Trump-Biden transition updates: Biden slams Trump’s post-election behavior


(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 nearly two weeks 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. On Friday, he participates in an early morning virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic leaders’ meeting and will make remarks on prescription drug prices in the afternoon, according to his public schedule. He also requested Michigan’s top state lawmakers visit the White House for an expected meeting on Friday, sources told ABC News.

Biden is forging ahead and stepping into the presidential spotlight. He and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday

A growing number of Republican senators have called 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.

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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 lawsuits already resulting in unfavorable outcomes.

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

Nov 19, 10:06 pm
Trump campaign: ‘Georgia has not certified its results, and should not’

In response to the results of Georgia’s audit of the presidential election, a Trump campaign legal adviser said the media is falsely reporting that Biden is the winner before the state has certified the results.

Jenna Ellis, a campaign senior legal adviser, went on to say in the statement that Georgia should not certify its results. The state is set to do just that on Friday.

“Headlines are already falsely reporting that Joe Biden is declared the winner in Georgia. Sorry, media, that’s not how it works,” Ellis said in the statement. “The State of Georgia has not certified its results, and it should not. This so-called hand recount went exactly as we expected because Georgia simply recounted all of the illegal ballots that had been included in the total.”
Ellis said that they demand an honest recount and plan to explore all legal options in the state.
Since the margin of victory is still within 0.5% of total votes cast in the contest, the Trump campaign can request a recount. The deadline to request a recount is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Nov 19, 9:57 pm
The Biden campaign responds to the Georgia audit results, said it ‘reaffirmed what we already knew’

The Biden campaign responded to the Georgia audit results Thursday, saying in a statement that the process reaffirmed the results of November’s election.
“The recount process simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president,” said Jaclyn Rothenberg, Biden campaign Georgia communications director, in the statement. “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.”

The Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office released the results of the statewide risk limiting audit, which was a hand recount of every ballot cast in the presidential race Thursday. The statewide variation between the audit results and original election results was 0.1053%.

After the audit, Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia was 12,284 votes.

Nov 19, 8:38 pm
Top Dems want embattled federal official to explain why she’s holding up Biden’s transition

Senior House Democrats want Emily Murphy, the embattled administrator of the General Services Administration, to explain why she’s held up Biden’s transition by refusing to formally acknowledge his victory over Trump. They are also demanding a briefing from her by Monday, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

“At this stage, there is no conceivable argument that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are not the ‘apparent successful candidates for the office of President and Vice President,'” Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., wrote in a letter to Murphy on Thursday, citing the statute that empowers her to sign off on the transition process.

Murphy’s refusal to recognize Biden’s victory has backed up the transition process — preventing his team from formally communicating with any counterparts in the federal government. Biden and his top aides have warned that the delay could imperil national security, and slow down preparations for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine across the country.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, questioned about the delay in a Fox News interview Wednesday, deferred to the GSA, saying the agency was “independent of us, and they haven’t declared that just yet.”

“We have been extremely patient, but we can wait no longer,” they wrote. “As GSA Administrator, it is your responsibility to follow the law and assure the safety and well-being of the United States and its people — not to submit to political pressure to violate the law and risk the consequences.”

In their letter, the Democrats also raised questions about Trump’s move to tap Trent Benishek, a White House lawyer, to serve as the agency’s general counsel a week before the election — and a September executive order that put the GSA’s top lawyer fourth-in-line to lead the agency, after Murphy, her deputy and chief of staff.

Democrats have requested a briefing “no later” than Monday, to help them determine whether to hold a hearing with Murphy, her deputies and the agency’s top lawyer.

-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

Nov 19, 8:32 pm
‘There’s no legal or factual basis for anyone to question’ results: Mich. secretary of state

The Michigan Secretary of State said that legally and practically, the results in both Wayne County and Michigan cannot be challenged, in an interview with ABC News Live Prime on Thursday .
“I think first it’s clear that the voters of Wayne County and Michigan have spoken and they’ve made a choice and there’s no legal or factual basis for anyone to question that choice or challenge it,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.
“And so we accept the Wayne County certification, just as we accepted every one of our 83 county certification as it was properly made in a public vote, in a public meeting. And now we’re moving forward and calling on the board of state canvassers to do the same,” she added.

