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President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday urged Congress and the nation to address the worsening pandemic with urgency as he also addressed the aftermath of President Trump’s last turbulent days in office.
Mr Biden’s remarks came as part of an extensive joint interview on CNN in which he and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris defended their cabinet appointments, alluded to Republicans’ undercover contacts with Mr Biden, and set out some of their most detailed comments since winning Election on the next steps the country must take to fight the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Biden said that on his first day as president, he would ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days. “Only 100 days to mask,” he said. “Not forever. 100 days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction.”
He also expressed his support for that A compromise between two parties that is being discussed in Congress. He said it was a “start,” even though he said more relief was needed if the nation was hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“I think it should be passed,” Biden said of the $ 908 billion proposal, although he added, “I’ll have to ask for more help when we get there to get things done.”
The joint interview came as Mr. Trump continues to make false claims of election fraud and refuses to admit.
When asked if it was important for Mr. Trump to attend the Democrat’s inauguration, Mr. Biden laughed, but admitted that such a move could help the country heal.
“Not in a personal sense,” he said. “Important in the sense that at the end of this mess he created, we can demonstrate that there is a peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shake hands and move on.”
Many Republican lawmakers have also not yet recognized Mr Biden as elected president, but Mr Biden, a relative centrist and former senator who insists bipartisan dealings are still possible, said he had received a calm contact.
“There have been more than several seated Republican senators calling me privately and congratulating me,” said Biden.
The president-elect also spent a lot of time looking into his response to the pandemic, saying he had Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert, has been asked to play a central role in its administration.
“I asked him to stay in exactly the role that he had in the last several presidents and I asked him to be a chief physician for me as well and to be part of the Covid team,” Biden said in the interview and added that earlier in the day he was with Dr. Fauci had spoken.
Many experts say the United States is at an especially brutal stage of the coronavirus pandemic, even as hopeful signs of a vaccine emerge.
Mr. Trump has Dr. Openly criticized Fauci and often ignored advice from health experts throughout the pandemic, despite testing positive for the coronavirus himself weeks before election day.
Mr Biden on Thursday expressed concern about the prospect of Mr Trump weighing preventive pardons, including his own children.
“It matters to me what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world views us as a nation of law and justice,” he said.
But Mr Biden stressed, as in the past, that he would contact his Justice Department for a possible answer on the matter and stressed the importance of an independent department.
“I’m not going to tell them what to do and what not to do,” he said. “I’m not going to say,” Go prosecute A, B, or C, “I won’t tell them. That’s not the role. It’s not my Justice Department. It’s the People’s Justice Department.”
Mr Biden has not yet announced his decision to head this division, and he did not directly answer a question about whether he was in favor of the appointment of a black attorney general.
Mr Biden is facing a number of pressures over the composition of his cabinet. Some supporters fear that he has not yet kept his promise to put together a diverse government that reflects the country, and progressives in his party are pushing for more representation.
“I promise you you will see the most diverse cabinet, representatives of all people, Asian-American, African-American, Latinos, L.G.B.T.Q., across the board,” he said.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, spoke Thursday under pressure from ordinary members to find a bipartisan compromise.
A spokesman for the Democratic spokesman, Drew Hammill, said early Thursday afternoon conversation focused on “their mutual commitment to complete an omnibus and Covid relief as soon as possible.”
Mr McConnell, a Republican, had been largely excluded from talks with Ms Pelosi about a new stimulus package since the two houses passed a major package of $ 2.2 trillion in March. Instead, Trump administration officials held talks with Ms. Pelosi about a possible deal while he worked to argue for Republican support behind a series of targeted bills.
The call between the two congressional leaders came after Mr McConnell left the door open to reach an agreement on a new round of incentives to fight the pandemic, but was on the verge of approving a $ 908 billion compromise plan that the Democrats put forward adopted on Wednesday did not constitute a real concession.
Mr McConnell said it was “encouraging to see some hopeful signs” this week in negotiating incentive relief negotiations.
