President-elect said Tuesday he is moving forward with his transition plans, despite and GOP allies refusing to acknowledge the election results.
His remarks came on a day punctuated with congratulatory calls from heads of state and trading on Wall Street that has already factored in a Biden presidency and a divided Congress — the latest signs that while most congressional Republicans are sticking with Trump’s claims of voter fraud, the rest of the world is moving on and preparing for the 46th president.
British Prime Minister congratulated Biden in a Tuesday phone call, during which the two leaders discussed trade and security.
Biden also spoke with , German Chancellor Angela Merkle and Micheál Martin, the Irish prime minister. On Monday, he spoke with Canadian Prime Minister .
Most Senate Republicans, however, continue to withhold recognition of Biden as the winner of last week’s election.
Asked whether he had congratulated Biden, Sen. (R-Wis.) responded: “Nothing to congratulate him about yet.
Sen. (R-Mo.) told reporters Tuesday that Trump “may not have been defeated.”
Biden appeared to take it all in stride, calmly telling reporters at a news conference Tuesday that he will move ahead as if Trump had already conceded.
“We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we’d won, which we have, so there’s nothing really changing,” Biden said.
Biden confidently predicted that Trump’s legal efforts would fail to change anything in key battleground states and that he would take the oath of office Jan. 20 as the next president.
Biden also said he doesn’t foresee his legal team needing to formally challenge any of Trump’s claims.
He noted that no evidence has emerged to back up Trump’s claims that the vote tallies were compromised by widespread fraud.
Biden added that he would move ahead even without having a General Services Administration letter of “ascertainment” to give his transition team access to government facilities and resources to prepare for Inauguration Day.
That same day, Vice President Pence briefed Senate Republicans at a lunch meeting where he spent only a few minutes of his presentation discussing the Trump campaign’s legal efforts in Pennsylvania and other states where it’s disputing the final count.
GOP lawmakers in the room didn’t press Pence for details, as many of them don’t really expect the lawsuits to change the results of the election.
Republicans who attended the meeting said Pence didn’t provide any evidence or specific information about fraud on a big enough scale to alter the results in any state.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Trump was trailing Biden by 48,000 votes in Pennsylvania, more than 20,000 in Wisconsin, 12,000 in Georgia and 14,000 in Arizona.
Republicans privately concede Biden’s lead in most states is big enough that it’s unlikely recounts will find enough miscounted votes to reverse the outcomes.
A Senate Republican official said Trump will get an automatic recount in Georgia since Biden is leading by less than a percentage point, 49.5 percent to 49.3 percent, according to a tally reported by The Associated Press.
Sen. (R-Pa.) on Monday told WTAE in Pittsburgh, an ABC affiliate, that “it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. It’s not 100 percent certain but it is quite likely. So I think a transition process ought to begin.”
The stock markets are also counting on Biden being the next president and Republicans keeping control of the Senate.
Stocks soared Monday — the first trading day after the race was called on Saturday — on the expectation that Biden will normalize trade relations with China and other countries while Senate Republicans will block efforts to increase corporate tax rates.
Given the lack of any solid evidence of voter fraud or any real path for Trump to wage big comebacks in several states, GOP lawmakers are coming under increasing pressure to acknowledge the president lost the election.
“President Trump didn’t win the election. Every single one of my colleagues knows this. And he didn’t just lose, he lost by a pretty substantial margin,” Sen. (D-Conn.) said on the Senate floor.
Murphy warned that failure by fellow senators to recognize the election results “presents a real threat to this country,” noting that Republican candidates who lost by huge margins in California and Maryland are now contesting the lopsided results of their races.
GOP senators are defending Trump’s right to contest the vote counts in court but they’re stopping short of repeating his claims of fraud or predicting with any confidence he has a good chance of staying in office for a second term.
Biden on Tuesday didn’t seem ruffled by the lack of congratulatory messages from all but a small handful of Republicans, remarking, “I think that the whole Republican Party has been put in the position, with few notable exceptions, of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president. But there’s only one president at a time.”
So far, Sens. (Maine), (Utah), (Alaska) and (Neb.) are the only members of the GOP conference to congratulate him on winning the election.
Romney on Tuesday said Trump has a right to his day in court but had yet to provide any evidence of widespread fraud.
“I haven’t heard yet evidence of wrongdoing that would suggest a change in the outcome of the election but there are a number of lawsuits which will be pursued and the president has every right to carry out those lawsuits and insist on recounts,” he said after attending Pence’s briefing.
So when Secretary of State told reporters at a briefing Tuesday “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” the remarks provoked an angry and disbelieving reaction on social media.
Senate Democratic Leader (N.Y.) loudly urged Pompeo at a news conference to “move on,” making little effort to hide his irritation.
“My reaction to that is to look at reality. Secretary Pompeo, Joe Biden has won, he’s won the election, now move on. Let’s bring this country together and get things done,” he said. “We don’t have time for these kinds of games.
Biden, however, didn’t appear rattled by Pompeo’s comments.
“There’s no evidence of any of the assertions made by the president or Secretary of State Pompeo,” he told reporters, flashing a smile and chuckling.
“Secretary of State Pompeo,” he then repeated, blinking a couple times as if it were a punchline.
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