Amid the chaos in the state over Wayne County’s certification process, President Trump is expected to meet with Michigan’s top state GOP leaders on Friday at the White House, sources told ABC News, just a few days before the state board of canvassers is set to meet to vote to certify the statewide results on Monday. Benson urged that it is “improper” for any candidate regardless of party to seek to meddle in the ongoing certification process.
“It’s certainly improper for any candidate on either side of the aisle to attempt to interfere with or obstruct a process that is very well ingrained in the law with an eye towards the processes protecting the will of voters,” she said.

The chief elections official also said that the expectation on Monday is for the state board of canvassers, which is also made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, to move forward with certifying the results, calling it an “administrative role.” Only three of four votes are needed to certify.

Benson also reiterated that there has been “no evidence of widespread fraud in the election” and dismissed again the concerns by the Republican canvassers in Wayne County as “clerical errors.”
It’s not the first time the county board was faced with similar issues, Benson said, highlighting that in 2016, there were actually more clerical errors, yet the board still certified the results.
Looking ahead to future election, Benson said that she is “confident we will get through this. We will move forward and we will do the important work of healing our democracy moving forward.”

-ABC News’ Kendall Karson

Nov 19, 7:47 pm
Georgia audit ‘upheld and reaffirmed the original outcome’ that Biden won

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office has released the results of a full hand-count audit of the roughly 5 million votes cast in the presidential contest there, showing Biden has maintained his lead over Trump.

The release states that the audit, “upheld and reaffirmed the original outcome produced by the machine tally of votes cast (and) confirmed that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election.”

Election officials maintained throughout the process, which began last Friday, that they expected the audit would affirm Biden as the winner — a blow to Trump and his GOP allies as Georgia’s 16 electoral votes haven’t gone to a Democrat in nearly three decades.

The audit was not an official recount, which Trump could still request following Georgia’s deadline to certify the vote by Friday at 5 p.m. since he remains within a .5% margin of Biden.

Gabriel Sterling, the statewide voting system implementation manager for Raffensperger’s office, told Fox News Thursday morning that he hopes Trump will accept the results “because when you question it from either side, it undermines the foundation of democracy.”

The secretary of state’s office has reported that four counties — Floyd, Fayette, Walton and Douglas — found uncounted votes due to human error in the audit process, but those roughly 5,8000 discovered votes have been added to the count. Cobb County, the third largest in the state, discovered it had missed a batch of ballots to hand count during the audit, but those votes were tabulated and reported in the county’s original results.

Though Trump has falsely claimed that Dominion voting machines removed votes for him, Raffensperger said Tuesday the hand-count audit, intended to check the machines, found no signs of foul play.

Biden’s margin of victory in the audit results was 12,284 votes.

-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan

Nov 19, 6:27 pm
Ga. secretary of state:’There’s no doubt’ that Biden won the state

While the results of Georgia’s election audit have not been released, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB that “there’s no doubt”that Biden won the state.

“The numbers support that. So does the audit. ” Raffensperger said in the interview.

He also told WSB that he had not seen evidence of any major fraud.
“We’ve not seen any evidence that they’ve given us, anything that really supports — it just doesn’t show up, it doesn’t work out. The numbers aren’t there,” Raffensperger said.

-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan

Nov 19, 5:20 pm
Biden calls Trump’s post-election behavior ‘totally irresponsible’

Biden took questions following remarks on his efforts to work with governors to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and addressed the Trump administration’s stonewalling by not recognizing him as the president-elect.

Asked by ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce what the American people are witnessing as Trump continues to fight election results with legal battles, Biden paused for a moment before deeming it “totally irresponsible.”

“Let me choose my words here,” he said. “I think they’re witnessing incredible irresponsibility. Incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions. And I think it is — well, I don’t know his motive, but I just think it’s totally irresponsible.”



Bruce followed up with whether Biden was concerned the American people might, in turn, question the legitimacy of his administration, but Biden said he wasn’t, arguing polling has shown the vast majority of Americans believe in the legitimacy of the election.

However, a recent Monmouth poll found that only 18% of Republican-identifying respondents said they felt Biden won fair and square, while 70% said they felt he won due to voter fraud.

“Most of the Republicans I’ve spoken to, including some of the governors, think this is debilitating. It sends a horrible message about who we are as a country,” Biden said.

The president-elect said his team has not ruled out legal action against the General Services Administration, but argued that would take a lot of time that he instead hopes to spend building consensus.

