President Donald Trump acknowledged his vanishing path to overturning the results of the 2020 election in court on Sunday during his first full interview since losing to President-elect Joe Biden earlier this month.
“Well, the problem is, it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court,” Trump said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” after host Maria Bartiromo asked him when he expected his challenges to make it to the justices.
“I’ve got the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers, that want to argue the case, if it gets there. They said, ‘It’s very hard to get a case up there,'” Trump added. “Can you imagine, Donald Trump, president of the United States, files a case, and I probably can’t get a case.”
Trump said that his cases, which legal experts have described as far-fetched, should make it to the high court, but did not predict that they would.
“It sounds like if you can’t be heard by the Supreme Court, you lose. Do you believe you will win this?” Bartiromo asked at one point.
“We should be heard by the Supreme Court. Something has to be able to get up there, otherwise, what is the Supreme Court?” Trump said. Asked if he still had a path to victory, Trump said he hoped so.
Trump has refused to concede although NBC News and every other major outlet has called the race for Biden. Biden is projected to win 306 Electoral College votes, well above the 270 needed to win.
The president’s assessment on Sunday was more downcast than public statements from his legal team, and seemed to suggest that he is inching closer to acknowledging his loss, if not offering a concession.
On Thursday, Trump said for the first time that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for the Democrat. Electors will cast their ballots on Dec. 14. Trump did not say on Sunday when he might relinquish his challenges.
The president and his campaign have pressed courts around the country to delay the certification of election results, arguing baselessly that the contest was marred by widespread fraud.
Those suits have been rejected by nearly every judge to review them. More than two dozen cases filed by Republican interests challenging voting and counting processes have been denied, dismissed, or withdrawn, according to an NBC News tally.
Many of the cases have been filed in Pennsylvania, a state that Biden flipped. On Friday, a federal appeals court based in Philadelphia rejected a Trump campaign challenge in a scathing opinion that found that the “claims have no merit.”
The president’s legal advisor Jenna Ellis subsequently put out a statement on Twitter that she attributed to herself and Rudy Giuliani, another member of the president’s legal team, pledging to go “On to SCOTUS!”
The president spent the bulk of Sunday’s interview, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, falsely claiming that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
It takes the votes of four of the nine justices of the Supreme Court to agree to hear a case, and a majority to issue a decision.
Three of the justices on the court were appointed to the bench by Trump, though justices do not always rule in favor of the president who appointed them. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both Trump appointees, have sided against the president in the past.
Ahead of the election, Trump had predicted that the race would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, and pushed to get Justice Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the bench ahead of time. Democrats pressed for Barrett to recuse herself from any disputes related to the race, though she declined to commit herself to doing so.
The Supreme Court weighed in on a contested presidential election in the 2000 case Bush v. Gore, though the results of the race were much closer that year.
While Trump has yet to formally concede, his administration began providing Biden with transition resources last week as required by law.