Trump administration finally gives go-ahead for transition of power to Joe Biden
Trump has told his team “to do what needs to be done”
Donald Trump appears to be finally set to concede defeat in the US presidential election, having given the go-ahead for the transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden.
As part of his ongoing refusal to accept that he had lost the election, Trump had previously opposed the approval of government aid to the Biden Administration from the US General Services Administration (GSA).
The GSA manages and supports federal agencies in the United States, and its delay in recognising Biden as the winner denied his administration access to government data and millions of dollars in funding.
The GSA had previously said it would formally approve the transition process when a clear winner in the election could be determined, something that was finally acknowledged by Emily Murphy – appointed as GSA administrator by Donald Trump in 2017 – in a letter to Joe Biden on Monday.
Despite the delay in formally approving the transition, Murphy said in the letter that she was under no political pressure to do so and came to the decision independently “based on the law and available facts”.
"I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official - including those who work at the White House or GSA - with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” Murphy wrote.
“To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
Acknowledging Murphy’s letter on Monday night, Donald Trump tweeted that he has recommended to Murphy and her team to “do what needs to be done” with regard to the initial protocols of the transition process and has told his team likewise.
Trump, who has made so far baseless claims about electoral fraud before and since the election was called in Biden's favour, also said that his case “STRONGLY continues and promised his team will “keep up the good fight”.
Five hours later, however, Trump appeared to want to double down on his previous stance, insisting that the GSA carrying out "preliminary work" was unrelated to his own campaign's fight against the results of what he called "the most corrupt election in American political history".
"We will never concede to fake ballots and 'Dominion'," said Trump, referring to the electronic voting system which the president and conspiracy theorists have wrongly claimed swapped Trump votes out of Biden ballots during the electoral vote count process.
Biden, meanwhile, is getting on with the job of preparing to take over as president early next year, announcing the first members of his national security and foreign policy team on Monday.
Today, I’m announcing the first members of my national security and foreign policy team. They will rally the world to take on our challenges like no other—challenges that no one nation can face alone.
It’s time to restore American leadership. I trust this group to do just that. pic.twitter.com/uKE5JG45Ts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 23, 2020