Trump’s attempts to overturn poll outcome fail, Joe Biden forges ahead
The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with the incoming Biden team, which has had to resort to workarounds to prepare itself to take charge on January 20. Biden met a bipartisan group of governors to discuss Covid-19, which he has said will be a top priority for his administration.Updated: Nov 22, 2020, 00:03 IST
Georgia on Friday certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in the state and Michigan Republicans declared they had seen nothing so far to warrant reversing the outcome in their state after a meeting with President Donald Trump, rebuffing his efforts to overturn the election.
The Trump campaign can still seek a recount of the Georgia votes under the state’s law, but its Republican leaders appear in the mood to indulge the president and his allies’ efforts to question the election outcome with nothing more than stray instances of irregularities and loads of allegations and wild theories.
“We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and, as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election,” Lee Chatfield, Speaker of the Republican-controlled state House and Mike Shirkey, leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, said in a joint statement after their meeting with the president at the White House.
The meeting was unprecedented in itself and seen as a sign of the president’s growing desperation. In his first public appearance in days, the outgoing president falsely claimed once again he had won. It was a briefing on pricing of medicines but he took no questions.
Trump has refused to admit defeat, launched legal challenges that have all fallen without impacting outcome, and his lawyers and allies have taken to citing conspiracy theories that have together tainted the election among the president’s supporters who, polls show, believe it was unfair.
The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with the incoming Biden team, which has had to resort to workarounds to prepare itself to take charge on January 20. Biden met a bipartisan group of governors to discuss Covid-19, which he has said will be a top priority for his administration.
He has also continued to announce members of his team. Indian American Mala Adiga was named on Friday as policy director to Jill Biden, the incoming First Lady. She is a lawyer who earlier served in the departments of state and justice in the Obama administration, and had worked on the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign.
The president-elect is expected to name members of his cabinet around Thanksgiving next week, and Vivek Murthy, another Indian American, is among leading contenders for secretary of health and human services. The former surgeon general currently co-chairs Biden’s advisory team on Covid-19.
Biden has also met CEOs and business leaders and the US chamber of commerce, the most powerful lobbyist for the private sector, has urged the president start the transition process without any delay. Republican governors, who are critics of the president, have also joined in.
The public face of the Trump administration’s obduracy is Emily Murphy, a Trump-appointee who heads the federal General Services Administration, which must under law officially issue an “ascertainment” recognizing Biden’s election to kickstart the transition process. She has refused thus far.
Asked if the Biden administration can get access to everything, they needed pending that ascertainment, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Friday “the administration has done “everything statutorily required, and we will continue to do that”.