WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) — President Donald Trump questioned on Sunday whether the Supreme Court would ever hear a case airing his unproven allegations of widespread election fraud as more U.S. Republicans said a transition to a Joe Biden presidency looked inevitable.
Trump's comments in a telephone interview with Fox News suggested the Republican president was growing resigned to the results of the Nov. 3 election, which handed the White House to his Democratic opponent.
Trump's team was dealt another blow with the completion on Sunday of recounts in Wisconsin's two largest counties that confirmed Biden won the hotly contested state by more than 20,000 votes.
Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis said the recounts "revealed serious issues regarding the legality of ballots cast," without elaborating or providing any evidence.
"We want every legal vote, and only legal votes, to be counted, and we will continue to uphold our promise to the American people to fight for a free and fair election," Ellis said in a statement.
Biden's campaign responded that the recount "only served to reaffirm" the Democrat's victory and praised Wisconsin election workers for their efforts.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Biden had picked members of his economic team, including Neera Tanden, president of the progressive Center for American Progress think tank, as director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Cecilia Rouse, a labor economist at Princeton University, to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.
Biden kept a low profile on Sunday, although he visited an orthopedic doctor as a precautionary measure after twisting his ankle when playing with one of his dogs.
Despite the Trump campaign's pledge to keep fighting, a few Republicans appeared to endorse the notion that Biden had won.
Senator Roy Blunt, chairman of the congressional inaugural committee, said the panel expected Biden to be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
"We're working with the Biden administration, the likely administration, on both the transition and the inauguration as if we're moving forward," Blunt told CNN's "State of the Union," stopping short of acknowledging that Trump lost.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, one of a few Republicans to refer to Biden as president-elect, told "Fox News Sunday" that "the transition is what is important. The words of President Trump are not quite as significant."
Supreme court questions
Trump used his Fox News interview to repeat unsubstantiated allegations about widespread electoral fraud. His campaign and legal team have lost dozens of lawsuits by failing to convince judges of election irregularities in states including Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
Trump was unclear about what he would do next.
"The problem is it's hard to get it to the Supreme Court," Trump said.
Trump's legal team has offered conflicting statements on its likely course following a defeat in a federal appeals court on Friday in a case challenging Biden's win in Pennsylvania.
"On to SCOTUS!" Ellis wrote on Twitter after the ruling, suggesting a plan to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Later, however, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was reported to have told One America News Network that the legal team was still weighing which case might be appropriate to pursue at the top court.
The Supreme Court has always been unlikely to tip the election in Trump's favor, and the president finally seems to be acknowledging that reality, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Trump's Pennsylvania challenge was a particularly poor vehicle for getting to the high court because at its core it involves a procedural question about whether Trump's campaign should have been allowed to expand the case, Levinson said.
"There is nothing for the Supreme Court to decide," she said.
Trump said he would continue to fight the results of the election after he is due to leave office, saying: "My mind will not change in six months."
Aides say Trump has discussed starting a television channel or social media company to keep himself in the spotlight ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid.
Biden won the presidential election with 306 Electoral College votes - many more than the 270 required - to Trump's 232. The former vice president also leads Trump by more than 6 million in the popular-vote tally.
(Reporting by Linda So and Raphael Satter; Additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw, Tim Ahmann, Andrea Shalal and Jan Wolfe; Writing by Lisa Shumaker and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Michelle Price, Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)