Donald Trump says he will leave White House if electoral college votes for Joe Biden

Donald Trump says he will leave White House if electoral college votes for Joe Biden

President’s comments are the closest he has come to admitting defeat in election and set stage for college vote on 14 December

Donald Trump has said that he will leave the White House when the electoral college votes for Democratic president-elect Joe Biden in the closest the outgoing president has come to conceding defeat.

Biden won the presidential election with 306 electoral college votes – many more than the 270 required – to Trump’s 232. Biden also leads Trump by more than 6 million in the popular vote tally.

Trump has so far defied tradition by refusing to concede defeat, instead making a series of baseless claims about alleged ballot fraud and launching legal attempts to challenge the outcomes in several states such Pennsylvania and Michigan.

But desperate efforts by Trump and his aides to overturn results in key states, either by lawsuits or by pressuring state legislators, have failed.

Speaking to reporters on the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said if Biden – who is due to be sworn in on 20 January – was certified the election winner by the electoral college, he would depart the White House.

Trump’s comments, made to reporters at the White House after speaking to troops during the traditional Thanksgiving Day address to US service members, appear to take him one step nearer to admitting defeat.