Trump refuses to concede loss, blocks transition of power to Biden
Outgoing US President Donald Trump was still refusing to concede his election defeat Monday, throwing the presidential transition into tumult.
Trump has blocked government officials from cooperating with President-elect Joe Biden’s team and authorizing the Justice Department to probe unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
The developments cast doubt on whether the US would witness the same kind of smooth transition of power as in previous administrations.
Trump, backed for now by a significant number of senior Republicans, is insisting on multiple court challenges to vote counts and allegations of fraud. But despite Trump’s public stance, there was a growing realization in his inner circle that the election result would be impossible to overturn.
The Electoral College will formally confirm Biden's victory on December 14 and the Democrat will be sworn into office on January 20.
US election officials from both political parties have publicly stated that voting went well and international observers also confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.
Biden pressed forward with plans to build out his administration, assembling a team of experts to face the surging pandemic. But the federal agency that needs to greenlight the beginnings of the transition of power held off on taking that step.
Trump remained out of sight at the White House, with conversations ongoing about how the defeated president would spend the coming days and weeks as he challenges the election result.
Trump is not expected to formally concede but is likely to reluctantly vacate the White House at the end of his term, according to several people around him.
Only a few Republican lawmakers acknowledged Biden's victory or condemned Trump's other concerning moves, including the firing of US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Others senior officials likely to be fired in the last two months of Trump’s presidency include FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA head Gina Haspel and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.002