US President-elect Joe Biden: Nothing will stop the succession
US President-elect Joe Biden dismissed Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat as “an embarrassment.” He said the unwillingness to acknowledge defeat would have little effect on planning the succession.
“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden told reporters when he was asked about Trump’s refusal to acknowledge defeat in the November 3 election.
“How can I say this tactfully,” Biden said. “I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
The president-elect downplayed any practical problems caused by Trump’s refusal to help with the transition toward a new US administration. He said the transition process was “well underway” and “nothing’s going to stop that.”
Much formal transition work doesn’t begin until the administrator of the federal General Services Administration ascertains the “apparent successful candidate” in the general election. This has not happened yet amidst legal challenges by President Donald Trump’s team to the election results in some states.
This means Biden is not receiving a daily classified briefing on security threats typically afforded to the president-
However, Biden said that the briefing “would be useful, but it’s not necessary.”
“Access to classified information is useful, but I’m not a position to make any of those decisions anyway. As I said, there’s one president at a time, and he will be president until January 20. It would be nice to have it but it’s not critical.”
“We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we’ve won, which we have.”
When asked what words he had for Trump, Biden replied: “Mr. President: Look forward to speaking with you.”
Biden also said he had spoken to several foreign leaders and that he was “letting them know that America’s back.”
“We’re gonna be back in the game. It’s not America alone.”
‘Smooth transition to a second Trump administration’
However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday indicated that the State Department was working as though Trump had won re-election.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said during a press conference.
Pompeo said the world “should have every confidence” in the State Department’s transition process.
Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday by all major US broadcasters. World leaders, including those of Germany, Britain and France, have recognized Biden as the president-elect and held telephone calls with him.
rc/shs (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)