US president Donald Trump doubled down on his refusal to accept the results of the presidential election on Wednesday, claiming that he will "win" the state of Wisconsin, which was declared for president-elect Joe Biden last week.
Referencing a pre-election Washington Post-ABC poll which found that Mr Biden was 17 points ahead in the midwestern state, Mr Trump said he was now “preparing to win the state”, calling it a “possibly illegal suppression poll”. Mr Biden won Wisconsin, which was called for the former vice-president last Thursday, by 20,500 votes.
Mr Trump also referenced "corruption and dishonesty" in Pennsylvania, and tweeted a link to a Fox News segment from host Laura Ingraham stating that 70 per cent of Republicans believe that the election "was neither free nor fair".
As expected, Georgia announced a full recount of the presidential election in each county in the state, because the final result was so tight.
"It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once," secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said. "It will be a heavy lift, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification."
Mr Biden is leading by about 14,000 votes in the state of five million people. If he wins, he will be the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992 to win Georgia.
Mr Trump, who was due to meet with his political advisers later on Wednesday to consider his path forward, visited Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington DC earlier in the day to attend a Veterans' Day ceremony.
The president, who was accompanied by his wife and vice-president Mike Pence, stood for the playing of the national anthem and the Last Post. Among the cabinet members in attendance was Christopher Miller, the new acting defence secretary who replaced Mark Esper at the helm of the Pentagon this week following his firing by Mr Trump.
Mr Biden, who met with members of his transition team on Wednesday, attended a ceremony at the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia. He later tweeted: “To our proud veterans – I will be a commander in chief who respects your sacrifice, understands your service, and will never betray the values you fought so bravely to defend.”
Mr Biden, whose son Beau fought in Iraq, has repeatedly criticised Mr Trump for derogatory comments he reportedly made, according to an article in the Atlantic magazine, about veterans and members of the military.
More than a week after America went to the polls in the presidential election, Mr Trump and senior advisers have not yet accepted that Mr Biden won the electoral college vote. Mr Trump’s campaign has launched multiple legal challenges, but given the fact that the president is trailing his opponent in a number of swing states it is not likely that a recount or legal challenge will change the outcome of the election.
Asked by Fox News host Bret Baier on Tuesday night if he had been joking when he said earlier in the day that he was preparing for a second Trump term, secretary of state Mike Pompeo declined to answer the question directly, replying: "We'll have a smooth transition, and we'll see what the people ultimately decided when all the votes have been cast. We have a process, Bret. The constitution lays out how electors vote. It's a very detailed process laid out. We need to comply with all of that."
Mr Pompeo departs Washington on Friday for a 10-day multi-country tour, including stops in France, Israel and Saudi Arabia.