Donald and Melania Trump Make Rare Post-Election Appearance for Veterans Day amid Ongoing Refusal to Concede
Donald Trump and his wife Melania stepped out on Wednesday in a rare post-election appearance to commemorate Veterans Day.
The president and the first lady participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery.
The pair were joined by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie and Trump's daughter Ivanka.
Though Arlington tweeted from its official account on Wednesday that visitors are required to wear masks while on cemetery grounds due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the president, the vice president and their spouses arrived to the ceremony without a protective face covering.
Trump did not deliver a speech at the solemn event, opting to stand in the rain beside Pence as the national anthem was played. He then stepped forward to touch the ceremonial wreath during a moment of silence, before giving one final salute.
Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill participated in their own commemoration at the Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Trump's appearance at Arlington comes as he continues to refuse to concede to Biden, arguing without evidence that the 2020 contest was "stolen" from him and votes for Biden were fraudulent.
Hours after attending the ceremony, Trump wrote on his Twitter account, "WE WILL WIN!" He also tweeted a baseless claim about votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, writing "I easily win both states." Twitter has since labeled the tweet as "disputed."
In recent days, Trump has insisted that he won’t personally accept the results of the presidential election and he has said he will mount a series of legal challenges in the states where he lost, such as Nevada and Pennsylvania.
One former administration official told PEOPLE the president's team is on track to exhaust his legal efforts before he would concede: "He feels he has to see it through for his supporters."
"I'll always think the president did not get the campaign he deserved," the source said. "They raised $1 billion and lost to Joe Biden."
Another source close to the Trump recently told PEOPLE there’s "still chaos" within the immediate family and that they haven't fully realized the election results because "nobody was expecting it."
"It’s been a headache," the source said.
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