Without directly conceding, President Donald Trump tweeted approval for the Biden transition process to proceed. Before his tweet, the General Services Administration sent a letter to Biden’s team. GSA chief Emily Murphy informed them that the Trump administration is ready to start. In addition, they are making federal resources available for his transition.
Tweet of Approval
In a tweet, Trump gave his approval without acknowledging Biden won and he lost the elections. He tweeted: “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
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Instead of conceding, Trump said he supports “the best interest of our country.” He emphasized that his fight with Biden continues. But, he won’t hinder preparations for a transition.
Formal Transition Start
The Biden transition team issued a statement as well. It said: “Today’s decision is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track. This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies.”
With the GSA signing off, Biden can now access classified information. This includes the Presidential Daily Brief, intelligence briefings, and coronavirus updates. The briefings help the incoming President get up to date on current events even before he starts work. Therefore, it helps ensure a smoother transition from one President to the next.
Two Weeks Ago
Previously, Murphy got flak from the public, who wanted the transition to start sooner. The main reason is that GSA acknowledgment releases $7 million in federal funding. On one hand, people are asking what’s holding her up. They pointed out that most mainstream media and even countries have accepted the win. Meanwhile, there were people that supported Murphy for remaining steadfast.
Critics argued that Biden won the electoral college two weeks ago. They said instead of starting, the GSA opted to wait for more confirmation. As such, they held back a ministerial task of declaring the start of an official transition. By this time, even some Republicans wanted the transition to proceed earlier. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio (R) wrote an opinion article in the Cincinnati Enquirer that the GSA should start now. This includes releasing funding and including Biden in intelligence and coronavirus briefings. As such, he wrote: “This is only prudent. There is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state.”
Meanwhile, other Republicans, such as ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie, says Trump should stop and call it a day. Also, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said Trump should “put the country first and have a prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed.” He added: “When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do.”
Emily Murphy Defends Her Actions
In her letter to Biden, Murphy wrote that she was completely independent of her actions. Specifically, she denied that any official made any undue influence to give her approval. She wrote: “I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right. Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. 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 always remained committed to upholding the law,” she added.
“Contrary to media reports and insinuations, my decision was not made out of fear or favoritism,” she added. “Instead, I strongly believe that the statute requires that the GSA Administrator ascertain, not impose, the apparent president-elect. Unfortunately, the statute provides no procedures or standards for this process, so I looked to precedent from prior elections involving legal challenges and incomplete counts.”
What does this mean for Trump?
Trump’s tacit approval, plus senior Republicans’ pressure to accept the results, points to an eventual acceptance of the election results where Biden won. With the GSA approving the start of the presidential transition process, it means Trump and Republicans are coming to terms with a Biden win. However, they have avoided directly saying they have conceded. What does this ultimately mean?
Watch this as CNN reports on GSA’s acknowledgment of Biden’s win as the formal transition begins:
With the GSA decision, will Trump still continue contesting the election results? Or, is he slowly accepting his defeat at the polls? Let us know what you think.