Joe Biden attacks Donald Trump's refusal to 'accept the will of people': 'It's time to turn the page'

P resident-elect Joe Biden delivered a forceful rebuke on Monday to President Donald Trump's attacks on the legitimacy of his victory after the Electoral College confirmed him as the next president. In his first extended attack on Mr Trump since the election, Mr Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that the president and his allies "refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honour our constitution". Mr Biden was referring to a Republican lawsuit, supported by Mr Trump, that sought to overturn the results in several key states, before it was rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court last Friday. The President-elect praised voters for casting ballots in record numbers on November 3 despite fears of Covid-19 and "enormous political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence" against those running the election. "The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power can extinguish that," Mr Biden said. "Our democracy – pushed, tested, threatened – proved to be resilient, true, and strong." Biden: "In the start of this pandemic, this crisis, many were wondering how many Americans would actually vote at all, but those fears proved proved to be unfounded. We saw something very few predicted, even thought possible -- the biggest voter turnout in the history." pic.twitter.com/0mjOP7LdXL — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 15, 2020 Mr Biden said Mr Trump has had full opportunity to contest the results in court and "in every case no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute." With the Electoral College having formalised his victory just hours earlier, Mr Biden told the bitterly divided country: "It’s time to turn the page." "I’m convinced we can work together for the good of the nation," he said. Mr Trump continues to maintain that he was cheated of victory, even if his lawyers have not persuaded one court that they have a case. On Monday he announced that Attorney General Bill Barr, who contradicted his fraud claims, would leave his post next week. Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020 The Electoral College vote, a formality confirming the will of voters expressed at the polls, is usually ignored by all but hardcore politics buffs. This year, the somewhat arcane procedure took centre stage as the US election system withstood weeks of assaults from the powerful president and much of his party. Mr Biden only needed 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes, which are divided up among the 50 states and he was headed for a total of 306 against Mr Trump’s 232. Counting was underway all day and when it got to California, the Democrat went over the minimum amount, making him officially the president-elect from that point on. California’s electors burst into applause as the presiding officer read out the tally. Mr Biden, Barack Obama’s former vice president, will be sworn in as the 46th president on January 20. Disinformation spearheaded by the president and spread by popular commentators on Fox News and new conspiracy theory-mongering outlets like Newsmax means many Americans have all but given up faith in their own institutions. Thousands of Trump supporters, including members of far-right groups, protested in Washington at the weekend, brawling with counter-protesters, while in Georgia footage showed armed activists in camouflage parading at the state Capitol to support Mr Trump’s claims. Polls show as few as one in four Republican voters accept the election results. Mr Trump maintained his stream of threats and unsubstantiated claims on Twitter on Monday, citing "massive VOTER FRAUD" and declaring that certifying election results would be "a severely punishable crime." The legal Electoral College vote, however, puts an official stamp on what voters already decided on November 3. "Although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect," tweeted a Republican senator, Rob Portman, signalling the changing tide. In another shift, the staunchly Trump-supporting editorial board of The Wall Street Journal told Mr Trump that his time is up. "President Trump’s legal challenges have run their course, and he and the rest of the Republican Party can help the country and themselves by acknowledging the result and moving on," it said. Ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration one major formality remains, when Congress, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, opens up and counts the electoral votes on January 6.

Joe Biden attacks Donald Trump's refusal to 'accept the will of people': 'It's time to turn the page'

P resident-elect Joe Biden delivered a forceful rebuke on Monday to President Donald Trump's attacks on the legitimacy of his victory after the Electoral College confirmed him as the next president.

In his first extended attack on Mr Trump since the election, Mr Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that the president and his allies "refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honour our constitution".

Mr Biden was referring to a Republican lawsuit, supported by Mr Trump, that sought to overturn the results in several key states, before it was rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court last Friday.

The President-elect praised voters for casting ballots in record numbers on November 3 despite fears of Covid-19 and "enormous political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence" against those running the election.

"The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power can extinguish that," Mr Biden said.

"Our democracy – pushed, tested, threatened – proved to be resilient, true, and strong."

Mr Biden said Mr Trump has had full opportunity to contest the results in court and "in every case no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute."

With the Electoral College having formalised his victory just hours earlier, Mr Biden told the bitterly divided country: "It’s time to turn the page."

"I’m convinced we can work together for the good of the nation," he said.

Mr Trump continues to maintain that he was cheated of victory, even if his lawyers have not persuaded one court that they have a case.

On Monday he announced that Attorney General Bill Barr, who contradicted his fraud claims, would leave his post next week.

The Electoral College vote, a formality confirming the will of voters expressed at the polls, is usually ignored by all but hardcore politics buffs.

This year, the somewhat arcane procedure took centre stage as the US election system withstood weeks of assaults from the powerful president and much of his party.

Mr Biden only needed 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes, which are divided up among the 50 states and he was headed for a total of 306 against Mr Trump’s 232. Counting was underway all day and when it got to California, the Democrat went over the minimum amount, making him officially the president-elect from that point on.

California’s electors burst into applause as the presiding officer read out the tally.

Mr Biden, Barack Obama’s former vice president, will be sworn in as the 46th president on January 20.

Disinformation spearheaded by the president and spread by popular commentators on Fox News and new conspiracy theory-mongering outlets like Newsmax means many Americans have all but given up faith in their own institutions.

Thousands of Trump supporters, including members of far-right groups, protested in Washington at the weekend, brawling with counter-protesters, while in Georgia footage showed armed activists in camouflage parading at the state Capitol to support Mr Trump’s claims.

Polls show as few as one in four Republican voters accept the election results.

Mr Trump maintained his stream of threats and unsubstantiated claims on Twitter on Monday, citing "massive VOTER FRAUD" and declaring that certifying election results would be "a severely punishable crime."

The legal Electoral College vote, however, puts an official stamp on what voters already decided on November 3.

"Although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect," tweeted a Republican senator, Rob Portman, signalling the changing tide.

In another shift, the staunchly Trump-supporting editorial board of The Wall Street Journal told Mr Trump that his time is up.

"President Trump’s legal challenges have run their course, and he and the rest of the Republican Party can help the country and themselves by acknowledging the result and moving on," it said.

Ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration one major formality remains, when Congress, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, opens up and counts the electoral votes on January 6.