Biden also weighed in on Trump inviting members of the Michigan state legislature to the White House Friday as the president seeks to overturn results in the state, questioning the legality of the meeting.

“It’s going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history,” Biden said. “It’s just out of the — not even within the norm at all. There’s questions whether it’s even legal. But it’s going to be interesting to see who shows up in this call to meet with the leadership.”

Biden also revealed that he and his team have decided who will serve as the treasury secretary and said it would be announced just before or after Thanksgiving, adding that it will be someone who will be accepted across the Democratic Party.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle, John Verhovek, Averi Harper and Beatrice Peterson

Nov 19, 4:42 pm
Biden, Harris speak on COVID-19 after meeting with governors

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris kicked off her and Biden’s afternoon remarks by outlining the call they had with the National Governors Association’s Executive Committee, saying the bipartisan group of governors focused on COVID-19 and how to make testing and vaccines free and accessible to the public.

Drawing from her experience in local and state government, Harris said she appreciates the critical role governors play in American life and assured them that they’ll have “partners in the White House starting on Jan. 20.”



“President-Elect Biden and I will make sure you have the resources and support you need to save lives and help get our economy back on track. And we will also make sure that our federal state, local and tribal authorities are working closely together so we can tackle these challenges as effectively as possible,” Harris said, before introducing the president-elect.

Biden began by saying all of the governors on his call, five Democrats and five Republicans, recognized his win — even if the Trump administration still refuses to, thus hindering his access to pandemic planning.



“Each of the governors emphasized that we might be Democrats and Republicans, but we’re all American first. They congratulated us heartily for the — our win,” Biden said.

Biden said the group discussed a nationwide mask mandate, a practice he has pushed and asked governors to work on him with, before later reinforcing that he would not impose a total national shutdown.

Nov 19, 4:03 pm
Biden to meet with Democratic leadership Friday

A Biden transition official confirms the president-elect is meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday in Wilmington, Delaware.

It’s their first in-person meeting since the election.

The three spoke over the phone last week and discussed how to pass another COVID-19 relief bill to help Americans struggling amid the pandemic.

-ABC News’ Mary Bruce

Nov 19, 3:42 pm
By the numbers: Trump campaign election lawsuits

The Trump campaign has so far filed at least 19 lawsuits across five states since Election Day. These suits have had 15 unfavorable outcomes so far (either denied, dismissed, withdrawn, etc.), and at least seven of those rulings are being appealed. The campaign has had one favorable outcome that still stands. There have been no rulings yet in three cases.

Here’s a breakdown:

Michigan – 2 lawsuits total

Lawsuit 1: Lost (denied, pending appeal).
Lawsuit 2: Withdrawn.

Georgia – 1 lawsuit total

Lawsuit 1: Lost. (denied and dismissed).

Nevada – 3 lawsuits total
Lawsuit 1: Withdrawn and remanded.
Lawsuit 2: Denied.
Lawsuit 3: No outcome yet.

Arizona – 2 lawsuits total

Lawsuit 1: Dismissed.
Lawsuit 2: Dismissed.

Pennsylvania – 11 lawsuits total

Lawsuit 1: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 2: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 3: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 4: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 5: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 6: Lost (currently on appeal).
Lawsuit 7: Lost.
Lawsuit 8: Win.
Lawsuit 9: Lost.
Lawsuit 10: No outcome yet.
Lawsuit 11: No outcome yet.

-ABC News’ Matthew Mosk, Alex Hosenball and Olivia Rubin

Nov 19, 2:34 pm
Trump to meet with Michigan state lawmakers on Friday at White House: Sources

Trump is expected to meet with Michigan’s top state lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, on Friday at the White House after requesting the visit, sources tell ABC News.

The extraordinary move comes amid the Trump campaign’s ongoing fight over the outcome of the election in the battleground, with relentless unsubstantiated claims of fraud and a string of legal challenges to the results.

As the president runs out of alternatives to challenge Biden’s clear victory in the state by nearly 150,000 votes, members of the president’s legal team have openly said the last recourse might be the GOP-controlled legislature intervening by overriding the will of the people and choosing their own slate of pro-Trump electors to vote for the president at the Electoral College’s December meeting.

