Trump fights on; Biden hires new team

Source: Reuters Published: 2020/11/30 16:13:43

Strangest transition ensues for US executive office toward electoral count

US president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris hold a press conference on November 19 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: AFP

US President-elect Joe Biden chose more senior aides to lead his administration's efforts to defeat coronavirus and rebuild the US economy, and his office confirmed on Sunday he would begin receiving classified briefings that are an essential step toward taking control of national security.

As the Democratic former vice president prepared for his move to the White House, Republican President Donald Trump pledged to maintain his legal fight to overturn the result of the November 3 vote even while indicating in comments to Fox News that he was growing resigned to leaving office on January 20.

On Monday, Biden is expected to begin receiving the classified President's Daily Briefing (PDB), after weeks of the Trump administration refusing to provide it. The PDB, as it is known, is the first step toward transfer of responsibility for the most sensitive intelligence to a new administration.

Biden also was expected to announce as soon as Monday top members of his economic team, a source familiar with the process said. 

They include several officials with whom Biden worked when serving as vice president to Barack Obama.

Neera Tanden, president of the progressive Center for American Progress think tank, will be named director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Cecilia Rouse, a labor economist at Princeton University, would be named as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the source said.

The picks were initially reported by the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times also reported on Sunday that Brian Deese, who helped lead Obama's efforts to bail out the automotive industry during the 2009 financial crisis, would head the National Economic Council.

Biden also tapped campaign staff and advisers to lead an all-woman communications team, naming campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director and veteran Democratic spokeswoman Jen Psaki as press secretary. 

Separately, the 78-year-old Biden visited a doctor as a precautionary measure on Sunday after injuring his ankle when playing with one of his dogs.

Despite Trump's pledge to keep fighting, a few Republicans appeared to acknowledge that Biden had won.

"We're working with the Biden administration, the likely administration, on both the transition and the inauguration as if we're moving forward," Senator Roy Blunt, chairman of the congressional inaugural committee, told CNN, stopping short of acknowledging that Trump lost.

Trump on Sunday kept up his unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud, both in his Fox News interview and on Twitter. His legal team has lost dozens of lawsuits by failing to convince judges of election irregularities in hotly contested states like Michigan, Georgia and Arizona.


Posted in: AMERICAS

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