We all knew that Donald Trump wouldn’t take an election loss with any kind of dignity or class, and now that Joe Biden has gotten over the line to claim the presidential election, he’s behaving roughly as expected: throwing an enormous toddler tantrum and refusing to concede.

The current president was golfing in Virginia when major outlets began calling the election result, and later in the day, his campaign released a lengthy and vitriolic statement, accusing Biden of “posing” as the winner, and insisting that the election is not yet over.

Trump has been criticised this week for making baseless claims about electoral fraud, and he doubled down on these in today’s statement, saying:

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.”⁠

He went on to say that, from Monday, his campaign will begin “prosecuting” its case and ensuring that “all legal ballots” are counted. “So what is Biden hiding?” the statement concluded. “I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”⁠

So what happens next? We’re in essentially uncharted territory here, as America’s founders never envisioned a situation where belligerent reality star takes control of the White House.

The US constitution says “the terms of the president and vice president shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of their successors should then begin”, but makes no mention of what to do if the outgoing president won’t leave.

Of course, we still don’t know if that will happen – if Trump’s threatened legal challenges and recounts are unsuccessful, and he runs out of other options, he may realise that the game is up and that he has no choice but to get out.

All we know is that he and his supporters will fight tooth and nail to try and turn this result around, so while America and the world are celebrating today, we may be in for an exhausting few weeks ahead.

While Trump himself has not conceded, his fellow Republicans have begun to congratulate Joe Biden on his victory. Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney extended his congratulations, and Jeb Bush called on Biden to heal America’s “deep wounds”.

Trump has made noises about running again in 2024 if defeated, but he can only run as a Republican if the party actually wants him back, and based on this, it seems the establishment may be turning against him, and may opt for a safer candidate next time.

Truly, what a mess. I guess it’s …

Never …

Really …

Over.

Image: Getty Images / Jabin Botsford