By LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with transition plans, capping a tumultuous and tension-filled campaign during a historic pandemic against President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede the election despite a growing list of foreign heads of states moving on and recognizing Biden as the winner.
Since Biden was projected the winner, Trump has largely hunkered down inside the White House — the longest stretch of silence of his presidency — ceding the presidential leadership spotlight to the man he mocked. Biden, meanwhile, is pressing forward, meeting with transition advisers in Delaware and calling Trump’s refusal to concede “an embarrassment.”
The Biden transition team and the Trump administration are in a standoff over whether Biden should be granted access to federal resources allocated for the transition of power. The General Services Administration (GSA), headed by a Trump appointee, has yet to officially recognize Biden as the victor in the election, preventing Biden’s team from gaining full access to government funds and security information.
But a growing number of Republican senators are calling on the administration to start giving Biden classified intelligence briefings, a sign that support for Trump’s refusal to concede the election may be waning among his allies on Capitol Hill.
Trump had falsely declared on election night, when he held a lead in several key states, that he won the contest and alleged without evidence after the count started to swing the other way, that the election was being stolen from him and that fraud had been committed. He has continued that line of attack ever since.
Now his legal team is waging battles in an effort to reverse the election results, but so far his lawyers have been unable to produce evidence of widespread fraud that would change the results.
Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Nov 14, 11:22 am
Protesters gather in DC for day of demonstrations
Protesters were seen gathering in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, cheering Trump’s motorcade as it passed. The president on Friday had teased an appearance at planned demonstrations.
Trump was spotted in golfing attire, waving from the motorcade as enthusiastic supporters chanted “USA.”
Supporters also waved Trump flags and carried signs, chanting “Four More Years” and “Stop the Fraud.”
Nov 14, 10:54 am
House cancels dinner after backlash on Twitter
A dinner planned for new members of the House as part of their orientation week Friday night was canceled after backlash on Twitter.
When a reporter with NBC tweeted a photo of Statuary Hall in the Capitol, filled with tables, and an assurance from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it was safe, some saw it as hypocritical for leaders to gather to break bread as Americans were being told it’s not safe for them to get together with family for Thanksgiving.
Pelosi’s office eventually announced that members wouldn’t be having dinner in the Capitol, but taking their boxed meals to go.
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Nov 14, 10:25 am
Trump’s vaccine chief says Biden team should get access to Operation Warp Speed information
Trump’s handpicked representative to accelerate vaccine development, Moncef Slaoui, told the Financial Times that Biden’s team should be given access to information on Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s program for developing and distributing a coronavirus vaccine, so that it is not slowed down. He called it “a matter of life and death for thousands of people.”
The General Services Administration (GSA), headed by a Trump appointee, has yet to officially recognize Biden as the victor in the election, preventing Biden’s team from gaining full access to government funds and security information.
Slaoui said he could not make contact with the Biden team without approval from the White House.
-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty and Claire Brinberg
Nov 13, 5:11 pm
Trump speaks publicly for first time since Biden projected as president-elect
Trump spoke publicly for the first time since Biden was projected to win the presidential election with remarks in the Rose Garden Friday afternoon on Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s program for developing and distributing a coronavirus vaccine.
Picking up where he left off, Trump didn’t directly address the election, but while speaking about lockdowns he appeared to admit he was uncertain about the future of his administration.
“I will not go — this administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully, the, the — whatever happens in the future — who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell, but I can tell you, this administration will not go to a lockdown,” Trump said.
Notably, the Biden team is describing its strategy as a “dimmer switch” — dialing restrictions up and down in hot spots as needed — not a lockdown.
Trump did not take any questions from reporters.
Outside the White House, crowds of Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza ahead of expected rallies from far-right groups in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Nov 13, 4:29 pm
Pennsylvania will not order a recount for presidential race
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar will not order a recount of the presidential election in the Keystone State, as options for the Trump campaign in its effort to reverse the election results dwindle away.
Boockvar said in a statement Friday that the races for president, state attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer will not face recounts or recanvasses because unofficial returns submitted by the state’s counties showed no statewide candidate lost by less 0.5% — the margin at which a recount would be triggered.
Nov 13, 4:08 pm
Arizona Sen. Martha McSally concedes to Sen.-elect Mark Kelly
Arizona’s Sen. Martha McSally conceded to Democratic Senator-elect Mark Kelly Friday afternoon, one week after ABC News projected Kelly to be the winner.
“With nearly all the votes counted, I called Mark Kelly this morning to congratulate him on winning this race,” she said in a statement. “I also offered support in his transition to ensure Arizonans are best served during this time.”
