WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s supporters began gathering in Washington on Saturday for a protest to back his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud as he pushes ahead with a flurry of longshot legal challenges to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump has made little headway in the courts with his lawsuits and for the first time on Friday he began to sound doubtful about his prospects, telling reporters “time will tell” who occupies the White House from Jan. 20.
Since Biden was selected as the winner on November 7, other protests against Trump have been held across the country, but the protests are small in scale and rarely happen.
Pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington and other cities will include supporters of the president, including far-right figures as well as members of the sworn militia and the Pride Boys, to publicly demonstrate his support for continuing to govern.
Trump’s motorcade drove some protesters in downtown Washington on Saturday morning to his golf course in Sterling, near Virginia. Flag-waving supporters chanted “America!” and “Four years!” as the car passed by. Outside the court, anti-Trump demonstrators waved signs that included “We voted-you are fired.”
Organizers have given the rallies various names, including the Million MAGA March, the March for Trump and Stop the Steal. MAGA is an acronym for the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Trump has tweeted his support.
Protesting against the marches, opponents on social media sought to create confusion by flooding the hashtags #MillionMAGAMarch and #MarchforTrump with photographs of pancakes.
Some left-wing groups plan to hold demonstrations in Washington and other cities.
Biden further consolidated his victory last Friday. The results from Edison’s study showed that he won Georgia, giving him the final count of 306 electoral college votes, far exceeding the 232 270 needed to be elected president and above Trump.
The 306 votes are consistent with Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, when Hillary Clinton called it a “slippery slope.”
When Trump made remarks about the coronavirus response at an event the President held at the White House on Friday, he briefly seemed to almost admit the possibility that he would leave the White House in January.
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, uh, whatever happens in the future — who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell,” Trump said in his first public remarks since Biden was projected as the election’s winner.
Aides said that as the election results become clearer, Trump has discussed possible media risks and appearances with his advisers, which will make him the focus of attention before the White House bid in 2024.
Several consultants said that he was considering establishing a TV channel or social media company to compete with those betrayed by him and stifle his ability to communicate directly with Americans.
In the short term, Trump is expected to run for the Republican candidate in Georgia before the two runoffs on January 5, which will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.