By LIBBY CATHEY, ADIA ROBINSON, LAUREN KING and CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 56 days.
Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Nov 25, 9:47 am
Xi Jinping sends congratulatory message to Biden
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Biden on his election win, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday.
Xi noted in his message that promoting the healthy development of U.S.-China relations is in the best interest of both nations and the international community as a whole, according to Xinhua. He also emphasized cooperation and mutual respect between the two nations.
China’s Vice President Wang Qishan also sent a congratulatory message to Kamala Harris on the same day.
Nov 25, 7:34 am
Trump planning Pennsylvania trip Wednesday as some state lawmakers meet
President Trump is planning to fly to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, where a handful of Pennsylvania state Republican lawmakers are meeting about the 2020 election, sources familiar with the planning confirm to ABC News.
The exact details of Trump’s trip are still in flux and could be scrapped altogether, the sources say, adding Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani has been pushing the president to join.
The sources add as of now, Trump is planning to fly via Marine One to Pennsylvania and what he does on the ground remains unclear but it could include meeting this group of state legislators.
Multiple sources say senior White House and campaign aides spent Monday trying to convince Trump to not make the trip.
The Trump campaign announced Giuliani and his team would go to Pennsylvania for a strictly Republican “Majority Policy Committee” hearing at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, at 12:30 p.m. According to a release on the Pennsylvania State Senate’s website, at least seven state senators, including the Senate majority leader-elect, will be present.
The state Senate website refers to it as an “informational meeting regarding 2020 Election Issues [sic].” It will be streamed.
The release features a statement from state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who requested the meeting.
“Elections are a fundamental principle of our democracy – unfortunately, Pennsylvanians have lost faith in the electoral system,” said Mastriano, who recently called for the resignation of State Department Secretary Kathy Boockvar for negligence and incompetence. “It is unacceptable.”
“Over the past few weeks, I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians regarding issues experienced at the polls, irregularities with the mail-in voting system and concerns whether their vote was counted,” said Mastriano. “We need to correct these issues to restore faith in our republic.”
Pennsylvania certified their results for Joe Biden just Tuesday.
Nov 24, 7:26 pm
Trump campaign touting upcoming hearings in Pa., Ariz., Mich.
In a statement Tuesday night the Trump campaign touted upcoming state legislature public hearings in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan as the president’s campaign continues to look to state legislatures to help overturn the election, despite states saying it’s not possible.
The hearings would follow both Michigan and Pennsylvania certifying their election results this week.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is set to appear at the Wednesday hearing in Pennsylvania where he will deliver a “presentation,” according to the statement.
Pennsylvania Senate Republicans called the hearing an “informational meeting on 2020 election issues” in a tweet Tuesday.
Shortly after the Trump campaign released its statement, a spokesperson for Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield told ABC News that the House Oversight committee will not meet next week for a hearing on the election.
Trump’s legal team “has been invited to submit written testimony instead,” Gideon D’Assandro, the spokesperson, told ABC News.
The Trump campaign also continues to put pressure on state legislatures to intervene, writing that they “have the sole authority to select their representatives to the Electoral College.”
However, states have made it clear that legislatures picking Trump electors to override the popular vote is a non-starter — including recently Arizona Senate President Karen Fann.
Nov 24, 6:49 pm
Biden to deliver Thanksgiving address Wednesday
President-elect Joe Biden plans to deliver a Thanksgiving address from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, his transition team said in a statement.
In the address, he will discuss the “discuss the shared sacrifices Americans are making this holiday season and say that we can and will get through the current crisis together,” the statement said.
Nov 24, 6:49 pm
Pennsylvania officials, Democrats file to oppose Trump federal appeal
Pennsylvania officials and the Democratic Party filed their response to the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, urging the Third Circuit Court to dismiss a request by the campaign that would keep their legal effort going.
“It is beyond time for this baseless litigation to come to an end,” lawyers for Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar wrote, noting that the Trump campaign team, led by Rudy Giuliani, seeks to reinstate claims it had already “abandoned for tactical reasons” in the lower court.
