President Trump Hasn't Made a Public Appearance for 2 Days, Since Overnight Speech After the Polls Closed
President Donald Trump — out of sight in the White House residency — has been deploying his family and his campaign staff around the country to protest the election results that increasingly show his path to re-election narrowing.
But, while rival Joe Biden has made several speeches since Tuesday urging patience and projecting confidence to supporters, Trump has not made a public appearance since early Wednesday when he prematurely declared himself the winner of the 2020 election.
Though he hasn't been seen for two days, Trump, 74, has apparently been closely tracking the results between him and Biden and providing the public his latest thoughts via a string of tweets.
"STOP THE COUNT!" he bellowed on Twitter on Thursday morning.
The president is losing in the popular vote and the Electoral College totals as of Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press' projections, as the former vice president closes in on the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.
“After a long night of counting, it is clear we are winning in enough states to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," Biden, 77, said early Wednesday, shortly before Trump falsely boasted of victory while votes remained uncounted.
"I am not here to declare that I have won. I am here to report that when the count is finished, I believe I will be the winner," Biden said in his own brief speech.
His Electoral College edge has only grown then, after the AP called Wisconsin and Michigan for the Democratic nominee on Wednesday afternoon.
The election results are not final, but the AP projections show Biden leading Trump 264-214 in electoral votes.
Trump appears to be watching the results on TV from his private residency in the White House, as pool reporters following the president’s movements have noted Marine guards have not been present outside the Oval Office, which would indicate the president was working in the West Wing.
The White House on Thursday did not respond to requests for an official update on the president’s activity since Tuesday.
(Some corners of the internet were stirred by video of a moving truck outside the White House on Thursday, though the vehicle could have been transporting any number of things and the president had held a private election night party; aides declined to comment.)
Trump has had nothing on his daily public schedule since Tuesday, though he did speak with supporters in the White House East Room around 2:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Trump's Twitter feed has been covered with fact-checking notifications blocking his allegations that he’s losing the election because of voter fraud, as his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump joined him in complaining on social media and to reporters about their father’s dwindling chance at re-election.
Eric appeared in Philadelphia on Wednesday to push back on the continued vote counting while Don Jr. was set to appear in Atlanta on Thursday night.
“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Don. Jr. tweeted Thursday afternoon.
"Where is the GOP?!" Eric wrote soon after.
Complete election results in some swing states, like North Carolina, will not be finalized until Nov. 12. But local officials and election experts have urged others for months now to prepare for the race “to be closer to an election week as opposed to an Election Day," as Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said in September.
As the AP projections stand, Trump’s path to re-election would require him to win all four of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada and he is trailing in two of those and only narrowly ahead in the others, with hundreds of thousands of ballots remaining.
In response, the president’s re-election campaign has filed a number of lawsuits seeking to stop ballot counts in some states, which one legal analyst described as “Hail Mary” attempts at pulling out a win.
“It is very unlikely that the efforts will be successful or even slow down the counting of ballots,” Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, tells PEOPLE.
“Even if lawsuits continue,” Hasen says, “I don’t think they would have much chance of affecting the election outcome or slowing certification, unless some new problems come to light.”
Separately, Trump's supporters have also gathered in places like Arizona to encourage the counting to continue because they think Trump will make up his deficit.