WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump falsely insisted again Friday that he won the election even as President-elect Joe Biden met with top Democrats in Congress and pressed forward with his transition, a split screen without parallel in American history.
Biden met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., as his team expressed confidence that Trump's efforts to overturn the election results with unsubstantiated claims of fraud would not succeed.
Trump's efforts suffered a major setback as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, certified his state's election results after a six-day hand recount. It confirmed that Biden won the former Republican stronghold by 12,284 votes.
"While the president and his allies are ripping at the fabric of democracy any way they can, the fabric is not tearing," said Bob Bauer, Biden's legal adviser. "It is holding firm."
Biden continued to fill out his White House staff, adding a point person for Capitol Hill negotiations, Louisa Terrell, and said he plans to nominate a Treasury secretary soon.
With 61 days until Biden is sworn in, Trump made only his third public appearance since election night — he has played golf more often — announcing new regulations on prescription drug costs as well as a dollop of grievances.
Declaring "I won, by the way," he complained bitterly that pharmaceutical companies didn't announce successful COVID-19 vaccine trials until after the election, then baselessly suggested that Democrats would have cheated and "found the ballots some place" to beat him.
Trump has refused to concede or authorize an official transition, seeking instead to subvert the election by trying to persuade leaders in battleground states to ignore the ballots and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.
On Friday, Trump met at the White House with top Republican state lawmakers from Michigan, where he opposes the official certification of balloting in the state. Biden won the state by more than 146,000 votes, according to unofficial returns.
Trump apparently did not convince them that his claims of massive fraud were valid.