Donald Trump backtracks on promise, says Joe Biden has to prove his 'ridiculous 80,000,000 votes' are legal

Outgoing US President Donald Trump appears to have backtracked on his promise to leave the White House as long as Joe Biden gets the most votes in the Electoral College. 

Now he's demanding the President-elect "prove that his ridiculous '80,000,000 votes' were not fraudulently or illegally obtained".

As counting goes on in the US, Biden recently became the first presidential candidate ever to get 80 million votes - more than 6 million ahead of Trump, who has sought to overturn various states' results in the courts (unsuccessfully to date). 

Despite the clear result - more emphatic than his own victory in 2016, when he also lost the popular vote - Trump has refused to concede defeat. He opened the door to leaving the White House earlier this week in approving the Biden team to access federal funds to assist with the transition of power, and also when he was asked by a reporter if he'd step aside should the Electoral College vote for Biden.

"Certainly I will. Certainly I will. And you know that," the former reality TV star said.

The Electoral College is how US Presidents are chosen - each state is worth a certain number of votes - between three and 55 - and most states give all of their votes to whoever wins the popular vote in their state. Biden has the support of states worth 306 votes, and Trump 232.  

A day later though, Trump is back to being pugilistic. 

"Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous '80,000,000 votes' were not fraudulently or illegally obtained," he wrote on Twitter, which labelled the tweet "disputed".

"When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he's got a big unsolvable problem!"

Many of the Trump campaign's lawsuits, most recently in Pennsylvania, have been thrown out for not only failing to provide any evidence of fraud, but in many cases not even alleging it. It's been suggested lawyers inside the courtroom are unwilling to repeat the claims made by their clients outside the courtroom, fearing sanctions or being disbarred. 

Despite the pandemic ravaging the nation, US voters turned out in historic numbers this year - more than ever turning to mail-in ballots, rather than line up in queues and risk catching a disease that's killed 271,000 of their fellow Americans.

Provided the Electoral College votes as the public have instructed them to, Biden will become President on January 20, 2021, regardless of what Trump does.