President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE on Tuesday made an impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room to celebrate the stock market surpassing 30,000 points, but he left without taking questions or addressing the official start of the transition process to the Biden administration.
Trump's appearance came as he increasingly has been out of the public eye. It was also less than 24 hours after he tweeted his approval of his government beginning a transition process to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE, which many observers saw as the closest he is likely to come to conceding defeat.
The president appeared at the podium for roughly one minute. Vice President Pence stood behind him, expressionless. Trump had no public events on his schedule until 2 p.m., when he was to pardon the national Thanksgiving turkey.
"I just want to congratulate everybody," Trump said, entering the room moments after the event was alerted.
"The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000, which is the highest in history. We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic," he said.
"Never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000," he added.
"I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that work so hard, and most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country," Trump said.
He then thanked the reporters who had hastily assembled and walked out.
Trump has touted stock market gains throughout his presidency, taking credit for soaring highs and brushing off periodic dips. His appearance on Tuesday may have been an attempt to grab credit for the historic rise on the Dow, and to siphon some attention away from Biden, who was scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. about his Cabinet picks.
His stock market remarks were delivered roughly an hour after the Dow surpassed 30,000 for the first time, coinciding with the announcement of several of Biden’s Cabinet picks and news on the development of several effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Trump on Monday night said he gave the go ahead for the General Services Administration (GSA) to formally begin the transition process that will give Biden and his team access to resources to ease the process of taking over in January.
But the president made clear in subsequent tweets that he was not conceding, and he has spent the better part of the last few weeks sowing doubt about the election outcome without presenting any evidence of widespread fraud.
"Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
The president has not publicly commented on the election since delivering remarks in the briefing room two days after the election, where he pledged to pursue legal challenges to the outcome.
Michigan and Pennsylvania have certified their election results in the last 24 hours, officially making Biden the winner and dealing major blows to Trump's last-gasp attempts to overturn the election.