Geraldo Rivera said Friday that President Donald Trump told him during a "heartfelt" phone call that he will "do the right thing" about the presidential election's results. The comment comes after Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, who was projected nearly a week ago by several media outlets to win the presidency. In a tweet on Friday, Rivera called Trump a "realist" who "wants to see what states do in terms of certification."
He described the 74-year-old as "a heavyweight champion who is behind in points leading into the final round, but determined to fight on, knowing all the ref scored the fight for the other guy." He wrote that Trump is "going to answer the final bell, looking for the knockout he knows is a longshot."
Just had heartfelt phone call w friend @realDonaldTrump who said he's a "realist" who'll do the"right thing" But he wants to see "what states do in terms of certifiction (etc)" He sounded committed to fighting for every vote & if he loses, talking more about all he's accomplished— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 13, 2020
Trump's campaign has mounted legal challenges in battleground states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia while Trump continues to voice baseless allegations of voter fraud. The campaign filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday to stop Michigan from certifying its final vote count until allegations of irregularities are addressed. Meanwhile, a recount is underway in Georgia, which flipped from red to blue for a Biden win.
Trump's refusal to concede has caused issues for Biden's transition into the White House. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence isn't interacting with the Biden campaign, meaning that he's not getting access to presidential intelligence briefings. Emily Murphy, who oversees the General Services Administration, has refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect, blocking access to millions of dollars in federal funding for salaries and travel.
Earlier on Friday, Rivera expressed doubts that Trump's legal action would change the outcome of the election and that he should cooperate with the Biden transition. "[Trump] is still in it to win it and I wish him luck — but it is a long shot at best. One thing [Donald Trump] can do-aside from celebrating his triumphs-is to give @JoeBiden the briefing he needs to serve as president were his election to be certified," he tweeted.
Suddenly #DrFauci is bullish on vaccines. Where was that optimism two weeks ago?Message to friend @POTUS @realdonaldtrump finish the count by all means-then move on with grace and dignity.— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 12, 2020
You’ve been great but we all have to know when it’s over to leave the stage. pic.twitter.com/3vWkzkcF1N
On Thursday, Rivera posted a message urging Trump to stand down with "grace and dignity." "You came so close to this election, but the time is coming soon to say goodbye with grace and dignity," he explained. "I know that's hard to hear, but that's the way I feel about this now."
Rivera, a journalist and lawyer, knows Trump from The Celebrity Apprentice when he was the runner-up to winner Leeza Gibbons on Trump's reality show in 2015.