Trump hit the golf course on Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia, to blow off some steam after the media declared his rival Joe Biden winner of the election the day before

Swinging for the fences: President Donald Trump hit the golf course on Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia, to blow off some steam after the media declared his rival Joe Biden winner of the election the day before

Low profile: Trump donned a white cap bearing his campaign slogan 'Make America Great Again' as he hit the golf course

Low profile: Trump donned a white cap bearing his campaign slogan 'Make America Great Again' as he hit the golf course

No mask? Trump did not wear a face covering as he interacted with caddies at the Trump National Golf Club

No mask? Trump did not wear a face covering as he interacted with caddies at the Trump National Golf Club

Get the message? Donald Trump was followed by protesters as he arrived at his club in Sterling, Virginia, to golf

Get the message? Donald Trump was followed by protesters as he arrived at his club in Sterling, Virginia, to golf

Trump quoted Newt Gingrich on Fox & Friends in his tweet. The best pollster in Britain was in fact an American right-win think tank commentator, Patrick Barsham, who works for the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. but was writing in the Sunday Express in the UK

Trump quoted Newt Gingrich on Fox & Friends in his tweet. The best pollster in Britain was in fact an American right-win think tank commentator, Patrick Barsham, who works for the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. but was writing in the Sunday Express in the UK 

Another voice: Jonathan Turley is a law professor and registered Democrat who has backed Trump repeatedly

Another voice: Jonathan Turley is a law professor and registered Democrat who has backed Trump repeatedly

Already packing? The president's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner was seen leaving his home in Washington DC with a duffel bag in hand on Sunday morning
Kushner kept a low profile, wearing a baseball cap and mask

Already packing? The president's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner was seen leaving his home in Washington DC with a duffel bag in hand on Sunday morning 

Keeping mum: Kushner declined to answer when asked by DailyMail.com if Trump planned to concede to Biden

Keeping mum: Kushner declined to answer when asked by DailyMail.com if Trump planned to concede to Biden


Gingrich had spent Saturday at the same Trump golf course where the president was golfing when he was told that TV networks and the Associated Press had called the election and that he was defeated. It is unknown if the two men spoke there.

Trump also amplified claims by Turley, a law professor, about fraud, specifically in Pennsylvania, which is the state which pushed Biden over the top to his electoral college majority.

Turley suggested that there could be a problem 'authenticating' ballots received after Tuesday and that this could affect the result of 'the whole election.'

The claim is difficult to assess. Pennsylvania had already separated the late-arriving ballots, and it is so far not known how many there are and whether there enough to sway the election's outcome.  

Trump's eldest sons launched a fusillade of morning tweets claiming their father's defeat was fraudulent Sunday, in a sign of a split from their brother-in-law Jared Kushner.

Don Jr. and Eric both retweeted claims from Republican operatives that included the late boxer Joe Frazier voting in Philadelphia and that counting software was rigged against Republicans.

Eric called for a 'manual recount' of all ballots - which would amount to as many as 150 million - because  one county in Georgia said three days ago that it was briefly delaying counting due to a software glitch. 

'Software from hell! There needs to be a manual recount of every ballot in this country right now!' he said.

And Don Jr. retweeted an anti-concession demand accusing Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania of 'rampant fraud.' 

It was unclear early Sunday whether either son has spoken to their father since his defeat was called by networks just before midday Saturday.

But it was revealed late Saturday night that their brother-in-law Jared has been urging Trump to come to terms with defeat and offer a concession.

The possibility of an ugly family split would add new drama to the last days of the Trump White House - although the two sons had offered contradictory signals themselves on Saturday.

Eric did not attend a press conference with Rudy Giuliani outside a landscaping company in Philadelphia - and across the road from a sex shop - where the president's personal attorney claimed he had evidence of voting fraud in the city.