McSally is currently trailing Kelly by 79,114 votes. Kelly outperformed Biden in the state by nearly 45,000 votes.
Kelly will serve the remaining two years of late Sen. John McCain’s term. McSally was appointed to fill his seat and thanked Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in the statement.
-ABC News’ Meg Cunningham
Nov 13, 3:13 pm
Michigan judge denies lawsuit from poll challengers in Detroit
A Michigan judge has just denied a petition to block the certification of the 2020 election results in the heavily Democratic county that is home to Detroit, another legal setback for the Trump campaign, which has been pushing similar cases in several states.
The Michigan lawsuit brought by two Republican poll challengers, who leveled unfounded allegations of fraud, had also sought an independent audit of the election, which the judge also rejected.
Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny described the plaintiff’s “interpretation” of events on Election Day as “incorrect and not credible.”
At latest count, Biden leads Trump in Michigan by more than 148,000 votes.
-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin
Nov 13, 3:03 pm
Projected Electoral College totals: 306-232
With the most recent projections of Arizona and Georgia for Biden, and North Carolina and Alaska for Trump, ABC News has now projected winners in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
The final projected Electoral College tally stands at 306 for Biden, 232 for Trump.
The numbers might look familiar. In 2016, it was 306 for Trump, 232 for Clinton, after all states were accounted for.
-ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein
Nov 13, 2:29 pm
Trump projected to win North Carolina
ABC News projects Trump will win the state of North Carolina, bringing his electoral votes to 232.
Nov 13, 2:21 pm
Biden projected to win Georgia
ABC News projects Biden will win the state of Georgia, raising his electoral vote count to 306 — the same number of electoral votes Trump obtained when he won the presidential race in 2016.
Nov 13, 2:17 pm
Pro-Trump groups and counterdemonstrators gather outside White House
Ahead of expected protests from far-right groups and counter-protesters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, both groups gathered outside the White House Friday, as Trump supporters, taking queues from the president, refuse to recognize Biden as the winner of the presidential election.
As the crowd outside the White House grew, Trump tweeted it was “heartwarming” to see “organic Rallies” in his support. He also teased an appearance at the demonstrations in D.C. on Saturday, saying he “may even try to stop by and say hello.”
The state is currently conducting a hand-audit of the nearly 5 million votes cast in the state in the presidential race.
Behind the scenes, multiple sources tell ABC News the Trump campaign has been privately reaching out to top surrogates to help promote planned events to ensure a big turnout for the president.
The Trump campaign held a private call with top surrogates days ago and told them to be ready “at a moment’s notice.”
“We may need your help and support on the ground, you know, waving the flag and yelling the president’s name and support,” according to audio obtained by ABC News.
Protesters on both sides donned costumes and displayed signs Friday afternoon.
-ABC News’ Will Steakin
Nov 13, 1:48 pm
Biden team says it’s not looking to engage in a ‘food fight’ with Trump admin
Jen Psaki, an adviser to the Biden Harris transition, said on a call with reporters Friday afternoon the Biden team is not looking to engage in legal battles with the GSA — as it slow-walks Biden’s ascertainment as president-elect — but that it is “concerning” not to have access to vital transition information in the midst of a pandemic.
“We’re not interested in having a food fight with the GSA administrator or anyone really,” Psaki said. “We just want to get access to intelligence information, to threat assessments, to the ongoing work on COVID, so that we can prepare to govern, bring the American people together and get the pandemic under control.”
She noted that sentiment is “starting to ring” with the GOP, as a growing list of Senate Republicans have called on the Trump administration to begin giving Biden classified briefings.
Psaki also said not to expect any personnel announcements from Biden this weekend and that the president-elect will be taking a couple days off with family in Delaware.
Nov 13, 1:26 pm
Trump expected to break silence with afternoon Rose Garden remarks
Trump will provide an update on Operation Warp Speed at 4 p.m. in the Rose Garden, according to his updated public schedule from the White House.
It’s been eight days since Trump spoke to White House reporters — the longest stretch of his presidency — and 10 days since he took questions.
Nov 13, 1:03 pm
Trump receives update on Operation Warp Speed
A U.S. Marine stood outside the West Wing Portico Friday afternoon indicating Trump was in the Oval Office. His schedule showed him receiving a status update on Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s coronavirus vaccine program.
Trump’s update was the president’s first publicly announced event related to the pandemic all week. It comes as the virus is raging, with the country breaking records of new cases and hospitalizations, and after months of Trump not attending a meeting of the coronavirus task force.