“Compromises are within reach,” McConnell said in a speech in the Senate. “We know where we can agree. We can do this. Let me say it again: we can and we must do this. So let’s make a law. “
Some Republican senators have signaled openness to accepting the $ 908 billion framework approved by Democratic leaders as the basis for the resumption of negotiations.
“I’ve never been so hopeful that we would get a bill,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the Trump campaign lawsuit that aimed to invalidate more than 200,000 votes in two of the state’s Democratic bastions, closing yet another legal action the outgoing president is trying has to reject the results of the general election.
The Conservative Court’s 4-to-3 vote to reject the case prevents part of a multi-faceted attempt by President Trump and his supporters to improve the legality of Wisconsin’s entire postal voting system that the Trump campaign sought in violation of occupied by constitutional law.
The majority of the court, composed of three liberal judges and a conservative judiciary, wrote that the Wisconsin Supreme Court was not the place for the Trump campaign lawsuit and suggested that it be tried again in a lower state court.
Late Thursday, Trump campaign attorney in Wisconsin, James Troupis, filed new, separate lawsuits in Dane County and Milwaukee County to invalidate the votes in the two Democratic bastions being treated by the case the Supreme Court didn’t want to hear.
But Troupis and the Trump campaign don’t have time to take legal action to change the reality of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 20,000-vote victory in Wisconsin. The deadline for exhausting the legal challenges for state certifications ends Tuesday, and the electoral college will meet to officially vote and nominate Mr. Biden as the next president on December 14th.
The Trump campaign filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Milwaukee late Wednesday to have the election result completely reversed and to determine the 10 votes of the Wisconsin electoral college from the Republican-controlled legislature. Two other lawsuits – one pending in federal courts and one pending in the Wisconsin Supreme Court – also seek to challenge the choice of state.
Contrary to their claims that there were electoral errors elsewhere, the Trump campaign and its Republican allies in the state have not argued that the Wisconsin presidential election was marred by fraud.
“I have not seen any credible allegations of fraudulent activity during this election,” Dean Knudson, a Republican member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said during the panel meeting Tuesday. “The Trump campaign made no fraud claims in this election. These are litigation. “
Mr Troupis has argued for the past two weeks that the acceptance of personal postal ballot papers by city employees prior to election day was against state law – even though local election officials did so on orders from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, a non-partisan organization that oversees the elections of the State.
The Trump lawsuit also argued that city employees should not be allowed to fill out address forms for postal ballot witnesses, which the Electoral Commission had allowed them to do. State law requires absent voters to have witnesses sign their ballot papers. It also asked the court to invalidate ballot papers collected by the Madison town clerk at gatherings in town parks in October, though those events were also blessed by the electoral commission.
The Trump campaign only challenged ballots in Milwaukee County and Dane County, which include Madison, the state capital and home of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus. The two counties are the largest and most democratic in the state.
The Trump campaign lawsuit, if successful, would not necessarily have invalidated the ballot papers that were cast because of the alleged illegality. It would have simply reduced the number of votes from the two most democratic districts of the state without addressing the ballots cast identically in the other 70 districts of the state.
Alan Feuer contributed to the coverage.
Even if he lost, President Trump continued to raise money at the fastest rates of the year, collecting $ 207.5 million in the month since Election Day with the Republican National Committee on raising unfounded fears of election fraud and making unfounded claims about them undermine the legitimacy of the election.
Mr Trump’s campaign apparatus has continued to aggressively solicit donations to support his various legal challenges in the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. So far, 75 percent of the donations go to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump supports. Trump formed in mid-November and formed 25 percent of the Republican Party. Only when a donor donates more than $ 6,000 will those funds go to Mr. Trump’s formal recount account.
His campaign did not release a breakdown of the split of the $ 207.5 million, with the funds split between the new PAC and its campaign debt, which R.N.C. and two committees run jointly by the party and the campaign.
“These huge donations show that President Trump continues to be the leader and source of energy for the Republican Party,” said Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, in a statement.
