Donald Trump’s continued defiance of the presidential election result is about to run into cold, hard reality with the crucial “safe harbour” day dawning in the US.
December 8 marks the deadline set by US federal law for states to resolve challenges to the 2020 presidential election results.
That will lock in directions for the 538 electors who will meet on December 14 to formally vote for their choice for the next president.
All of the battleground states contested by the Trump campaign — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia — have certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden as the winner.
In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the state’s results on Monday (local time), a statement said, after a third count confirmed Mr Biden’s win.
Mr Raffensperger said continued debunked claims about voting fraud were “hurting our state”.
Mr Trump responded to that via his favourite medium:
But despite his vociferous opinions, only a handful of US states are still to certify their election results. None of those are closely contested, meaning they are unlikely to change the result.
California certified its results at the weekend, delivering Mr Biden the formal electoral college majority needed to win the White House.
Mr Trump’s campaign has continued to argue its baseless claims of voter fraud and a rigged election to panels of Republican state lawmakers, and in courtrooms across the US.
The court cases haven’t gone well for the outgoing President and his allies, with more than 40 tossed out. Yet he continues to insist he defeated Mr Biden in the November 3 election.
“In politics, I won two, so I’m 2-0,” Mr Trump said at a White House ceremony honouring wrestler Dan Gable on Monday.
“That’s pretty good, too. We’ll see how that turns out.”
On Monday, Mr Trump’s campaign suffered another blow when it was confirmed his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Rudy’s doing well,” Mr Trump said in the Oval Office on Monday.
“No temperature, and he actually called me earlier this morning. Was the first call I got.”
The 76-year-old former New York City mayor is the latest in a long string of people close to the White House, including Mr Trump himself, sickened in a pandemic that has killed more than 280,000 Americans.
Mr Giuliani has been spearheading Trump’s floundering effort to overturn his election loss.
In the past week, that work took Mr Giuliani to Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia. In a string of hearings before state lawmakers, he urged them to overturn Mr Biden’s victories in the battleground states.
Mr Giuliani and many other attendees did not wear face masks at the indoor events, which were filled with elected officials, witnesses and journalists.
The Trump campaign said in a statement on Sunday that Mr Giuliani “tested negative twice immediately preceding his trip to Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia”.
On Twitter on Sunday, Mr Giuliani said he was “getting great care and feeling good”, hours after Mr Trump announced the former mayor had tested positive for COVID-19.
Two sources told Reuters that Giuliani was at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington on Sunday. One said he had been admitted for treatment.