In regards to Trump campaign charges that poll watchers could not “meaningfully observe” the vote count, Boockvar’s team writes the Trump Campaign failed to show that “even a single vote that was improperly counted,” much less enough votes to alter the election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled earlier that the poll observers were given sufficient access under state law.
“The Trump Campaign seeks to needlessly draw out this futile litigation,” said a filing on behalf of Allegheny, Philadelphia, Chester and Montgomery counties, calling the campaign’s allegations “conspiracy theories repackaged from the darkest corners of the internet.”
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule quickly.
-ABC News’ Matthew Mosk and Alex Hosenball
Nov 24, 5:57 pm
Nevada governor says he’ll certify electors in ‘coming days’
In a statement, Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said that now that the state Supreme Court has certified the election, he’ll certify the slate of electors for President-elect Joe Biden in the “coming days.”
“Now that the Supreme Court has canvased and declared the results in Nevada final, in the coming days we will be submitting a Certification of Ascertainment to the Federal Government certifying that the presidential electors in Nevada for President-elect Joe Biden received the highest number of votes cast for electors for president,” Sisolak said.
-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan
Nov 24, 5:30 pm
6 observers removed during Milwaukee recount, some for getting physical, threats
As recounts in Milwaukee County and Dane County in Wisconsin get heated, Milwaukee County’s Board of Canvassers has removed six observers from its recount site since Friday.
A Republican observer was removed on Friday for refusing to wear a mask, according to Brian Rothgery, a board spokesman. That same observer was removed again on Saturday for not wearing a mask properly and responded by telling an election official that he “knew his address.”
“He said, ‘I know who you are, your address and your hometown,’ and that was interpreted as a threat against an election official and so he was removed,” Rothgery said.
Another Republican observer was removed on Saturday after physically pushing over an election official after the official had moved her coat, Rothgery said.
On Monday, a Democratic observer was removed after getting into an altercation with another observer, Rothgery said.
-ABC News’ Soo Rin Kim and Cheyenne Haslett
Nov 24, 5:30 pm
Biden says he hasn’t spoken to Fauci, but his staff has
President-elect Joe Biden briefly answered questions from media while exiting the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, after announcing key members of his national security and foreign policy teams.
Asked if he has spoken to Dr. Anthony Fauci yet, Biden said that he personally has not, but did confirm that his staff has, adding that Fauci has been “very, very helpful.”
Biden also said that following the GSA letter allowing for formal transition activities to begin, he has not gotten a Presidential Daily Brief, but plans to have the briefing on a regular basis.
“It’s been offered. I did not have it today,” Biden said. “They’ve been very forthcoming, offering all access and so we’re going to be starting those on a regular basis.”
Biden didn’t offer a reason for not naming a defense secretary on Tuesday other than saying his Cabinet picks will be made public “a piece at a time.”
Biden also was asked if he was going to meet with Donald Trump.
“Of course I would — if he asked,” the president-elect said.
-ABC News’ John Verhovek
Nov 24, 5:04 pm
Biden team, Pentagon meet virtually on the transition
Tom Muir, the head of the Washington Headquarters Services, said at a Pentagon briefing that he was contacted via email last night by the Biden-Harris transition team and that earlier Tuesday the Pentagon and Biden-Harris transition teams met via video conference.
He called it a good and productive meeting that laid out the ground rules and said that next Monday he will give a Pentagon tour to some of the Agency Review Team leaders.
The transition team will be provided office space at the Pentagon that adheres to social distancing protocols.
Muir told reporters that the Pentagon has been preparing for the transition for the past six months.
-ABC News’ Luis Martinez
Nov 24, 4:57 pm
White House has approved ODNI to grant intelligence briefings to Biden
The Office of Director of National Intelligence said on Tuesday that the White House had approved it moving forward with providing the President’s Daily Brief to Joe Biden’s team “as part of the support to the transition.”
“Following the statutory direction of the Presidential Transition Act, ODNI will provide requested support to the transition team,” an ODNI spokesperson said.
-ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman
Nov 24, 3:27 pm
At turkey pardon, Trump ignores reporter questions
Trump cracked fewer jokes than normal in announcing that “Corn” — a turkey from Iowa — would be this year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey.
“Like so many presidential flocks, this one started in the great state of Iowa in what can only have been described as an act of blatant pandering. And by the way, I love the state of Iowa,” Trump said, in one of the only jokes in a speech that is typically stuffed full of bad puns and dad jokes.
“Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon,” Trump said, holding up his hand. “Thank you, Corn.”
Trump continued to dodge questions from reporters in the Rose Garden Tuesday afternoon following the turkey pardon. He has not taken a single reporter question in the three weeks since the election, which he has yet to concede that he lost even as his administration has now begun to formally cooperate with the incoming Biden team.”
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson and Jordyn Phelps
Nov 24, 2:45 pm
NSA pick Jake Sullivan has ‘once-in-a-generation intellect’: Biden
Biden introduced Jake Sullivan, his choice for national security adviser, saying, “Jake understands my vision, that economic security is national security, and he’ll help steer what I call the foreign policy for the middle class, for families like his, growing up in Minnesota where he was raised by parents who were educators and taught him the values of hard work, decency, service and respect.”
Sullivan pledged to work “relentlessly” to keep the country safe and advance its interests. In addition to the more traditional tasks of national security, he said he will reimagine it to encompass public health, economic and environmental challenges the country faces.
“You’ve told us that the alliances we rebuild, the institutions we lead, the agreements we sign, all of them should be judged by a basic question, will this make life better, easier, safer for families across this country? Our foreign policy has to deliver for these families,” Sullivan said.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle, Averi Harper and John Verhovek
Nov 24, 2:41 pm
Former Secretary of State John Kerry to fill first national security position fully dedicated to fighting climate change
While introducing John Kerry, Biden said that for the first time ever, there will be a principal on the National Security Council fully dedicated to the task of fighting climate change. The president-elect also announced that Kerry will be matched with a White House climate policy coordinator to be announced in December — something the Biden-Sanders task force that Kerry co-chaired had called for.
Biden called Kerry “one of his closest friends” and someone he has complete trust in to take on the urgent task of tackling the challenge of climate change.
Kerry praised Biden’s climate plan as “bold” and “transformative,” but also noted that doing things like rejoining the Paris Climate Accord will not be enough to meet the crisis.
“No one should doubt the determination of this president and vice president,” Kerry said. “They shouldn’t doubt the determination of the country that went to the moon, cured supposedly incurable diseases and beat back global tyranny to beat — to win World War II. This kind of crisis demands that kind of leadership again, and President Biden will provide it.”
ABC News’ Molly Nagle, Averi Harper and John Verhovek
Nov 24, 2:14 pm
Linda Thomas-Greenfield tells diplomats, ‘America is back, multilateralism is back’
Biden’s nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, spoke out about her hope for the nation and had a special message for fellow diplomats.
“In the years that I’ve worked in government, I’m always struck by how only in America would we be where we are today, where life can be hard and cruel, but there’s hope in the struggle, there’s promise in our dreams,” she said during remarks Tuesday. “Where you learn to believe in yourself, and that anything is possible.”
She also addressed diplomats and American public servants around the world, saying, “I want to say to you, America is back, multilateralism is back.”
Finally, she paid tribute to her mentor, diplomat Ed Perkins, who passed away last week.
“He told me constantly, ‘Linda, don’t undersell yourself.’ And he would always do everything possible to lift me up. He passed away last week, but I know he’s here with us today,” she said.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Nov 24, 1:43 pm
Biden introduces nominees for key Cabinet positions
Biden introduced his nominees for key foreign policy and national security positions in his administration at a press conference Tuesday.
“While this team has unmatched experience and accomplishments, they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet these challenges with old thinking and unchanged habits,” Biden said. “For example, we’re going to have the first woman lead the Intelligence community, the first Latino and immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security, and a ground-breaking diplomat at the United Nations.”
For secretary of state, Biden nominated Anthony Blinken, one of his “closest and most trusted advisers.”