Mr Trump, who did not officially concede the race in 2020 but spoke about running again in 2024, has repeatedly challenged the results in court without success.
In his statement, Stepien added that the money “will also enable President Trump to continue the struggle to clean up our corrupt electoral process in so many areas of the country and build on the profits from the 2020 elections for us to take them back.” can the house and build on our Senate majority in 2022. “
The announcement on Thursday came about a final registration deadline for the 2020 race with the Bundestag Election Commission, which covers the period from October 15 to November 23. During that period, the RNC, Mr Trump’s campaign and their joint committees set a joint date of $ 495 million, campaign officials said.
From the early evening only the R.N.C. had filed his report showing he ended the period with $ 58.8 million in cash. With Mr Trump contesting the results in multiple places, the party had spent more than $ 6 million on legal bills, with $ 1.4 million going to law firm Jones Day, $ 1.3 million to King and Spalding and more than $ 920,000 to Consovoy McCarthy.
Tina Flournoy, a top advisor to former President Bill Clinton with three decades of political, government and trade union experience, will serve as chief of staff to Vice President Kamala Harris, transition officials announced on Thursday. This underscores the influence of veterans deep ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Ms. Harris has also selected Nancy McEldowney, a former US Ambassador to Bulgaria who served as an adviser to the National Security Council under Mr. Clinton in the 1990s, as her national security advisor.
And Rohini Kosoglu, who served as Ms. Harris’s chief of staff in the Senate and played a central role in her presidential campaign, will be the vice president’s domestic affairs adviser. Ms. Kosoglu is one of the few people who worked for Ms. Harris before she was selected as a runner-up by Joseph R. Biden Jr. for a top job in the new administration.
Earlier this week, Ms. Harris named Symone Sanders and Ashley Etienne, two black women, to lead her communications team. The selection of Ms. Flournoy, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, and Ms. Kosoglu, who is of South Asian descent, filled out a list of top aides, almost all of whom are women of color, on Thursday, in line with the campaign’s promise to The White House Biden is the most diverse and representative in history.
Some black Democrats are pushing Mr Biden to do more when it comes to attitudes in the West Wing and cabinet positions. “From what I hear blacks have been given fair consideration,” South Carolina Democrat Representative James E. Clyburn told The Hill last week. “I want to see where the process is going and what it is producing. But so far it’s not good. “
Ms. Flournoy is a well-known Democratic agent close to Minyon Moore, the veteran Clinton aide whom Ms. Harris has used as a guide in her transition planning.
She has deep roots in organized labor and served as a top civil servant with the American Federation of Teachers before joining the former President’s staff in 2013.
Her career in government dates back to the early 1990s when she served as general counsel for the 1992 Democratic Convention, as an officer on the Democratic National Committee, and as an assistant in the White House personnel office during the Clinton administration.
Ms. Kosoglu, who a decade ago worked out the details of the Affordable Care Act as a Democratic employee of the Senate, is to serve as a bridge to the upper chamber. Prior to joining Ms. Harris’s Senate staff, she served as policy advisor to Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, and legal counsel to Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan.
Alyssa Farah resigned from her post as White House communications director on Thursday, adding to the growing body of evidence that President Trump’s staff acknowledge his loss despite his refusal.
Ms. Farah, who was previously the press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence and the Department of Defense, made no mention of the election in her resignation letter, simply saying that she “would go to pursue new opportunities”.
She praised Mr. Trump’s Middle East policies, tax cuts and court nominations, and the government’s Operation Warp Speed program to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
“I am deeply proud of the incredible things we have been able to accomplish to make our country stronger, safer and more secure,” she wrote.
Mr Trump has falsely insisted that the outcome of the election was unclear, despite all of the swing states whose results he questioned confirmed the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. However, the transition to president is in full swing.
Ms. Farah’s resignation comes less than a week after Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced the communications team for their future administration. When Mr Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, his assistant campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, will become the White House’s communications director.
New Mexico Senator-elect Ben Ray Luján took advantage of a private meeting Thursday with top advisors to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to criticize the treatment of New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham by the line for a cabinet jamb.
