In most presidential elections, a winner is declared following the vote after which the winner gives a victory speech and the loser concedes. This year, though, things are a bit different. President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election to the declared winner, President-elect Joe Biden.
As Biden’s transition team works to prepare for him to take over at the White House after his inauguration in January, Trump is challenging the results of the election and alleging voter fraud. While, as CNN noted, it is a “time-honored tradition” that the sitting president meets with the president-elect, Trump has made no moves to do this with Biden.
The first lady also traditionally meets with the soon-to-be first lady. First Lady Melania Trump, however, has reportedly extended no such invitation to Jill Biden. This isn’t entirely expected, though, as — at least publicly — Melania seems to be backing up her husband in his refusal to accept the results of the election. “The American people deserve fair elections,” she tweeted on November 8. “Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”
Melania Trump is publicly standing by her husband
While it is believed that Melania is privately encouraging her husband to accept his loss graciously (via CNN), it’s unlikely that she will take a public stance against Trump by inviting Jill to meet with her. “I’m not sure it’s fair for anyone to expect them to start transitioning when the President has not yet conceded,” a source told CNN. They added, “If the President concedes, I’m sure the East Wing will be gracious and professional to the incoming administration, that’s just how they work.”
While Anita McBride, who served as former First Lady Laura Bush’s chief of staff, noted that Melania Trump has disagreed with her husband before, she believes that “this moment is more complicated.” McBride said, “[Melania] reaching out before he has conceded could be seen as going completely against what the President and the administration are doing.”
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