Some close to the president are advocating that, if Biden is declared the winner of the presidential election, Trump will ultimately offer public remarks in which he commits to a peaceful transition of power, according to allies and Republican officials, who like others on Friday spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. One senior campaign aide, however, said there had been no discussion of a concession speech.

Trump is unlikely to ever concede in the traditional sense, allies said — giving the sort of gracious, magnanimous speech the nation has come to expect at the end of even the most hard-fought presidential contests. If he loses, these people added, they expect Trump to continue to baselessly claim, as he has done for several days now, that the election was stolen…

His allies are still divided into two main factions — one group, led by the president and his family, that still believes he has a path to victory and that he should continue to battle; and another, larger group of advisers and Republican officials who believe the presidency has all but slipped away.

Yet even those who now believe a Biden victory is a foregone conclusion have struggled with how to break the news to Trump. “They know he’s lost, but no one seems willing to tell King Lear or Mad King George that they’ve lost the empire,” said one Republican in frequent touch with the White House.