The day after reports surfaced that Ms. Lujan Grisham was offered and rejected the position of Home Secretary, Mr. Luján reprimanded incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and other senior Biden officials for leaking a Democrat who was with the Discussion is familiar. The Democrat asked for anonymity to discuss the virtual meeting between members of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, Mr. Klain, and the two Chairs of the Biden Transition, Jeffrey Zients and Ted Kaufman.
Hispanic lawmakers have promoted Lujan Grisham to secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr Klain expressed his regret and said such leaks were deeply frustrating.
The offer of a position Ms. Lujan Grisham was not looking for, and the subsequent revelation that she turned down the post-angry members of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, a group she belonged to before she was elected governor in 2018. The group believed that she was a far better fit for the Secretary of Health, having previously served as Secretary of Health in New Mexico.
However, the frustration showed broader concern that Latinos were being selected for a few high-level positions in the Biden administration. Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban-American homeland security candidate, is the only Hispanic to have been tapped for a cabinet job. Mr Luján and other Hispanic lawmakers on Thursday pushed for a pair of Latinos who are considered candidates for attorney general: National Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Perez and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Democratic members of Congress are becoming increasingly clear about their preferences for the cabinet. Members of the Black Caucus of Congress, including Rep. James E. Clyburn, the senior black legislature, want more African Americans to be appointed to senior positions.
A number of lawmakers want New Mexico Native American Representative Deb Haaland to be named Secretary of the Interior, making the offer to Ms. Lujan Grisham, another New Mexican woman, all the more unpleasant.
It remains unclear whether Ms. Lujan Grisham can still be offered the Ministry of Health and Human Services. On Thursday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told reporters that she would not become Mr. Biden’s Secretary of Health.
Pennsylvania Republicans asked the Supreme Court Thursday to block a state Supreme Court ruling that denied contesting the statewide use of postal ballot papers. The motion faced significant legal hurdles as it was filed long after the contested law came into force, which allowed voting slips to be mailed and addressed issues of state rather than federal law.
Der Oberste Gerichtshof von Pennsylvania entschied aus erster Hand gegen die Kläger, angeführt von dem Republikaner Mike Kelly, und erklärte, sie hätten ein Gesetz von 2019 anfechten können, das vor mehr als einem Jahr die Abstimmung per Post aus irgendeinem Grund erlaubt. “Der in dieser Angelegenheit nachgewiesene Mangel an Sorgfaltspflicht ist unverkennbar”, sagte das Gericht.
Die Kläger hatten das Staatsgericht gebeten, per Post versandte Stimmzettel nachträglich für nichtig zu erklären oder die Gesetzgebung des Staates anzuweisen, die Wähler von Pennsylvania auszuwählen.
Mit der Einreichung beim Obersten Gerichtshof der USA wurde eine Anordnung beantragt, in der die Staatsbeamten aufgefordert wurden, keine weiteren Maßnahmen zur Bestätigung der Abstimmung in Pennsylvania zu ergreifen, während die Kläger Berufung einlegten. Der Antrag richtete sich an Richter Samuel A. Alito Jr., das für Notstandsanträge in Bezug auf Entscheidungen im Staat zuständige Mitglied des Gerichts.
Richter Alito würde solche Anträge normalerweise an das Vollgericht weiterleiten, aber das ist in diesem Fall nicht sicher, der die Auslegung des Staatsrechts durch den Obersten Gerichtshof von Pennsylvania in Frage stellt. Der Oberste Gerichtshof der USA errät solche Entscheidungen normalerweise nicht.
Es ist daher möglich, dass Richter Alito den Antrag selbst ablehnt.
ATLANTA – Georgia, vielleicht mehr als jeder andere Staat in der Nation, wird weiterhin von einer Art Zombie-Kampagne heimgesucht, um einen Monat nach dem Wahltag einen Trump-Sieg zu erringen.
