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Trump commits to leaving White House as Thanksgiving celebrations endure

"It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede," President Trump said Thursday as he took reporters' questions for the first time since the election.
Image: Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving Holiday As Coronavirus Cases Surge
Old traditions were tested and new ones made Thursday as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic.Octavio Jones / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump confirmed he will leave the White House on January 20 if the Electoral College formally certifies President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Here is what's happening this day after Thanksgiving, aside from Black Friday sales.

Trump says it will be 'a very hard thing' to concede to Biden

The president said Thursday that it’s going to be difficult for him to concede the 2020 presidential election to Biden even when the Electoral College is expected to soon formally certify his opponent's victory.

"It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede," Trump told reporters on Thanksgiving evening as he took questions from the press for the first time since the Nov. 3 election.

Pushed about whether he would vacate the White House if the Electoral College finalizes Biden's victory next month, he replied: "Certainly I will."

But he went on to claim victory during the feisty 35-minute question-and-answer session that came after he conducted a series of Thanksgiving video conferences with military service members.

He falsely told reporters that he won the election by a "tremendous" amount and reiterated his baseless claims about the election being stolen from him because of fraudulent votes in key battleground states.

Biden won the Electoral College by 306 votes to Trump's 232, and received more than 80 million votes to 73.8 million for Trump, according to projections by the NBC News Decision Desk and other major news organizations.

Trump and his allies have filed over 30 lawsuits across six swing states in an attempt to contest the election results. Most of them have been shot down or withdrawn, and no court has found even a single instance of fraud.

Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and many other elected Republicans still haven't acknowledged Biden as the president-elect or condemned Trump's unprecedented attempts to overturn the election results.

Some Democrats fear the GOP response to the election is an ominous sign for Biden's pitch to usher in a new era of unity and bipartisanship.

Meantime, ex-presidents are usually entitled to classified briefings. However, some former intelligence officials are openly questioning whether or not Trump can be trusted with America's national security secrets once he leaves office.

"He's shown as president that he doesn't take secret-keeping terribly seriously," said Jack Goldsmith, a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration. "He has a known tendency to disrespect rules related to national security. And he has a known tendency to like to sell things that are valuable to him."

Thanksgiving celebrations endure despite the pandemic

Old traditions were tested and new ones made Thursday as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns grew over a possible post-holiday surge in Covid-19 cases.

Some swapped large turkeys made for the whole family with a chicken for two. Others held gatherings on Zoom.

Still, millions of Americans eschewed public health warnings and criss-crossed the country this week to see family after many lonely months and countless missed celebrations.

With Covid-19 cases already increasing at an alarming rate across the country and approaching 13 million, according to NBC News tallies, health officials fear that the spike in holiday travel will only lead to more infections.

It’s tough keeping up with all the latest news about the pandemic — and the misinformation that surrounds Covid-19. When questions come up about the virus, be sure to be armed with the science.

Check out our handy Covid-19 fact generator for answers to your questions on everything from Covid-19 symptoms to the status of vaccines.

The Maradona myth: Soccer legend defined by genius — and flaws

Diego Maradona was perhaps the greatest player ever to kick a soccer ball. And yet that only goes so far to explain the global outpouring of grief when he died this week.

Some argue the Brazilian Pele won more trophies, or that fellow Argentine Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo have approached comparable skill levels.

But there are none like Maradona — "the golden kid" — who rose from the impoverished barrios of Buenos Aires to become a true international icon.

"He transcended the sport," Jon Smith, a leading British sports agent who represented Maradona between 1986 and 1991, told NBC News.

"He went to some very dark corners," he added, "but history will be kind to Diego because his talent was so supreme and he never lost that desire to help the unfortunate."

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THINK about it

The 2020 election proves that politicians neglect Native American voters at their peril, Julian Brave NoiseCat writes in an opinion piece.


Want to avoid crowds? These are the best times to shop and eat out.


Black Friday is here. See the best deals and discounts, compiled by the Shop TODAY team.

And don't forget Small Business Saturday. Here are tips on how to support local businesses — even during the pandemic.

One fun thing

Here is one truly fun thing.

With a helmet, aviator sunglasses and a custom motorcycle jacket, Bogie, an 11-year-old mixed breed dog in the Philippines, has captured attention for touring the country on a motorcycle with his owner.

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Thanks, Petra