For secretary of homeland security, Biden nominated Alejandro Mayorkas, a former deputy secretary in the department.
For director of national intelligence, Biden nominated Avril Haines, the former deputy director of the CIA and former deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama.
For U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Biden nominated Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a diplomat with 35 years in foreign service.
For his national security adviser, Biden picked Jake Sullivan.
For the first time ever, Biden also announced he will have a presidential envoy on climate, and nominated former Secretary of State John Kerry to the position.
President-elect Joe Biden: “In calls from world leaders…I’ve been struck by how much they’re looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader.” https://t.co/RtneOGqkOG pic.twitter.com/KSGn8K9RBK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 24, 2020
Nov 24, 12:48 pm
Nevada Supreme Court certifies election results
The Nevada Supreme Court certified its election results Tuesday. The next step is for Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak to sign the certificates of election.
Nov 24, 12:48 pm
Trump lauds stock market gains, dodges questions from reporters
In his first appearance since the transition became official, Trump spoke for just minutes in the White House briefing room about the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading above 30,000.
The president refused to take shouted questions from reporters during the brief news conference. This marks the 21st day in a row that the Trump has refused to take questions from reporters, despite continuing on Twitter to promote baseless conspiracy theories about the election.
Nov 24, 12:37 pm
Biden team moves quickly to begin transition after GSA green light
President-elect Biden’s transition team began reaching out to federal agencies on Monday night, soon after receiving the green light from the GSA and its embattled Administrator Emily Murphy.
Some of the more than 500 Biden staffers and volunteers organized into agency review teams are already in the process of scheduling additional briefings and meetings with counterparts at the Justice Department, Pentagon, Centers for Disease Control, and Department of Health and Human Services, according to a transition official.
Under normal circumstances, those teams would be fanning out across the Washington, D.C., area to meet with officials at each agency and gather in their own office space set aside for presidential transition work. But most of Biden’s operation is expected to continue working remotely, given the pandemic, though exceptions include team members working in the national security space, who will need to access classified information in secure settings.
As for Biden, the president-elect could receive his first presidential daily brief — the sensitive intelligence document seen by only a handful of senior administration officials along with the commander-in-chief — in the coming days.
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Nov 24, 12:05 pm
Biden campaign attorney lambasts Trump team’s legal effort
After Pennsylvania certified its election results, the lead attorney for the Biden campaign, Bob Bauer, again lambasted the Trump team’s legal efforts.
“It’s readily apparent to everyone besides Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis that this election is over and that Joe Biden won resoundingly,” Bauer said in a statement. “Trump did everything he could to disenfranchise voters and stop the results from being certified in Pennsylvania, including filing over 15 unsuccessful lawsuits — most recently producing one of the more embarrassing courtroom performances of all time, with the judge in the case ruling that their arguments were ‘without merit’ and ‘unsupported by evidence.’”
Bauer added that Trump “did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not succeed anywhere else.”
Finally, he said that the Trump team’s lawsuits will “continue to fail” and Biden will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021.
-ABC News’ John Verhovek
Nov 24, 11:17 am
Pennsylvania certifies election results
Pennsylvania announced this morning that the results of the presidential election in the state have been certified.
All 67 of the state’s counties submitted their results late last night, and after certification by state Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ electors.
The final vote totals were 50% for Biden and 48.8% for Trump.
-ABC News’ Adam Kelsey
Nov 24, 11:05 am
Michigan AG investigating threats made against members of Wayne County Board of Canvassers
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed Tuesday morning that her office is “actively investigating” threats made against members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, according to a statement from her office.
The Criminal Investigations Division opened the investigation “shortly after” the Board of Canvassers meeting last Tuesday, the statement said.
The two Republican members of the board, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, have both publicly said they have been threatened and harassed since they briefly failed to certify the election results and then later tried to rescind their confirmation votes, though the statement does not name them.
-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin
Nov 24, 10:59 am
Trump continues to refuse to concede more than two weeks after the election
More than two weeks since Biden was projected as the president-elect and a day after the GSA made the transition official, Trump still refuses to concede.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that the “GSA has been terrific” but “the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be” after tweeting a reference to a “big lawsuit” that has yet to be filed.
