Political

Trump-Biden transition live updates: Biden to meet with health care workers

narvikk/iStockBy LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with transition plans, capping a tumultuous and tension-filled campaign during a historic pandemic against President Donald Trump, who still refuses to concede the election more than 10 days after Biden was projected as the winner.

Trump has largely hunkered down inside the White House since the election while his administration stonewalls recognizing Biden as the president-elect, refusing to grant Biden access to federal funds and resources allocated for the transition of power. Biden, meanwhile, is forging ahead and stepping into the presidential spotlight, participating in a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers in Wilmington, Delaware, Wednesday.

A growing number of Republican senators are calling on the administration to start giving Biden classified intelligence briefings, a sign that support for Trump’s refusal to concede the election may be waning among his allies on Capitol Hill.

Though Trump has alleged widespread voter fraud, he and his campaign haven’t been able to provide the evidence to substantiate their claims with the majority of their lawsuits already resulting in unfavorable outcomes.

Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:

Nov 18, 11:54 am
Trump campaign expected to request partial recount in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has announced it received $3 million from the Trump campaign and expects a petition for a recount to be filed.

A total statewide recount was estimated to cost $7.9 million, so unless the Trump campaign sends more money before the 6 p.m. ET deadline, it will only be requesting a partial recount in select counties.

In the case of a partial recount, the Trump campaign could then raise concerns with certain ballots in those counties as fodder for legal action once the recount wraps by the state’s Dec. 1 certification deadline.

Recounts rarely change election outcomes. According to a report from Fair Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit on election reform, including data on 20 years of recounts, there have been 31 recounts in 5,000 statewide elections since 2000, and only three of them resulted in election reversals. In those three, the original margin of victory was less than .05%.

Trump is currently trailing Biden in Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes or .07%.

In 2016, a presidential recount in the state resulted in just 131 additional votes for Trump.

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett


Nov 18, 10:56 am
Deadlines loom in Georgia on final day of hand-count audit

All of Georgia’s 159 counties are on track to finish a full hand-count audit of the approximately 5 million ballots cast in the presidential contest by Wednesday’s midnight deadline.

With that effort nearly complete, the state has until Friday at 5 p.m. to certify its results.

If the margin between Trump and Biden remains within 0.5% once the votes are certified, a campaign can request a recount.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said he doesn’t expect the results to change significantly once the audit is complete, telling ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce Tuesday he believes Biden will win the state, “fair and square.”

Raffensperger, a Republican, has held his ground while fending off attacks from Trump and members of his own party in the aftermath of the election. Both of the state’s GOP senators have called on Raffensperger to resign. Trump, who endorsed Raffensperger in 2018, has pegged the secretary as a “RINO” — “Republican in name only” — while attacking the state’s election process.

Heading into the hand-count audit, Biden led Trump by a margin of about 14,000 votes or .03%. Previously uncounted ballots that were discovered will reduce that margin to about 13,000, said Gabriel Sterling, with the secretary of state’s office.

ABC News projected last Friday that Biden will win Georgia. It’s the first time a Democrat will secure Georgia’s electoral votes since 1992, which happens to be the last time the vote margin between two candidates was as tight as it is now.

-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan


Nov 18, 10:29 am
Pelosi wins internal caucus election for Speaker

House Democrats reelected California Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker of the House in an internal vote among the Democratic caucus Wednesday morning.

To be officially reelected as speaker, Pelosi still needs to win a full House floor vote on Jan. 3.

She’ll need 218 votes out of 435 to secure the speakership and the margins are especially tight this year as Democrats’ majority in the House has narrowed.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is also expected to run for speaker.

-ABC News’ Mariam Khan

Nov 18, 10:29 am
Overview: Biden to meet with health care workers as Trump blocks transition

Those in and around the Biden camp continue to call on the Trump administration to provide access to critical information and resources so they’re prepared to take on the pandemic ahead of Jan. 20. They argue the Trump administration blocking the transition from moving forward is hurting them, and potentially the American people, on multiple fronts.

Instead of consulting with federal officials and getting access to their trove of information of matters like vaccine distribution and medical equipment shortages, the Biden team must rely on piecemeal data from state and local officials and various public sources. In an unprecedented public rebuke, the heads of the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Hospitals Association released a letter to Trump on Tuesday warning that more Americans will die if the administration does not help the Biden transition team.

Still, Biden is pressing forward in the ways that he can without the access that must be granted by the General Services Administration. He’s holding a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers from Wilmington, Delaware, Wednesday, one day after receiving a briefing on national security from former government and outside advisers.

Trump, meanwhile, has no public events on his schedule once again, and has canceled a Thanksgiving trip to Mar-a-Lago. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning he is “hard at work.” He continues taking to Twitter to sow doubt in the American election system while holding just a few public events and taking no reporter questions in the two weeks since the election.

Trump is also facing criticism from at least one Senate Republican Wednesday morning after he fired top U.S. cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, his own appointee, Tuesday night. The expected firing came over Twitter, and in this case, after Krebs spoke out to debunk false claims made by Trump and his allies regarding widespread voter fraud.

On Capitol Hill, more Republicans are inching towards recognizing Biden as the president-elect. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday suggested the election is “driving” toward Biden, and Republican senators were seen fist-bumping Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Senate floor.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

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