NEW YORK   -  US President Donald Trump Sunday appeared to recognise President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election, but immediately followed up to clarify that he still has no intention of conceding the election as his legal bids aimed at challenging the results in several states continue.

In two one-hour apart tweets, Trump continued to claim — without providing any evidence — that there was widespread voting fraud, saying that led to Biden’s win over him.

With the presidential race in every state now called, Biden, a Democrat, secured 306 electoral votes over Trump’s 232, and the president-elect leads the Republican incumbent by more than 5.5 million votes.

“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote on Sunday, not referring to Biden by name. “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!”

About an hour later, Trump wrote, “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”

Speaking on the NBC programme “Meet the Press,” Biden’s pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that.”

He said that a rapid transition is necessary to ensure the government is prepared to roll out a potential coronavirus vaccine early next year.

Tackling the raging pandemic will be a paramount priority for Biden, with the United States tallying record numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days. More than 245,000 people in the country have died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Trump has thus far refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the State Department would “transition to a second Trump administration.”

But Trump on Friday did allow the possibility of a Biden administration while discussing the coronavirus pandemic, which is re-surging across the United States.