Still swinging: Trump is seen mid-swing during his golf round in Sterling on Sunday morning

Still swinging: Trump is seen mid-swing during his golf round in Sterling on Sunday morning 

Nearly there: Trump prepares to sink a shot as a caddy stands by on Sunday morning

Nearly there: Trump prepares to sink a shot as a caddy stands by on Sunday morning

Where to next? The president looks out across his golf course during a round on Sunday morning

Where to next? The president looks out across his golf course during a round on Sunday morning 

First son's complaint: The glitch referred to happened on Tuesday in Gwinnett County, GA and was resolved by Thursday

First son's complaint: The glitch referred to happened on Tuesday in Gwinnett County, GA and was resolved by Thursday 

Claim: In this Tweet Paul Gosar - a Trump loyalist Republican congressman - claimed that software which had awarded 6,000 votes to Biden in error in Michigan in a glitch immediately spotted and disclosed by officials there - should be examined everywhere it was used

Claim: In this Tweet Paul Gosar - a Trump loyalist Republican congressman - claimed that software which had awarded 6,000 votes to Biden in error in Michigan in a glitch immediately spotted and disclosed by officials there - should be examined everywhere it was used 

Poll watching claims: The Trump campaign claimed in press conferences and tweets that observers were 'banned' then admitted in court that they were not. They are expected to sue Monday over not being allowed close enough to see what happened. Democrats operated under the same rules

Poll watching claims: The Trump campaign claimed in press conferences and tweets that observers were 'banned' then admitted in court that they were not. They are expected to sue Monday over not being allowed close enough to see what happened. Democrats operated under the same rules 

Claim: Project Veritas, the right-wing group which specializes in undercover videos, has what it alleges is a whistleblower Post Office worker who claims he was told to collect ballots which were then backdated to suggest they had been mailed before the deadline of November 3. The claims have not been addressed by the USPS

Claim: Project Veritas, the right-wing group which specializes in undercover videos, has what it alleges is a whistleblower Post Office worker who claims he was told to collect ballots which were then backdated to suggest they had been mailed before the deadline of November 3. The claims have not been addressed by the USPS 

Unclear claim: Allegations that Joe Frazier voted in his native Philadelphia in 2018 after his death have circulated on the internet for the last two years. There is so far no evidence to support a claim someone voted in his name in 2020

Unclear claim: Allegations that Joe Frazier voted in his native Philadelphia in 2018 after his death have circulated on the internet for the last two years. There is so far no evidence to support a claim someone voted in his name in 2020

Nothing yet though: Conservative lobbyist and Trump backer Matt Schlapp's claims about Nevada were amplified by Don Jr. but he has so far presented no direct evidence

Nothing yet though: Conservative lobbyist and Trump backer Matt Schlapp's claims about Nevada were amplified by Don Jr. but he has so far presented no direct evidence 

Eric had attended Giuliani's Thursday press conference in the city where the former New York mayor and Borat prank victim claimed 'Canadians and Martians' may have voted in the Keystone state.

And Don Jr. flurry of tweets claiming the election was corrupt were accompanied by an Instagram post with his father paying tribute to his willingness to 'fight' in what could be interpreted as an elegy for a lost cause.

The question of who can tell Trump it is time to admit he is done has perplexed aides in his inner circle.

Some have launched public attempts to flatter him into conceding, including former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who used a Wall Street Journal op-ed to say Saturday that Trump will concede once he is sure the election was not corrupt.

How he reacted: Trump furiously tweeted a series of claims about the election

How he reacted: Trump furiously tweeted a series of claims about the election

Mixed message: Don Jr. posted this picture with his father and what could be read as a tribute to a lost fight, or a demand to fight on

Mixed message: Don Jr. posted this picture with his father and what could be read as a tribute to a lost fight, or a demand to fight on 

Suck it up, Donald: Jared is telling his father-in-law to concede and get it over with

Suck it up, Donald: Jared is telling his father-in-law to concede and get it over with 

Suck it up, Donald: Jared is telling his father-in-law to concede and get it over with

Suck it up, Donald: Jared is telling his father-in-law to concede and get it over with

On the road: Kushner piled into one SUV while his wife Ivanka got into another car

On the road: Kushner piled into one SUV while his wife Ivanka got into another car


Laura Ingraham, the Fox News 10pm host used her show on Thursday to call for him to 'stand tall' and know that 'it was all worth it.'

