President-elect Joe Biden is quietly pushing forward with the business of preparing to become America’s next commander in chief even as President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede the election, and his administration continue to refuse to coordinate with his transition team on the coronavirus pandemic and block briefings on national security, policy issues and vaccine plans.
Biden is drawing from the senior ranks of his campaign to fill out an increasingly diverse White House leadership team. Former campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon will serve as a deputy chief of staff, while campaign co-chair Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and campaign adviser Steve Ricchetti will play senior roles in the new administration.
Meanwhile, Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic steps to subvert the results of the 2020 election, including summoning state legislators to the White House as part of a long-shot bid to overturn Biden’s victory. Trump also has called local election officials who are trying to rescind their certification votes in Michigan. His legal team has suggested that a judge order Pennsylvania to set aside the popular vote there. And his allies are pressuring county officials in Arizona to delay certifying vote tallies.
The latest news on the 2020 presidential election
Here are the latest developments on the transition and election results:
Arizona's Largest County Certifies Biden Win Over Trump
The elected leaders of Arizona’s most populous county have certified election results that show Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race and set the stage for state leaders to certify results once one holdout county follows suit next week.
The five-member Maricopa County Board of Supervisors acted Friday after lawsuits backed by the Republican Party and others supporting President Donald Trump failed to halt the normally routine action.
One Democrat and four Republicans on the Phoenix-based board voted unanimously to accept the election results. Protesters marched outside the board chambers urging members not to approve the canvass.
After Meeting With Trump, Mich. Lawmakers Say They See Nothing to Overturn Biden's Win
Republican state lawmakers from Michigan met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday and said afterwards that they were not "made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan," NBC News reported.
The White House meeting came as Trump's lawyers are calling for state legislatures, including Michigan's, to name Trump electors in states won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Georgia Certifies Biden as State's 2020 Winner
Georgia announced Friday that it certified the results of the 2020 general election, following a hand recount of nearly 5 million votes that saw the majority of the state's counties finding no change in their final tallies, NBC News reported.
The Trump campaign has until Tuesday to request a machine recount. The state’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, reiterated the validity of the results on Friday.
'Numbers Don't Lie': Georgia Secretary of State Says He'll Certify Election for Biden
Georgia’s top elections official said Friday that he will certify that Joe Biden won the state’s presidential election after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
His office then stumbled on the final step, prematurely announcing that the certification was complete while only unofficial results remained on the public website. Forty minutes after the big news, the secretary of state's office corrected its news release and said the results would be released later.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign.”
In the end, the hand count affirmed Biden won by more than 12,000 votes out of about 5 million cast, according to data released by Raffensperger's office Thursday.
State law requires Raffensperger to certify the election results by 5 p.m. Friday. Then, Gov. Brian Kemp has until 5 p.m. Saturday to certify the state's slate of 16 presidential electors.
Wisconsin Recount Begins With Trump Objecting to Tallying Some Absentees
Wisconsin’s election recount is underway with President Donald Trump objecting to the counting of absentee ballots received without a written application on file.
The recount that started Friday was requested and paid for by Trump and is aimed at undoing Joe Biden’s victory in the key state by more than 20,600 votes. It is being held in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state’s two biggest and most liberal counties that helped fuel Biden’s win.
The recounts in two big convention centers are open to the public and are livestreamed. Trump's first objection in Dane County was rejected by the board of canvassers, but was expected to be part of a legal challenge.
Mich. GOP Lawmakers to Meet With Trump Amid Challenge
Two Michigan state legislators headed to the White House on Friday as President Donald Trump made an extraordinary and sure-to-be futile attempt to block Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state and subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The state has yet to certify its results for Biden, who won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, according to unofficial results. Trump and his allies have been trying to convince judges and lawmakers in the state to set aside the popular vote and swap in Republican-chosen electors.
The president personally called two county canvass board officials earlier this week who had refused to certify the results in Wayne County, the state's most populous county and one that overwhelmingly favored Biden. The two GOP officials eventually agreed to certify the results, but following Trump's call, they later said they had second thoughts.
As he departed Detroit for Washington on Friday morning, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was swarmed by activists bearing signs that read: “Respect the Vote" and “Protect Democracy.” House Speaker Lee Chatfield was also headed to D.C., and protesters greeted them in Washington, too.
Some Michigan legislators have reported being deluged with calls and emails from Trump supporters demanding that they intervene. The House GOP caucus has prepared a 732-word stock response that pushes back, stating that state law clearly requires that electors be nominated by the party that wins the most votes.
GOP Sens. Romney, Sasse Slam Trump Efforts as 'Undemocratic'
Two Republican senators are criticizing President Donald Trump and his team for their efforts to pressure state and local election officials to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victories in several closely contested states.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, tweeted Thursday, “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”
Romney accused Trump on resorting to “overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., went after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who held a press conference Thursday presenting a list of far-fetched, thoroughly debunked claims on the 2020 election.
Sasse tweeted: “Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute. We are a nation of laws, not tweets.”
Biden Turns 78, Will Be Oldest U.S. President
President-elect Joe Biden turned 78 on Friday. In two months, he'll take the reins of a politically fractured nation facing the worst public health crisis in a century, high unemployment and a reckoning on racial injustice.
As he wrestles with those issues, Biden will be attempting to accomplish another feat: demonstrate to Americans that age is but a number and he's up to the job.
Biden will be sworn in as the oldest president in the nation’s history, displacing Ronald Reagan, who left the White House in 1989 when he was 77 years and 349 days old.
Georgia Hand Tally of Votes Is Complete, Affirms Biden Lead
A hand tally of the presidential race in Georgia is complete, and the results affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden went into the recount with a margin of 13,558 votes, according to votes tallied by NBC. Previously uncounted ballots discovered during the hand count reduced that margin to 12,284 votes, the Georgia Secretary of State's office reported.
”The recount process simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president, “Jaclyn Rothenberg, Georgia communications director for the Biden campaign said. “We are grateful to the election officials, volunteers and workers for working overtime and under unprecedented circumstances to complete this recount, as the utmost form of public service.”
Biden Says He Has Chosen Treasury Secretary
President-elect Joe Biden says he has decided whom to nominate as his secretary of the Treasury Department.
Biden said Thursday that the decision will be announced just before or after Thanksgiving and that “you’ll find it is someone who I think will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, progressives through the moderate coalition.”
Biden spoke to reporters after participating in a video conference with a group of governors from both parties, telling them he wanted to be their partner in the White House. The governors talked about the need for government officials to be clear with Americans about what to expect as the virus surges. He says, “They all acknowledge this is going to take a massive education campaign.”
Biden’s treasury secretary would lead his economic team as many businesses and Americans struggle while the coronavirus pandemic continues.