WASHINGTON: Joe Biden "won because the Election was Rigged", Republican President Donald Trump said Sunday, in what was seen as a sign he was edging toward accepting the victory of his Democrat rival, Joe Biden, and acknowledging his defeat.
Railing against supposed mass fraud in the vote won by his challenger, Trump reasserted that "WE WILL WIN" in his signature all-caps styled tweet.
"NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company," Trump tweeted in his clearest admission of defeat to date.
The 'Rigged Election Hoax'
Trump has refused to concede the election, and repeatedly said he intended to overturn the result through legal cases — though no evidence of mass fraud in the November US Election 2020 has been found.
He also keeps pushing "the Rigged Election Hoax", saying his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was "doing a great job exposing" his accusation of manipulation.
But the first two words of his Sunday tweet — two days after a slip in which he said "time will tell" if he remains president — seemed to bring him another step closer to admitting defeat.
'Best prez ever'
Thousands of Trump supporters rallied in Washington on Saturday, backing his claims of fraud, with clashes erupting in the evening with rival protesters.
At least 20 people were arrested, reports said, including four for firearm violations and one for assault on a police officer.
Trump himself made a drive-past of the rally in his armoured motorcade, on his way to play golf, smiling through his limousine window to wild cheers and signs saying "Best prez ever" and "Trump 2020: Keep America Great."
Many of Trump's tweets over the weekend alleging the election was rigged against him have been tagged by Twitter as containing "disputed" information.