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US election results: Barack Obama tells Donald Trump to ‘think beyond your ego’ and concede defeat

Barack Obama has said it’s “absolutely” time for President Donald Trump to concede the election – and that he should have already done so.

Mr Trump‘s predecessor told CBS’ 60 Minutes programme that he should have conceded defeat to Joe Biden “the day after the election” and it was time for America’s outgoing leader to “put the country first”.

“When your time is up then it’s your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego and your own interests, and your own disappointments,” said Mr Obama.

“My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing,” the Democrat continued.

When asked if it was time for Mr Trump to concede, he said: “It is, absolutely. I think it was time for him to concede probably the day after the election.”

Mr Obama also criticised the high-profile Republicans who have gone along with Mr Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

“I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials, who clearly know better are going along with this, are humouring him in this fashion,” he said.

“It is one more step in delegitimising not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path.”

On Mr Trump’s election fraud theories, he said: “The president doesn’t like to lose and never admits loss.”

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Trump admitted for the first time that President-elect Biden “won” the US election – but quickly made clear he wasn’t conceding.

He made the original admission in a tweet along with more unfounded claims the vote was unfairly and deliberately stacked against him.

Mr Trump wrote of his soon-to-be successor: “He won because the election was rigged.

“NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a radical left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!”

He then tried to take back the apparent acknowledgement that Mr Biden won the White House, adding that he was making clear he would keep trying to overturn the election result.

“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” Mr Trump subsequently tweeted. “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”

Last week, Mr Trump became the first president since 1992 to fail to get re-elected, following projections Mr Biden had successfully flipped the key states of Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia to win the White House.

Mr Biden so far has 78.8m votes, the most ever by a winning candidate, to Mr Trump’s 73.1m.

Critics had hoped the initial tweet from Mr Trump – who has lost the Electoral College by 74 and popular vote by five million votes – was a sign that he had finally accepted the result.

Mr Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, told NBC News: “If the president’s prepared to begin to recognise that reality, that’s positive.”

He added: “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president.

“The American people did that.”

And a Republican governor, Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson, said “it was good, actually” to see Mr Trump’s tweet seemingly admitting that Mr Biden had won.

“I think that’s the start of an acknowledgment… We want to make sure that there is a smooth transition,” Mr Hutchinson said on NBC.

In recent days, Mr Trump appeared to be inching closer to acknowledging the reality of his loss.

In comments made on Friday in the Rose Garden about a coronavirus vaccine, Mr Trump said his administration would “not be going to a lockdown” to slow the spread of COVID-19, but added that “whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell”.

But on Sunday he renewed his groundless attacks on an election technology firm, Dominion Voting Systems.

Dominion has said it “denies claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems”.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal agency that oversees US election security, said in a statement last week that the “November 3 election was the most secure in American history”.

The agency said: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

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