Trump walks off, ignores election questions
US President Donald Trump has made his first public comments since election night.
On Friday night Washington time (Saturday morning in Australia) he talked up his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But he was in no mood to elaborate on the election result ignoring the multitude of questions from reporters.
Mr Trump turned his back on the media scrum and left the Rose Garden at the White House immediately after he concluded his remarks.
However, he may have given the game away with an awkward stumble during his comments when he appeared to almost concede the incoming administration might not be led by him.
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"I will not be going to a lockdown," he said at one point.
"Hopefully the, the ah - whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell - but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown."
His reluctance to answer reporter's questions was in sharp contrast to other press conferences where he has happily sparred with journalists.
Mr Trump was less shy about keeping his feelings to himself in the hours before the press conference.
He tweeted that voting machines from the firm Dominion were used in Arizona.
"No wonder the result was a very close loss," he wrote.
Mr Trump and his supporters have claimed the firm's machines have been deleting votes cast for him.
The President's recurring claims about vote-counting software have already been thoroughly debunked.
Now it is learned that the horrendous Dominion Voting System was used in Arizona (and big in Nevada). No wonder the result was a very close loss!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2020
On Thursday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal agency that oversees US election security, said the November 3 poll was "the most secure in American history".
The claims appear to have originated on a conservative television network which then led to a theory being posted on a pro-Trump blog which was in turn then spread on social media.
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NEW YORK WILL NOT GET VACCINE
Mr Trump called Friday's media event to heap praise on his administration's efforts to fight COVID-19 via its Operation Ward Speed.
He brought out a phalanx of officials, as well as Vice-President Mike Pence, all of who profusely thanked Mr Trump for his efforts.
"The vaccine will be provided free of charge, we will work to secure emergency use authorisations and it will be approved very quickly.
"Operation Warp Speed is unequalled and unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
"This far exceeds any and all expectations. Our investment will make it possible for the vaccine to be provided by (vaccine producer) Pfizer free of charge," he said.
The state of New York, however, will singularly not be getting the vaccine despite it being once the epicentre of the US' epidemic.
Mr Trump said that was the fault of New York governor Andrew Cuomo who has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the administration's proposed vaccination roll out plan.
"For political reasons, the governor decided to say he wants to take his time with a vaccine, he doesn't trust where the vaccine is coming from," Mr Trump said.
"We won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorisation to do so, and it pains me to say that.
"The governor will have to let us know when he's ready for it. We can't be delivering it to a state that won't be giving it to its people immediately."
The President's decision to high tail it out of the press conference meant he could avoid questions about the final state being projected as a win for Joe Biden.
On Friday, Georgia was called by two networks as going blue. Fox News, to the fury of the Trump campaign, projected a Biden win on election night with many votes yet to be tallied.
With Arizona in the blue column that takes Mr Biden to 306 electoral votes - exactly the same number that Mr Trump garnered to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
However, Mr Biden has also managed to win the popular vote which is a feat Mr Trump failed to achieve.
Originally published as Trump walks off, ignores election questions