United States President-elect Joe Biden has termed the WH efforts aimed at facilitating the transition, sincere.
“It has not been begrudging so far, and I don’t expect it to be,” he said in an NBC News interview. The Democrat has just announced his picks for the key positions as he and his team await the Jan 20, 2021 – the day for formal change of administration. Meanwhile, Trump nearly three weeks after the presidential election, formally agreed to begin the transition on Monday. However, he still refused to admit defeat and stood by his unfounded claims of voter fraud.
What did Biden say?
“It’s a slow start but it’s starting and there’s two months left to go, so I’m feeling good about the ability to be able to get up to speed,” he said.
The President-elect appreciated the genuine outreach from the Trump administration, a day after a federal agency released a letter to officially begin the transfer of power.
“Immediately, we’ve gotten outreach from the national security shop to just across the board,” Biden said in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. “And they’re already working out my ability to get Presidential Daily Briefs. We’re already working out meeting with the COVID-19 team in the White House and how to not only distribute but get from a vaccine being distributed to a person able to get vaccinated, so I think we’re going to not be so far behind the curve as we thought we might be in the past.”
He added: “And I must say the outreach has been sincere – it has not been begrudging so far, and I don’t expect it to be.”
Biden who said he has not spoken directly with President Donald Trump since the start of the race, said the administration will not be “a third Obama term,” because the world has changed so much during the Trump years.
“We face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration,” he said. “President Trump has changed the landscape. It’s become America first. It’s been America alone.”
Trump has refused to concede and his legal team is still banking on the legal battle to subvert the Biden’s victory – a strategy that failed this week as states began to certify their elections results. Following the finalization of results by Michigan on Monday, General Services Administration informed Biden that the formal transition has been approved after weeks of wait. GSA administrator Emily Murphy said she didn’t delay the results because of any pressure from White House but instead couldn’t make the move “out of fear of favoritism.”
“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy wrote. “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
“I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats I have remained committed to upholding the law.”
Hours after the administrator referred to Biden as “the apparent president-elect” and eligible to get access to millions of dollars in federal funds and other resources easing him out from the transitional phase, Trump took to twitter that he would “never concede to fake ballots and Dominion,”.
Trump’s resilience to not concede, has hindered Biden’s team from gaining critical access to government resources as national battles with coronavirus pandemic amid looming economic uncertainty. However, Biden has started to approve key appointments to fill out his Cabinet and announced other positions. He gearing up for the future course also held briefings with former top government officials and founded his own COVID-19 task force.
Both President Trump and General Services Administration have faced mounting pressure as growing number of Republican legislators began to publicly back the President-elect to be granted access. Democratic benches have also starting calling for GSA administrator to testify before Congress.
Biden in the interview vowed to focus on immigration reform and COVID-19 relief with the help of Congress during his first 100 days in White House.
“I will send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,” he said. “I will also be moving to do away with some of the, I think, very damaging executive orders that have significantly impacted on making the climate worse and making us less healthy, from methane to a whole range of things the president has done.”
Biden also shut down the claims that he would investigate Trump after taking the office.
“I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happened,” he said. “What I’m focused on is getting the American public back at a place where they have some certainty, some surety, some knowledge that they can make it.”