Obwohl Gouverneur Brian Kemp bereits den Sieg des gewählten Präsidenten Joseph R. Biden Jr. im Staat bestätigt hat, planen seine Republikaner, am Donnerstag zwei Anhörungen des Senatsausschusses abzuhalten, die sich wahrscheinlich mit der Frage befassen, ob der Die Staatswahl war, wie Präsident Trump fälschlicherweise ausdrückt, “manipuliert”.
Herr Trump wird am Samstag bei einer Kundgebung im Namen der amtierenden republikanischen Senatoren des Staates, David Perdue und Kelly Loeffler, in Valdosta vor einer doppelten Stichwahl im Januar, die das Kräfteverhältnis in der oberen Kammer bestimmen wird, seinen Fall persönlich vertreten.
Am Donnerstag kündigten die Demokraten den ehemaligen Präsidenten Barack Obama an würde eine virtuelle Rallye veranstalten am Freitag für Rev. Raphael Warnock und Jon Ossoff, Frau Loeffler und die demokratischen Herausforderer von Herrn Perdue. Zu Obama kommt Stacey Abrams, die frühere georgische Gesetzgeberin und Kandidatin für den Gouverneur, die sich für das Stimmrecht im Staat eingesetzt hat.
Many of the state’s Republicans continue to expend significant effort — and contort themselves into political pretzels — to navigate the president’s outrage over the fact that he lost the state, in the hope of demonstrating to his supporters that they are doing all they can to root out any trace of fraud to back Mr. Trump’s baseless claims.
For some Republicans, the most urgent concern is that the president’s ongoing effort to undermine faith in the election process will depress conservative turnout in the Jan. 5 runoff.
In his urgent demand on Monday that President Trump condemn his angry supporters who are threatening workers and officials overseeing the 2020 vote, a Georgia elections official focused on an animated image of a hanging noose that had been sent to a young voting-machine technician.
“It’s just wrong,” the official, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, said at a news conference. “I can’t begin to explain the level of anger I have over this.”
But the technician in Georgia is not alone. Far from it.
Across the nation, election officials and their staff have been bombarded with emails, telephone calls and letters brimming with menace and threats of violence, the poisonous fallout of an election in which Mr. Trump has stoked baseless claims of election fraud on a daily basis.
Mr. Trump on Thursday dismissed Attorney General William P. Barr’s recent determination that no widespread fraud existed in the election, calling Mr. Barr’s failure to corroborate his claims “a disappointment, to be honest.”
Asked if he still had confidence in Mr. Barr, Mr. Trump replied, “ask me that in a number of weeks from now” — even though he has less than two months left in office.
Amber McReynolds, the head of the National Vote at Home Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes voting by mail, said she had experienced a spike in online threats since Election Day.Officials in battleground states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona also have been threatened, as well as election officers in less contested states like Virginia and Kentucky, according to published reports and interviews with some of the targets.
With President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. rolling out a steady list of picks for top jobs and Congress working to pass a compromise stimulus plan, much of Washington appears to be moving on from the election theatrics that unfolded over much of last month.
Even President Trump, while still challenging the results through the narrowing channels that remain, also appears to at least be considering next moves.
He made clear that he remained deeply committed to fighting the election outcome, releasing a 46-minute videotaped screed on Wednesday in which he spoke angrily and complained of a “rigged” vote. It came the day after his own attorney general, William P. Barr, said that despite inquiries from the Justice Department and the F.B.I., “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Still, Mr. Trump has been signaling that he may set his sights on becoming only the second president in American history to win another term after being defeated. He has also discussed steps he might take to insulate himself before the 2024 presidential election, such as pre-emptively pardoning members of his family before leaving office.
How serious he is remains to be seen. Many allies believe the president’s talk of another run in 2024, when he will be 78 years old, is more about maintaining relevance, enabling him to raise funds, soothe his wounded pride and try to shed the label of loser.
But even if it is only for show, Mr. Trump’s talk of a 2024 campaign has already frozen the Republican field and could delay the emergence of a new generation of leaders while keeping the party tethered to a politically polarizing figure for months or years.