The 45th President of the US appeared alongside the First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as they honoured American war veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. It is the first time the President has been seen in public since Joe Biden was declared the winner of last week’s US election on Saturday. When the result was announced by TV networks, Mr Trump was pictured playing golf.
Appearing in Virginia for Veterans Day – a national holiday in the US – the outgoing President did not deliver any speeches.
At the service, the 74-year-old saluted a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Prior to his visit, Mr Trump shared a link on his personal Twitter account to the White House’s proclamation on Veterans Day 2020.
It read: “America’s veterans have fought to defend our country, its values, and its interests since the first days of our founding.
“I encourage all Americans to recognise the fortitude and sacrifice of our veterans through public ceremonies and private thoughts and prayers.”
Donald Trump has made his first appearance since losing the US election
Donald Trump and Melania Trump arrive at the service in Virginia
Mr Trump has so far failed to concede his election defeat despite Mr Biden passing the winning line.
The former Vice President to Barack Obama passed the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win on Saturday – four days after the November 3 election.
The Democrat who was running for office alongside California Senator Kamala Harris, also beat Mr Trump by more than five million votes.
Instead, Mr Trump has filed a series of legal challenges in key swing states amid unsupported claims of widespread voting fraud.
The Trump campaign launched another lawsuit earlier today in an attempt to block the result in Michigan.
Donald Trump salutes a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The midwestern state was won by Mr Trump in 2016 but is set to turn blue.
In the unofficial vote, Mr Biden held a lead of around 148,000 votes or 2.6 percent.
The President-elect has branded the failure of Mr Trump to accept the decision of the American people embarrassing.
Speaking in his hometown state of Delaware, the 77-year-old warned the Republican leader his legacy was now on the line.
Mr Biden said: “I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly.
Donald Trump has been out playing golf
Joe Biden has surpassed the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes
“The only thing that, how can I say this tactfully, I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
In a swipe at Mr Trump, the President-elect insisted everything would be in order by the time of his inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021.
He added: “At the end of the day, you know, it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20.”
George W Bush, the last Republican in office, has also urged Mr Trump accept his defeat gracefully.
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A history of US presidents
Mr Bush accepted the outgoing US President could challenge the decision but acknowledged the outcome would not change.
He said: “President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated.”
The 43rd US President added: “The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”
Mr Trump will now join a small list of US President’s, including the late father of Mr Bush, George H W Bush, as only serving one term in office.
George H W Bush was defeated by his democrat rival Bill Clinton in 1992 after seeking re-election.