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps and Ben Gittleson
Nov 13, 12:50 pm
Pelosi attacks GOP for denying election results instead of ‘recognizing’ COVID
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., slammed Republicans on Friday for not accepting the election results and, she said, “making it even harder to address the massive health and economic crisis facing America.”
“The longer the Republicans keep up the charade, the further out of control the COVID crisis with spiral, and more endangered Americans will be,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The House Speaker also fielded questions about House Democrats’ poor performance in the election that could give them the slimmest majority in the House in decades. She claimed Democrats always knew it would be tough to hold onto seats won in Trump districts two years ago, even though she and her team predicted they would expand their majority this year.
“We’re getting ready already for the next time, a number of our candidates have said they’re going to run again,” she said of the losing Democrats.
Asked if she took responsibility for the losses as she left the the press conference, Pelosi said, “I take responsibility for winning the majority.”
-ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel
Nov 13, 12:26 pm
Trump campaign ends ‘voter fraud’ hotline, downsizes staff
After a week of Trump campaign staffers answering a “voter fraud” hotline as Trump’s team continues to search for evidence of voter fraud, the number is no longer operational, and the campaign is now directing people to its online form instead, multiple sources tell ABC News.
As ABC News reported, that hotline was getting flooded with prank calls, and lewd images were being sent through the online form set up to collect voter fraud claims.
The news comes as the Trump campaign is significantly downsizing staff starting next week with only a small number of staffers receiving an extension through the end of the month, multiple sources said.
-ABC News’ Will Steakin and Katherine Faulders
Nov 13, 11:21 am
Georgia runoffs ramp up
As the balance of power in the Senate — and Biden’s subsequent ability to pass the big-ticket legislation he’s hoping for — hangs on two election runoffs in Georgia, Republicans are rallying to “Defend the Majority” as Democrats see promise in the purple state.
On Friday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican and vocal ally of Trump’s, is joining GOP incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for an afternoon rally in Cumming, Georgia. Earlier in the week, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida joined Loeffler to kick off her runoff campaign at an indoor rally.
Loeffler is facing a challenge from Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, while Purdue is facing Jon Ossoff, who nearly flipped Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for Democrats in a special election in 2017.
The runoff elections will be held on Jan. 5.
Nov 13, 11:00 am
Biden pledges to improve cooperation with allies 5 years after Paris terrorist attacks
Biden issued a statement Friday morning remembering the five-year anniversary of the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris and pledging to restore and improve cooperation with allies as president.
“This was an assault not just on the people of Paris but against our common humanity and shared values,” Biden wrote. “My administration will work steadfastly to protect the safety and security of Americans and our allies and partners, countering terrorism and extremist violence in all of its forms — no matter the ideology or origin.”
While Trump has taken an isolationist approach to foreign policy, pushing the slogan, “America First,” Biden ran — and won — on a platform of restoring relationships with foreign allies.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Nov 13, 10:51 am
Overview: Trump has Operation Warp Speed meeting, Biden meets with transition advisers
Amid heavy criticism that Trump has demonstrated little to no evidence that he is engaged in leading on the coronavirus pandemic in the post-election season, and as cases continue to rise, his public schedule for Friday shows he’s slated to receive an update on Operation Warp Speed, his administration’s plan for a coronavirus vaccine.
The meeting comes in the same week the drug company Pfizer said that its COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective. Trump questioned the timing of Pfizer’s announcement earlier in the week, saying it didn’t “have the courage” to announce a vaccine before the election.
Trump last addressed reporters eight days ago — the longest stretch of silence in his presidency –as he meets with advisers behind closed doors to discuss his options forward.
Biden, meanwhile, strengthened his Electoral College margin over Trump overnight, taking Arizona’s 11 electoral votes and raising his total to 290 votes to Trump’s 217.
On Friday, Biden is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, continuing to meet with transition advisers.
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps
Nov 13, 10:40 am
Audit of presidential race begins in Georgia
County election officials in Georgia have begun the time-consuming, labor intensive process of auditing — by hand — every one of the state’s nearly 5 million votes cast in the presidential race.
The audits — which stem from a state law, not because of any suspected problems with the results — must finish by midnight next Wednesday, so many election workers will continue through the weekend to complete it in time.
Biden is currently leading in Georgia by a wide margin of roughly 14,000 votes, so it’s unlikely Trump will overcome his lead in an audit — which rarely change election outcomes.
However, with Biden’s win in Arizona overnight, he wouldn’t even need Georgia’s 16 electoral votes to win. If the audit were to somehow, despite all odds, flip the state in Trump’s favor — and if Trump were to also take North Carolina as he’s on track to — he would be at 248 electoral votes, still short of the 270 needed to be president.
-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan
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