It follows a separate tweet Monday evening that may be the closest to a concession so far, in which Trump thanked the GSA and its administrator Emily Murphy and said he is “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.” Still, he added that his legal battle “continues” and has re-tweeted a litany of baseless claims alleging election fraud.
Notably, in a letter ascertaining Biden as the winner, Murphy cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results” as her reason for considering Biden the apparent winner.
Following her letter, White House Chief of staff Mark Meadows sent a memo to staff Monday evening saying that the White House “will comply with all actions needed to ensure the smooth transfer of power,” per officials who received it.
-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson and Katherine Faulders
Nov 24, 10:11 am
Biden expected to roll out key nominees, Trump to take part in turkey pardon
A day after the GSA recognized Joe Biden as the apparent president-elect after a weeks-long delay — putting in motion the official transition to a Biden administration — President Donald Trump will take part in the traditional presidential Turkey pardon on Tuesday.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, meanwhile, are expected to continue with the rollout that began before the GSA made it official by introducing their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts in Wilmington, Delaware, at 1 p.m. ET.
A senior White House official said this year’s turkey pardon event will be smaller than years past due to the pandemic. Social-distancing and mask-wearing will be required, and those in close proximity to the president will be tested beforehand.
This year, the lucky turkeys will be Corn and Cobb.
The lighthearted annual event during which the president spares the lives of a couple of turkeys, however, comes amid the sobering reality that the country has lost about 250,000 people since last Thanksgiving due to the pandemic, as watchers of the president wonder which other pardons might be coming as he serves out his last weeks and as the president continues not to concede the election.
Notably, during his pardoning event in 2018, as Trump pardoned the lucky bird Carrots, he quipped that, “the winner of this vote was decided by a fair and open election conducted on the White House website.”
“This was a fair election,” he said at the time. “Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots. And I will tell you, we’ve come to a conclusion: Carrots, I’m sorry to tell you, the result did not change.”
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps
Nov 23, 8:41 pm
Trump campaign and its allies have lost at least 30 cases since Election Day
Since Election Day, the Trump campaign and its allies have lost least 30 cases brought in an effort to overturn the results of the election, according to an ABC News count. The campaign itself has filed 19 lawsuits across 5 states — 17 of which have been lost so far, either denied, dismissed or withdrawn.
The campaign has won one of its lawsuits. One lawsuit from Nevada has not yet been decided.
That lawsuit asks a Nevada judge to either invalidate the election results in the state and declare Trump’s electors officially elected or to null the election results entirely and prevent either candidate from receiving the state’s six electoral votes. Legal experts told ABC News the strategy has virtually no chance of being taken seriously.
-ABC News’ Matthew Mosk and Olivia Rubin
Nov 23, 6:55 pm
Trump, Biden team respond to GSA saying transition can begin
Donald Trump responded to Joe Biden’s ascertainment on Twitter Monday evening by first thanking his General Services Administration appointee Emily Murphy for her service and, in a direct contraction of her letter, which said there was no political influence behind her decision, took credit for telling Murphy to move forward with the process.
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country,” Trump tweeted, adding that his case “STRONGLY continues.” However, Trump hasn’t been able to substantiate any claims of voter fraud — at least 30 lawsuits from Trump and his allies have ended in court losses.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet.
Biden transition official Yohannes Abraham also reacted to the news, calling the decision “a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle and Jordyn Phelps
Nov 23, 6:20 pm
GSA determines Biden apparent winner of election
ABC News can report that the General Services Administration has informed the Biden camp that he has been determined to be the apparent winner of the election.
The move allows the president-elect’s transition team access to government resources and comes after Biden warned that American lives may be at risk without a formal transition.
Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, a 2017 Trump appointee, sent Biden a letter Monday afternoon telling him his transition could begin. She also defended her position as she’s come under fire from Democrats in recent weeks for delaying the process.
“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,” she said in the letter to Biden.
A transition official for Biden confirmed to ABC News he has received the letter.
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