We knew going into this election that this is no typical year — and no typical president.
We knew that in 2020, Election Day would likely drag on into an election week — and possibly even an election month.
The refusal of President Donald Trump to admit defeat and concede the election was predicted by numerous pundits and prognosticators.
But what comes next? Well, that’s a little more difficult to foretell.
For weeks now, we’ve been exploring the various avenues that remain for Trump and his legal team in their ongoing effort to contest the outcome of the election.
There were very few options to begin with, and they’re diminishing by the day.
At this point, the president would need to take unprecedented action and receive unprecedented support from state and local election officials in order to secure a second term in the White House.
It seems that two strategies remain for Trump, and both of them are long shots, to put it lightly:
He can take steps to halt the voter certification process, which would require cooperation from legislatures and election boards in several contested states.
The other tactic would involve manipulating the Electoral College and pressuring Republican state legislatures to appoint Trump electors in districts where Biden won the popular vote.
Again, this would require a level of loyal support that Trump does not seem to enjoy at the moment, especially as some of these legislators would be facing criminal charges by defying the will of the people.
So yeah, in short, Trump is a man who’s running out of options.
And according to a new report from NBC News, even the president’s own staffers have begun recommending that he consider what options are available to him for a graceful “conclusion” to his legal battle.
(The word “concession” is reportedly not being used in the president’s presence.)
“The legal challenges are continuing, but those close to the president, and frankly the president, understand they’re futile,” a senior administration official told NBC.
The insider says that Trump is unwilling to give up his fight at the moment, but he is entertaining strategies for how he might save face when the battle eventually comes to a close.
Sources say the president intends to continue contesting the results until at least December, at which time, he might be willing to concede that Biden will enter the White House on January 20 — but Trump will note at that time that the results of the race remain questionable.
Trump aides sweetened the scenario by suggesting that the president announce during this speech that he intends to run for the White House again in 2024.
Unfortunately, that announcement is still several weeks away, and Trump’s lawyers say they remain committed to lawsuits they’ve filed in key battleground states.
Though the president’s concession — excuse us, “conclusion” — may come as early as December 14, Trump’s campaign announced Wednesday that it would pay $3 million to fund a partial recount in Wisconsin.
So needless to say, the battle is far from over.
In fact, White House staffers have reportedly been instructed not to seek employment elsewhere, as it remains the official stance of the Trump administration that the president will be sworn in for a second term on January 20.
Unless he holds his own private inauguration ceremony, that seems extraordinarily unlikely.