Shirkey quashed the idea to Bridge Michigan, a local news outlet, saying that the legislature will not move to award the state’s 16 electors to Trump. “That’s not going to happen,” he said.

A spokesperson for the state Senate majority leader also reiterated that state law does not allow for the legislature to step in and directly select the electors or award the electors to anyone other than the popular vote winner.

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Kendall Karson

Nov 19, 2:18 pm
Biden, Harris meet with governors on the pandemic

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are holding a virtual meeting with the National Governors Association’s Executive Committee to discuss the surging pandemic, pushing forward with their transition despite Trump’s roadblocks.

As he did on the campaign trail, Biden cast himself as someone who will be a “partner in the White House” to governors no matter their party.

“I mean this from the bottom of my heart — I don’t see this as a red state issue or a blue state issue. I see this — we’re all in this together,” Biden said.

He again lamented that his team has been unable to access vaccination distribution plans and other data as the Trump administration refuses to ascertain him as the president-elect.

Joined by five Democratic governors and five Republicans, Biden has long maintained he will need bipartisan support to implement mask mandates as a key tool to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Following the meeting, Biden and Harris will deliver joint remarks from The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware.

Nov 19, 12:53 pm
Michigan sec. of state confirms plans for a statewide risk-limiting audit

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson confirmed plans for a statewide risk-limiting audit of the election and local performance audits of individual jurisdictions in a statement Thursday.

Benson said the audit is “typical, standard procedure” and not a response to the claims of fraud or irregularities in the election, which she asserted have “no basis in fact.”

“Audits are neither designed to address nor performed in response to false or mythical allegations of ‘irregularities’ that have no basis in fact,” she said.

The announcement comes after the two Republican members of the Wayne County board of canvassers signed affidavits on Wednesday saying they were rescinding their vote to certify.

The two Republicans initially agreed to a certify in a compromise vote on Tuesday night — which involved in part, a commitment to an independent audit which was offered as a last-minute compromise on Tuesday night by the Democratic vice chair Jonathan Kinloch — before seeking to revoke that vote by Wednesday.

-ABC News’ Kendall Karson

Nov 19, 12:24 pm
Trump spoke with 2 GOP canvassers in Michigan on Tuesday night: Sources

The evening before two Republican canvassers on the Wayne County elections board signed affidavits seeking to rescind their votes to certify the election results, Trump spoke with both on Tuesday, sources tell ABC News.

It’s not immediately clear if their latest moves to reverse their votes were discussed. ABC News has reached out to both canvassers — Monica Palmer and William Hartmann.

Palmer, who is the chair of the board, told the Detroit Free Press that she spoke with the president about the threats to her safety.

“He was checking to make sure I was safe after seeing/hearing about the threats and doxxing,” she said, without saying if she discussed her decision on Wednesday to rescind her final vote.

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Will Steakin and Kendall Karson

Nov 19, 10:51 am
Trump has dropped Michigan lawsuit — makes false claim that votes were not certified

The Trump Campaign has just voluntarily dismissed one of its lawsuits in Michigan before a judge was able to rule on it, citing the ongoing drama over the certification of election results in Wayne County — but falsely claiming the campaign got what it wanted.

The suit had sought to halt certification of results in the state, and the Trump campaign motion to dismiss incorrectly stated that “the Wayne County board of county canvassers met and declined to certify the results of the presidential election,” which is not true.

As ABC has reported, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers late Tuesday night filed affidavits seeking to rescind their votes to certify the results, after they had already voted to approve.

A spokesperson for Michigan’s secretary of state has already shot down the idea that the two Republican members can  change the certification.

The two affidavits were attached in the campaign’s filing dismissing its own suit.

In a statement, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said, “This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted.”

When reached by ABC News, an assistant for Mark Hearne, the lawyer on the case, referred all questions back to the White House.

The campaign has one other lawsuit pending in Michigan, which is being appealed.

Biden leads in the state by over 148,000 votes.

-ABC News’ Matthew Mosk and Olivia Rubin

Nov 19, 10:44 am
Wayne County Republican canvassers ask to ‘rescind’ their votes certifying election results

Michigan’s election certification process just got messier. The two Republicans on the Wayne County board of canvassers are now seeking to rescind their decision to certify their county’s results, a day after the deadline, in a pair of affidavits signed late Wednesday night.

