President Donald Trump briefly emerged Tuesday to tout the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 30,000 for the first time ever, and then vanished after a minute without taking questions.
The president’s mini-appearance, perhaps his shortest-ever remarks from the lectern of the White House briefing room, came less than a day after his administration took a major step toward the transition to Joe Biden’s presidency.
General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy told Biden in a letter Monday that the Trump administration is making federal resources available for his transition into office. She had refused to make the decision for weeks, prompting furious criticism from Biden’s supporters.
But Trump, three weeks after Election Day, still has not conceded the race to Biden. He made no mention of his ongoing struggle to overturn the results of the election during his remarks Tuesday afternoon, which lasted about 62 seconds in total.
Rather, Trump bragged about the stock market’s latest milestone, which came as the U.S. economy continues to recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that if Biden won the election, the stock market and the economy would “crash.” But the Dow’s record-setting rally came weeks after news outlets called the race for Biden, and days after the president-elect started revealing the top officials who would occupy his Cabinet.
“I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market, Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history,” Trump said in the briefing room.
“We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic.”
“The stock market’s just broken 30,000 — never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000, and nobody thought they’d ever see it,” Trump said.
“I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that worked so hard, and most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country, because there are no people like you. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.”
With that, the president turned and left the briefing room, followed closely by Vice President Mike Pence. Neither Trump nor any other official responded to the stream of questions shouted out from the White House press corps.
“Mr. President, are you going to concede?” were among the questions reporters asked as Trump walked away. “Sir, why not concede for the good of the country, sir?”
Trump has made just a few in-person appearances since Election Day, and during them has taken no questions from reporters. He was scheduled to appear again later Tuesday afternoon in the Rose Garden, where he and first lady Melania Trump are set to present the national Thanksgiving turkey, a White House tradition.
Trump has falsely claimed he won reelection, and on Monday night tweeted he “will never concede.” He also repeated multiple conspiracy theories that his legal team have cited in arguing, without evidence, that he was the victim of widespread electoral fraud.
But the lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign in key swing states have not focused on fraud. Rather, those suit have sought to block states from certifying the results of their elections by arguing, among other claims, that swaths of ballots should be discarded from final vote tallies.
None of those cases lodged by the Trump campaign or its allies have succeeded in invalidating ballots. And four battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania — in recent days have certified their election results, which were all Biden wins.