Joe Biden says transition doesn’t need Donald Trump’s cooperation
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris set up a transition commission. Image via AP.

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Still, Biden calls Trump's actions 'an embarrassment.'

President-elect Joe Biden called President Donald Trump‘s denial of election results “an embarrassment” but insisted Tuesday he does not need Trump’s cooperation to prepare a transition for the White House.

For several minutes during a press briefing at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden dismissed Trump’s actions and the lack of cooperation from the current administration saying, “there is only one President at a time” and that it currently is Trump, so Biden will leave him to do what he does.

Biden said he saw no need for his transition team to pursue any litigation to force Trump or his administration to cooperate. And Biden repeatedly insisted that his team has the resources and ability to get everything ready to take power on Jan. 20 without Trump’s help.

But when asked what Biden would tell Americans about Trump’s refusal to concede, Biden had this to say.

“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden said.

All credible assessments show that Biden has won clear majorities in enough states to garner at least the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidential election, with strong prospects of winning as many as 306 Electoral College votes, though none of the Nov. 3 election results are final or official yet. Trump and his legal team have insisted that there has been widespread voter fraud, though they have not provided any evidence. They are suing, or vowing to sue, to overturn results in several states, based on those claims.

In the meantime, Trump has insisted he has won, and his administration is not helping make preparations for a transition to a Biden administration.

“The only thing that — how can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the President’s legacy,” Biden said Tuesday. “I think that, I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far, that they are hopeful that United States democratic institutions are viewed once again as strong and enduring. But I think at the end of the day it’s all going to come to fruition on Jan. 20. And between now and then my hope and expectation is that the American people do know, that they understand, that there has been a transition.”

Biden said “it would be nice” to have access to classified briefings normally given to incoming Presidents.

“But I’m not in a position to make decisions on those kinds of issues anyway,” Biden said. “As I said, there’s one President at a time, and he will be President until Jan. 20.”

Biden said he does not need federal transition money — normally available to incoming Presidents, but currently blocked by the Trump administration — to get ready.

“We’re just going to proceed the way we have. We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he conceded and said we won, which we have,” Biden said.

Biden said he does not see any need for legal action to force Trump’s cooperation. He said he believes America is seeing Trump’s legal actions “play out … and so far there is no evidence of any of the assertions he made.”

He said he expects to start naming his choices for Cabinet positions by Thanksgiving. He said he has faith in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to give them fair hearings.

“I take him at his word.” Biden said, adding that he expects he and McConnell can work together “to get things done.”

However, he said he has not spoken to McConnell since the election, though he expects to soon.

Asked if he has spoken yet to Trump, Biden said:

“Mr. President, I look forward to speaking with you.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


  • Dan

    November 10, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Joe Biden should contact Al Gore so he’ll know how to cope.

  • James Robert Miles

    November 11, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    The situation today is in no way similar to what happened in 2000. Today we have a bunch of raging maniacs claiming fraud without one iota of proof! Nothing but a smokescreen and all because the fascist dictator wanna-be said that even before the first vote was cast that “If he didn’t win than the election is fixed!” Again without ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER! Nothing even similar to 2000!

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