Both Monica Palmer, the Republican chair of the county board, and William Hartmann, a Republican member, said after they initially voted against certifying the results, they were “enticed” Tuesday into affirming the election results after they said they were given assurances by the board’s vice chairman, Jonathan Kinloch, that the votes would be independently audited.

When asked late Tuesday night if she would commit to a comprehensive audit, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, hedged and only said she would look into it.

Kinlock confirmed to ABC News that he gave this assurance but added that he had been unable to reach the secretary of state on Tuesday night to get her commitment.

A spokesperson for the secretary of state is shooting down the possibility of the two Republican members rescinding their vote, saying it is out of their hands at this point.

“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote,” the spokesperson said. “Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify.”

The number of votes at issue is too small to influence the outcome of the election. Biden currently holds a substantial edge over Trump in Michigan, leading by nearly 150,000 votes, which is almost 15 times the president’s margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016. In Wayne County, the state’s largest, Biden is ahead by over 300,000 votes with nearly 70% of the vote.

-ABC News’ Kendall Karson

Nov 19, 10:11 am
Damage from Trump’s defiance grows

The Trump campaign legal challenges — or what’s left of them — are no longer realistically about changing the outcome of the presidential election.

Instead, they appear to be about something even Trumpier than hanging on to the presidency. If the goal is to delay, sow confusion, raise doubts and thus keep questions lingering over the election in perpetuity — to maintain the fight for its own sake — the strategy begins to make sense.

So it is that Trump’s loyalists soldier through the end of the state-ordered recount in Georgia that will still leave Biden comfortably ahead; a Trump-backed recount in just [two Wisconsin counties], with no real hope of changing the statewide outcome; and continued challenges at various levels in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan, without evidence that Trump got more lawful votes in any of those states.

A cascading series of deadlines will almost certainly lead to Biden becoming president Jan. 20, whether Trump admits it or not.

In the meantime, threats aimed at election officials have become nearly commonplace — and bipartisan, as the secretaries of state in Arizona and Georgia attest. Polls are showing widespread Republican mistrust for the fairness of the election, while most Republican senators still hesitate before labeling Biden the president-elect.

In the view of a growing number of Democrats, Trump and his campaign are feeding misinformation that both delays the Biden transition and positions the president to lead the GOP going forward — regardless of the facts of this election.

“This is malicious speech, designed to damage and disenfranchise,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said Wednesday on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.

The impact would be real even in times of relative health and prosperity. These are not those times.

-ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein

Nov 19, 9:56 am
Overview: Trump behind closed doors, Biden to meet with governors

Thursday brings another day for Trump hunkered down in the White House with no public events and another for Biden without access to federal resources allocated for the transition of power.

Biden has warned that his team could be “behind by weeks or months” on a vaccination program if coordination between the Trump administration and his transition does not begin soon, but even as the U.S. surpasses 250,000 coronavirus deaths, Trump refuses to concede and his political appointee GSA chief remains silent.

With a cascading series of deadlines approaching, the Trump team is running out of time to find a way to forgo Biden the presidency. The deadline to certify election results has already passed in 10 states, and in one week’s time, that number ticks up to 27 and will include the battlegrounds of Michigan — where GOP state leaders are brushing off idea to hand Trump election by replacing electors — and of Pennsylvania — where Trump’s bid for the Supreme Court to intervene hasn’t yet materialized.

In Georgia, the secretary of state’s office is expected to release the results of the statewide full hand audit around noon, ahead of a Friday certification deadline, but officials have maintained they expect Biden will keep his narrow lead. The Trump campaign has also filed for a partial recount in Wisconsin targeting two predominately-Black counties, but it’s highly unlikely to change the election outcome.

Though the campaign’s remaining legal challenges will not significantly change the election results — who got more votes — in any state, Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, manning the team’s legal efforts, will hold a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. at noon to push what they’re framing as a “legal path to victory” for Trump.

Pushing forward with their transition despite Trump’s roadblocks, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are meeting with some of the nation’s governors on Thursday to discuss the surging pandemic. It’s unclear how many Republicans will dial into the event, but Biden has long maintained he will need bipartisan support to implement mask mandates as a key tool to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, progressives are piping up to demand their voice isn’t shut out of the incoming Biden White House. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and a handful of new House members will hold a rally at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee to push the Biden administration for a “corporate-free” Cabinet and a focus on the threat of climate change.

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