US President-elect Joe Biden has insisted that “nothing’s going to stop” his administration moving ahead with transition plans, calling President Trump’s refusal to concede “an embarrassment.”
Biden said in a speech in Delaware that his team was pushing ahead with forming a new administration to take over on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021, “no matter what.”
“We’re going to be going, moving along, in a consistent manner, putting together our administration, the White House, and reviewing who we’re going to pick for the Cabinet positions, and nothing’s going to stop that,” he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said that the only transition plan in place was a “second Trump administration,” in comments at odds with congratulatory phone calls between Biden and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Ireland.
“The whole Republican Party has been put in a position with a few notable exceptions of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president, but there’s only one president at a time,” said Biden, who chuckled when asked about the Pompeo remarks.
The US media projected Biden as the winner of the November 3 election. None of the state-by-state results have yet been certified, several vote counts are continuing, and the outcome will only be set in stone once the US Electoral College meets on 14 December.
Much of the formal transition work doesn’t begin until the administrator of the federal General Services Administration ascertains the “apparent successful candidate” in the general election, and that has not happened yet amidst legal challenges by President Donald Trump’s team to the election results in some states.
The GSA’s failure to designate Biden the official winner bars the Democrat and his team from receiving federal funds for his transition and from getting access to the agencies they’ll need to work with to smooth the transition of power. He also is not receiving a daily classified briefing on security threats typically afforded to the president-elect.
Biden said however that the briefing “would be useful, but it’s not necessary,” and that his transition team didn’t need the federal funds to continue their work, adding, “we don’t see anything slowing us down.”
Biden also said his transition team will not be taking legal action to try to force the Trump Administration to officially acknowledge him as the president-elect.
Most Republican senators in Congress are still refusing to concede that Biden won, citing Trump’s ongoing legal battles.