Trump Appointee Won't Sign Transition Letter

Move prevents Biden team from accessing money, using federal buildings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2020 9:50 AM CST
One Part of Trump Strategy: Expect More Rallies
President Trump addresses a campaign rally at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pa., on Nov. 2, 2020.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The inauguration is 72 days away, and President Trump's team is signaling that it intends to make full use of them to try to keep Trump in office. Joe Biden, meanwhile, is quickly moving ahead by lining up his own White House team. Coverage about what to expect in the coming weeks:

  • Trump rallies: Expect more presidential rallies around the country as Trump makes his case that Biden won the election fraudulently, reports Alayna Treene of Axios. Among other things, Trump will read obituaries of dead people who he claims voted in the election. The Washington Times also reports that Trump rallies are being planned.

  • No handover: The Washington Post reports that a Trump appointee at the General Services Administration is refusing to sign a letter that would let the Biden team begin its transition work. This formality typically happens after the media declares a winner, but GSA chief Emily Murphy is balking. The move means Biden's team can't use federal buildings or equipment or have access to millions of dollars in transition funds. "An ascertainment has not yet been made," says a GSA spokesperson, referring to the election results.
  • No contact: Biden adviser Symone Sanders said Sunday that neither Trump nor any representatives from the White House have contacted Biden since the race was called, per CNN.
  • Long fight: Expect the legal fight (including recount teams in battleground states) to last at least a month and perhaps extend into Christmastime, writes Mike Allen at Axios. A top GOP aide describes Trump as "angry ... volatile ... disconsolate," per Allen. One related worry: This could divert attention and money from the two Senate runoff races in Georgia, which will determine which party controls the Senate.
  • Social media shift: Trump supporters are increasingly gravitating to alternative social networks such as Parler and MeWe to air grievances and coordinate strategy, reports Business Insider. The shift comes after Facebook booted the "Stop the Steal" campaign. Meanwhile, a lengthy thread at the conservative site Twitchy lays out complaints in various states about the count.
(Trump's eldest children are reportedly split on whether he should fight or concede.)

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