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President-elect Joe Biden plans to huddle Friday with the two top Democrats in Congress as he continues his transition to the White House, even as Trump presses ahead with a bid to reverse the election results.
Meanwhile, developments continue in key states. Georgia is expected to certify Biden as the winner there on Friday despite unsubstantiated claims of fraud by Trump and his allies.
Biden plans to huddle Friday with the top Democrats in Congress as he continues his transition to the White House despite Trump’s ongoing efforts to reverse the election results.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) are scheduled to travel to Wilmington, Del., for the meeting with Biden, which will also include Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the vice president-elect, according to Biden’s transition team.
Biden is seeking to carry out as normal a transition as possible, despite the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate.
Speaking with reporters Thursday, he did not rule out taking action against the General Services Administration at a future date to force a belated recognition of his presidential transition. The GSA, following Trump’s order, has refused to allow the traditional exchange of information with the incoming administration, even blocking intelligence and pandemic briefings.
“Hang on. I’m on my way,” Biden said, after being asked what he would tell people concerned by Trump’s efforts to question the results. “That’s what I say to them. Not a joke.”
Trump, who has kept a low public profile since Biden was projected as the winner of the presidency, is scheduled Friday to participate virtually in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and to deliver remarks on the cost of prescription drugs.
It’s unclear whether he will take questions from reporters following the latter event, planned in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Reporters will not be present for Trump’s participation in the economic summit, which includes 21 member economies.
During the past two weeks, Trump has been a near-constant presence on Twitter, airing commentary and grievances on the election. But uncharacteristically, he has not interacted with the White House press corps.
Vice President Pence, meanwhile, is headed to Georgia, where he is scheduled to participate in two rallies on behalf of Republican Sens. David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face runoff elections on Jan. 5 that will determine which party has control of the U.S. Senate.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted on Thursday night, he’s more than willing to give airtime to outlandish claims. “We literally do UFO segments,” he said.
But even Carlson said he was fed up with the total lack of evidence produced by Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s attorneys, in her unfounded allegation that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to favor Biden.
“We invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would have given her the whole hour,” Carlson said. “But she never sent us any evidence, despite a lot of requests, polite requests. Not a page. When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her.”
Carlson also noted that “she never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one.”
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney late on Thursday denounced Trump’s attempt to pressure Republican officials to reverse the results of the election, describing it as among the most “undemocratic” actions ever taken by a sitting president.
“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” the Utah senator and frequent Trump critic said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”
Romney joined Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) as the only two GOP senators on Thursday to publicly oppose the president’s actions, as Trump and his campaign continue lobbing baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in Michigan and other states in hopes of remaining in power.
The inaugural platform is going up near the Capitol, and the District has repaved Pennsylvania Avenue for the traditional parade. But the crowds huddled together enjoying a concert on the Mall and the celebratory balls that go late into the night? They are less certain.
In fact, much remains unknown about how the coronavirus pandemic will change the inaugural celebration that normally transforms the city every four years.
Nine weeks away from the 59th presidential inauguration, officials are under pressure to stage an event that will begin to heal a nation bruised by its deep partisan divides. But they are also operating under the constraints of a health crisis that has upended traditions dependent on massive gatherings and cross-country travel. The result is citywide preparation for a ceremony still shrouded in uncertainty as constituents clamor for tickets and the coronavirus continues to surge around them.
The chaotic effort to upend the U.S. presidential election has moved from the courtroom to a series of traditionally mundane events in county seats and state capitals, deliberations now under enormous pressure as Trump and his allies seek to block formal recognition of Biden’s victory in key battleground states.
In the immediate term, the focus is on the four-member Michigan state canvassing board, which is scheduled to meet Monday on whether to certify Biden’s large win in that state.
On Thursday, one of the two Republicans on the board said that although he expected Biden to win the election, he may suggest a delay to allow for an audit of the state’s ballots amid unfounded allegations by the president’s legal team of widespread fraud. Biden is now leading in Michigan by roughly 150,000 votes.
ATLANTA — For Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia Stand-Up, it’s as if Election Day never ended.
The get-out-the-vote efforts of civic engagement groups like hers, which helped Biden become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in nearly three decades, have been ongoing since Nov. 3.
The group is still knocking on doors, calling voters and signing up new registrants, with a big push involving 100 volunteers planned for this weekend. Another group that works to mobilize voters of color set up tables at a recent high school graduation to register newly eligible young voters. A third group is reaching voters at transit stations.
The efforts are a continuation of the groups’ relentless push to register, engage and turn out voters ahead of a pair of high-stakes Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, which will determine which party controls the Senate.
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