Donald Trump agrees to start the transition, while Joe Biden declared ‘obvious winner’

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DONALD Trump has acknowledged that as the U.S. federal government has recognised the Democrat as the “apparent winner” of the presidential election, the formal transition of power to Joe Biden must begin.

The process comes after the new White House occupant spent weeks checking the boundaries of American democracy.

In his apparently futile effort to reverse the election with baseless charges of fraud, he relented after suffering even more legal and procedural defeats.

After General Services Administrator Emily Murphy gave the green light Monday for Biden to cooperate with federal authorities before his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump nevertheless refused to concede and vowed to continue battling in court. Yet he tweeted that, in the process, he had told his team to cooperate.

In what amounted to a weeks-long stress test for American democracy, the fast-moving sequence of events seemed to deflate most of Trump’s desperate attempts to weaken people’s will. But his efforts to promote a confidence crisis in the democratic system and the integrity of U.S. elections are not over and are likely to continue well beyond his lame-duck presidency.

Elect-President Joe Biden

Murphy based her decision on “recent developments linked to legal challenges and election results certification.”

She acted after Biden’s victory in the disputed state was approved by Michigan and a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit that tried to block certification in that state.

It also came when a rising number of Republicans publicly recognized the victory of Biden after weeks of tolerating the unsubstantiated accusations of fraud by Trump. With his legal team’s flickering strategies, the president had become increasingly irritated.

He had also been urged to allow the transition in recent days by senior Trump aides, including Staff Chief Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone. They advised the president that he did not have to admit, but could no longer justify, withdrawing support from the transition of Biden.

Yohannes Abraham, Biden Transition Executive Director, said the decision is a necessary step to tackle the problems facing our country, including managing the pandemic and “getting our economy back on track.”

Murphy, who was named by Trump, had faced bipartisan criticism for not previously beginning the transition phase, which stopped Biden’s team from working on plans for his presidency with career administration officials. The delay denied Biden access to highly confidential national security briefings and hindered the ability of his team to start formulating their own strategies to respond to the pandemic of the raging coronavirus.

She behaved on her own initiative, Murphy insisted. “Please know that I made my decision independently, based on the law and the facts available. I have never been pressured, directly or indirectly, by any executive branch official – including those working in the White House or GSA – regarding the content or timing of my decision,” she wrote to Biden in a letter.

Shortly after Murphy’s decision, Trump tweeted, “We will continue the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nonetheless, in the best interest of our country, I commend Emily and her team for doing what needs to be done regarding the initial protocols and have directed my team to do the same.”

…Fight, and I believe that we shall prevail! Nevertheless, I applaud Emily and her team for doing what needs to be done with respect to the first protocols, in the best interest of our country, and have told my team to do the same.

-Donald J. Trump, November 23, 2020 (@realDonaldTrump)

The delay was criticized by Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Public Service Alliance, but said Biden’s team would be able to resolve it.

Every day lost to the delayed discovery, sadly, was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare for the greatest challenges of our country,”Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed finding was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare for our country’s greatest challenges,” “The good news is that the president-elect and his team are the best prepared and best equipped ever in recent memory.”

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said the GSA activity “is likely the closest thing to a train’s action”

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