‘I’m going to win’: Trump defiant as he tees off
Even a morning of golf in unseasonably warm sunshine couldn't lift Donald Trump's mood on the day he lost the White House.
The deposed president, who hasn't conceded and is threatening months of disruptive court action to fight the results, sent a string of bitter tweets after Democrat Joe Biden was called as the winner.
"I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!," said one of the messages, which Twitter flagged with a warning.
"71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!"
Video footage also emerged of the US President at Trump National Golf Club where he told supporters that he was "going to win".
Mr Trump made the brief remark as fans cheered and told him: "don't give up".
Television networks called the race after almost four days counting at about 11.30am Saturday local time, when Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes were awarded to Mr Biden.
It happened around the same time Mr Trump's attack dog lawyers Rudy Giuliani and firebrand former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi were to give an update on their legal challenges in Pennsylvania.
The press conference was a tidy metaphor for how Team Trump's campaign has been tracking this past week.
Instead of being held at the city's five-star Four Seasons Hotel, as Mr Trump had previewed in a morning tweet, it was in the carpark of a drab landscaping business next to an adult store.
While the Trump campaign hasn't confirmed that someone booked the wrong location, named Four Seasons Total Landscaping, for what the president had called a "big press conference", it was widely suspected to be the case.
The Trump campaign has lodged about a dozen lawsuits across the country and among its claims are that observers were stopped from monitoring the count in Pennsylvania.
The state's attorney general has denied this but Mr Trump again insisted yesterday he had been robbed and that "bad things happened" to make it appear he had lost.
"THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES," he stormed.
"BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!"
A stern Mr Trump was earlier photographed with three unidentified golf buddies before disappearing back into the White House.
He has nothing public on his official schedule today, but there are many hoping he will make the traditional concession call to Mr Biden.
This may be too much to hope for given how he spent his Saturday night, surrounded by tens of thousands of Biden supporters who flocked to the White House to bid him farewell.
They played Village People hits in a nod to his rally playlists and chanted that it was time to go.
By early evening a Fox News reporter noted that there had been surprisingly little tension.
There was "not a lot of violence or any kind of real commotion here, primarily, perhaps, because of just how much marijuana is being smoked".
"The smell of that is quite pungent in the air right now."
TRUMP RESPONDS TO BIDEN WIN
We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. 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. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
"Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room - and then fight in court to block their access.
"So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands."
Originally published as 'I'm going to win': Trump defiant as he tees off