'If and when it's time to accept an unfavorable outcome in this election, and we hope it never comes, President Trump needs to do it with the same grace and composure that he demonstrated at that town hall with Savannah Guthrie,' she said Thursday. 'President Trump´s legacy will only become more significant if he focuses on moving the country forward.' 

But Trump's own state of mind was clear in his tweets Saturday. 

Trump is not expected to ever formally concede, according to people close to him, but is likely to grudgingly vacate the White House at the end of his term. His ongoing efforts to paint the election as unfair are seen both as an effort to soothe a bruised ego and to show his loyal base of supporters that he is still fighting. That could be key to keeping them energized for what comes next.

'He intends to fight,' Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said as it was becoming clear that the president was headed for defeat.

Would Trump ever concede? 'I doubt it,' said Trump´s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, whose prison sentence was commuted by Trump in July. Stone asserted that Biden, as a result, will have 'a cloud over his presidency with half the people in the country believing that he was illegitimately elected.'

Allies suggested that if Trump wants to launch a media empire in coming years, he has an incentive to prolong the drama. So, too, if he intends to keep the door open to a possible 2024 comeback - he would be only a year older then than Biden is now.

There are many in his inner circle egging him on, including his personal attorney, Giuliani.

If he is watching his favored news outlet, Fox News Sunday, as his Newt Gingrish tweet suggested, he is unlikely to hear voices suggesting he give up. 

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee - whose daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders was White House press secretary and spent election night with Trump - scoffed at the idea he should concede.

And Steve Scalise, the Republicans' second-most senior member of the House, claimed state laws in Pennsylvania 'were not being followed' in the counting of late-arriving ballots and that Democratic officials were 'not being transparent.'

So far the only senior Republicans to congratulate Joe Biden on becoming president-elect have been Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach and remove Trump from office, and Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who Trump has repeatedly attacked.

No other members of the House or Senate who are close to Trump have spoken out to suggest the election is over.

And the Trump campaign itself has bombarded supporters with fundraising emails and texts based on their claims they will fight results in the courts. 

They have raked in tens of millions of dollars since Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Some of the money was earmarked to retire campaign debt - not fight in the courts - but the rest could be used to keep up an aggressive public campaign to continue to undermine faith in the election outcome. 

That the peaceful transfer of power was even in doubt reflected the norm-shattering habits of the now-lame duck president, who even in victory never admitted that he had lost the popular vote in 2016.

Most aides believed the president would take the weekend to decide on a plan, which will most certainly involve more legal action. 

But some aides believe the legal skirmishes are more about putting up the appearance of a fight than producing results.

There were some apparent indications Trump was moving in a less contentious direction, even as he continued to angrily complain to aides, reviving old grievances about the Russia investigation that began under President Barack Obama,

In a statement Friday, Trump suggested he would avail himself of every avenue under the law to challenge the election's result. Allies interpreted it as a begrudging acknowledgement of the likely outcome.

'We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government,' Trump said in the statement. 'I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.'

On Saturday, the White House released a terse statement saying the president 'will accept the results of a free and fair election' and that the administration 'is following all statutory requirements.'

Still, there were concerns that Trump's rhetoric would inflame tensions in a nation that was already bitterly divided before the election. Isolated scuffles were reported near tabulation centers in Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Pro-Trump protesters - some of them openly carrying rifles and handguns - rallied outside tallying facilities in a few cities around the country Friday, responding to Trump´s groundless accusations that the Democrats were trying to steal the White House.

The Biden campaign made clear its patience had limits.

'As we said on July 19, the American people will decide this election,' Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said Friday. 'And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.'

Trump, whose voluminous Twitter account seems to provide an apt entry for any occasion, offered this advice in 2016: 'Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity,' So true!'

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