Trump emerges from White House to mark Veterans Day

US president Donald Trump has visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, emerging in public for the first time since his failed re-election bid.

Mr Trump, who honoured US veterans in a ceremony that was held during a steady rain, has spent the last few days at the White House tweeting baseless claims of voter fraud after his election loss.

He has made no public comments since president-elect Joe Biden surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency on Saturday.

Although his official schedule has been devoid of public events, Mr Trump has made several moves – sacking defence secretary Mark Esper and installing three staunch loyalists in top defence jobs.

15 PHOTOS
Veterans Day
See Gallery
Veterans Day
US President Donald Trump arrives for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump and President Donal Trump arrive for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump leaves after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Daughter and Senior Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump (R) looks on as US President Donald Trump arrives for a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US Vice President Mike Pence (L), US President Donald Trump (C), and US First Lady Melania Trump arrive for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden(R) greets people as he pays his respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Mr Trump's pick to serve as acting defence secretary, Christopher Miller, was among the Pentagon brass that joined the president for the solemn Veterans Day ceremony.

Meanwhile, his legal team has filed a barrage of lawsuits alleging voting fraud in the battleground states that went for Mr Biden.

The president's resistance to acknowledging the outcome of the race has stalled the transition process as the head of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee, has held off on certifying Mr Biden as the winner of the election.

The certification – known as ascertainment – frees up money for the transition and clears the way for Mr Biden's team to begin putting in place the transition process at agencies.

"I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly," Mr Biden said on Tuesday of Mr Trump's refusal to acknowledge the election results.

ELECTION US

The president-elect and his wife Jill Biden marked Veterans Day with a visit to the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia.

From his Twitter account on Tuesday, Mr Trump again raised unsupported claims of "massive ballot counting abuse" and predicted he would ultimately win the race he has already lost. Mr Trump's tweets were swiftly flagged by the social media network as disputed claims about election fraud.

With the exception of weekend visits to his private golf club in northern Virginia, Trump has remained at the White House since election day and last appeared before cameras to deliver a statement six days ago.

His allies on Capitol Hill, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have encouraged the president's baseless accusations. They signalled they are willing to let Mr Trump spin out his election lawsuits and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud for the next few weeks, until the states certify the elections by early December and the Electoral College meets on December 14.

Mr Trump was also joined at Arlington National Cemetery by first lady Melania Trump as well Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS