Biden plans move into White House as Trump clings to hope

People gather near the White House after the media announcement that Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 US presidential election. Photo: Yegor Aleyev/TASS
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By Andy Sullivan, Reuters

US President-elect Joe Biden will further lay the groundwork for his new administration on Wednesday as President Donald Trump pursues a flurry of longshot lawsuits challenging the election results in an effort to cling to power.

Mr Trump has declined to concede, instead lodging unsupported charges of election fraud that have gained little traction.

Judges so far have tossed out lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia brought by Mr Trump's campaign, and legal experts say the litigation has little chance of changing the outcome of the November 3rd election.

Nearly 80 per cent of Americans, including half of Republicans, say Mr Biden is the rightful winner, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Mr Trump's refusal to accept defeat, even as world leaders congratulate Mr Biden and look to their future relations, caps a tumultuous four years in office with the United States deeply polarised, ravaged by the coronavirus and torn by racial division.


It's an embarrassment, quite frankly

But Mr Trump's supporters, who as of the latest count gave him more than 72 million votes compared to Mr Biden's 77 million, have delighted in his combative style and shattering of norms. Mr Trump has eschewed a public concession or the pledge of cooperation typically offered by outgoing presidents.

"It's an embarrassment, quite frankly," Mr Biden told reporters on Tuesday. "How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president's legacy."

Mr Trump's fellow Republicans have largely stuck with him, saying he has a right to contest the result. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said Tuesday he would pay up to $1 million from his campaign account to people who come forward with evidence of voter fraud.

However, privately some say Mr Trump must soon produce significant evidence or exit the stage.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a state that Mr Trump won handily last week, said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr Biden is leading in enough states to win election "and President Donald Trump's campaign must produce evidence to support allegations of election fraud." Mr Portman added that he hoped states and courts would move "expeditiously" to resolve the matter.

Mr Trump suffered another possible setback on Tuesday when Democrats on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee said a postal worker who claimed he witnessed ballot tampering in Pennsylvania had recanted his allegations, according to the Postal Service's internal watchdog.

Preparing to govern

US elections 2020: Joe Biden to become 46th presid...
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Mr Biden plans to meet with advisors on Wednesday who are helping him prepare to take office on January 20th, 2021.

He has tapped finance, trade and banking regulation experts for his transition team that range from core Democrats to progressive activists, reflecting ongoing debate within the party about how to address climate change, wealth inequality and other issues.

He is also tapping people who crafted tougher environmental rules while serving under President Barack Obama.

Mr Biden secured the presidency on Saturday after television networks concluded he had won Pennsylvania and Nevada, giving him 279 Electoral College votes, more than the 270 needed to take the White House.

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