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US election: Biden's transition team to begin meeting with federal officials after Trump concedes

Reuters, AFP/Washington
Filed on November 24, 2020

(Reuters)

'In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with officials to discuss the pandemic response'

President-elect Joe Biden's team will begin meeting with federal government officials to discuss the pandemic response, national security and other issues after a US agency gave the go-ahead for the formal transition on Monday, a transition official said.

"In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies," Biden transition executive director Yohannes Abraham said in a statement.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he no longer opposes government aid for Joe Biden's transition team in his closest statement yet to finally conceding he lost the US election.

Trump's tweet that the General Services Administration should "do what needs to be done" came after the agency's head, Emily Murphy, said she was releasing the long-delayed assistance.

Trump has spent the last three weeks since the November 3 election claiming without any evidence that Biden's convincing victory was the result of fraud.

Murphy, who denies acting under political pressure, has refused until now to release the standard package of aid that her agency manages to Biden's incoming team.

Biden's team welcomed the decision, saying in a statement it will provide the incoming administration "with the resources and support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power."

"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."

The decision frees up millions of dollars in financing to support the transition, as well as formally allows Biden to coordinate with current government officials.

Murphy, who had faced harsh criticism over her previous refusal to act, said in her letter to Biden obtained by various US news outlets that "contrary to media reports and insinuations, my decision was not made out of fear or favoritism."

The step by her GSA is usually a routine one following a US presidential election, but Trump's continuing efforts to overturn the results of the vote and refusal to concede have complicated the process.





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