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Trump administration gives nod to commence transition to Joe Biden

Key official designates President-elect Joe Biden as the apparent winner

Topics
Trump administration | Joe Biden | 2020 US elections

Michael D Shear Maggie Haberman Nick Corasaniti & Jim Rutenberg | NYT  |  Washington 

Joe Biden
Mr. Trump did not concede, and vowed to persist with efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved fruitless

President Trump’s government on Monday authorised President-elect Joseph R Biden Jr. to begin a formal transition process after Michigan certified Mr. Biden as its winner, a strong sign that the president’s last-ditch bid to overturn the results of the election was coming to an end.

Mr. Trump did not concede, and vowed to persist with efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved fruitless. But the president said on Twitter on Monday night that he accepted the decision by Emily W Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, to allow a transition to proceed.

In his tweet, Mr. Trump said that he had told his officials to begin “initial protocols” involving the handoff to Mr. Biden “in the best interest of our country,” even though he had spent weeks of trying to subvert a free and fair election with false claims of fraud. Hours later, he tried to play down the significance of Ms. Murphy’s action, tweeting that it was simply “preliminarily work with the Dems” that would not stop efforts to change the election results.

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Still, Ms. Murphy’s designation of Mr. Biden as the apparent victor provides the incoming administration with federal funds and resources and clears the way for the president-elect’s advisers to coordinate with officials.

The decision from Ms. Murphy came after several additional senior Republican lawmakers, as well as leading figures from business and world affairs, denounced the delay in allowing the peaceful transfer of power to begin, a holdup that Mr. Biden and his top aides said was threatening national security and the ability of the incoming administration to effectively plan for combating the coronavirus pandemic. And it followed a key court decision in Pennsylvania, where the state’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Trump campaign and the president’s Republican allies, stating that roughly 8,000 ballots with signature or date irregularities must be counted. In Michigan, the statewide canvassing board, with two Republicans and two Democrats, voted 3 to 0 to approve the results, with one Republican abstaining.

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First Published: Wed, November 25 2020. 01:42 IST
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