Nonpartisan White House Transition Board Urges Trump To Begin Handover

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Topline

As President Donald Trump refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden following a historic defeat on Saturday, a nonpartisan board designed to aid a smooth transition between administrations is calling on Trump to “immediately begin the post-election transition process,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

Key Facts

“This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successors,” the note from the Center for Presidential Transmission, signed by former senior members of the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, read.

The board said the Biden-Harris campaign embraced transition “early” and also hailed “White House staff and career officials” who prepared for either outcome of the vote.

“While there will be legal disputes requiring adjudication, the outcome is sufficiently clear that the transition process must now begin,” the statement added.

The letter comes as the government’s General Services Administration is still yet to acknowledge Biden as President-elect, a move that would allow the transition to kick off in earnest, allowing Biden to prepare a budget, and formal communication with federal agencies to go ahead, Politico reports.

Key Background

Biden was projected the winner of the election on Saturday, following a drawn out vote count prompted by an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite Biden’s win, Trump has refused to concede, and instead continues to play into his campaign strategy of claiming falsely, and without evidence, that the election was fraudulent and votes counted after Election Day were “illegal.” Trump has since pledged to challenge the election results in court, although that plan is unlikely to make a difference.

What To Watch For

Despite the blockade at the White House, it appears the Biden-Harris campaign is pushing ahead with their transition plans via their official transition website, buildbackbetter.com. “A Biden-Harris administration, propelled by the foundation laid by the transition, will lead a just and equitable recovery that rebuilds a strong, inclusive middle class and builds an economy for the future,” the site’s homepage reads, while the site also lays out the incoming administration’s priorities.

Big Number

4.3 million. That’s the size of Biden’s popular vote lead on Trump, as of Monday morning. Biden clinched the White House with 75,551,684 votes according to the New York Times—the most of any presidential candidate in history—as well as a 50.6% vote share to Trump’s 47.7%, and crucially, 279 electoral college votes to Trump’s 214, with Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Alaska left to report.

Tangent

Republicans are divided over their reaction to Trump’s loss.While a number of prominent GOP figures and senators, including former President George W. Bush, have congratulated Biden’s win, those in Trump’s camp are sticking with their boss’s false line that the election is “far from over”. 

Further Reading

These Are The Republicans Who Have Acknowledged Biden’s Victory (Forbes)

Trump Falsely Claims He Won ‘By A Lot’ After Telling Biden Not To ‘Wrongfully’ Declare Victory (Forbes)

Here’s Why Trump’s Ongoing Lawsuits Won’t Affect Joe Biden’s Victory (Forbes)