Trump Folds His Coup Hand, Tells Government To Start Regular Transition For Biden

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Written by Dana Sanchez
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President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

After weeks of trying to undo the 2020 election which handed a victory to President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday signed off on the transition to the White House.

Trump has promised to keep fighting the election results — and “I believe we will prevail!” he tweeted — but he’s giving Biden access to White House briefings and funding.

“In the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same,” the outgoing POTUS tweeted. He referred to Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) — the federal agency that must sign off on presidential transitions.

Trump has refused to concede the election despite his legal efforts to overturn it failing in 39 out of 40 lawsuits.

On Monday, Murphy said in a letter that Biden would access resources that had been denied him because of the legal challenges to the election.

That means Biden’s team will now have federal funds and an official office to conduct his transition until Jan. 20 when he takes office. It also paves the way for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to get regular national security briefings that Trump gets, Reuters reported.

Despite Trump’s assertion that he gave the go-ahead to start the transition, Murphy told GSA employees in a letter that the decision to do so was hers alone.

“I was never pressured with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. The decision was solely mine,” she wrote. The GSA had insisted that Murphy would “ascertain” or formally approve the transition when the winner was clear, Reuters reported.

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Murphy, who’s been accused of obstructing a smooth transition of power, said she received threats for not starting the transition earlier.

A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters that the Trump administration planned to “cast enough doubt on the results in crucial states to persuade Republican legislators to step in and appoint their own slates of electors,” MSNBC reported.

The media should “not sugarcoat this failed coup,” according to Marc Ambinder, a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy and former White House correspondent

“Establishing a line here is a critical function of journalism,” Armbinder wrote in an MSNBC column. “Which is why it’s important for the media to call what Trump’s campaign tried to set in motion an attempted coup.”

It didn’t take long after the transition announcement for Biden’s Transition 46 website to switch from .com to .gov, AP writer Andrew Peng tweeted.

George Conway, co-founder of the Lincoln Project political action committee (“We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated”) tweeted, “The prospect of having a boring and competent government is exciting.”

Anthony Scaramucci, who served for 10 days as Trump’s White House Director of Communications, tweeted, “Never forget how dangerous and abnormal this all was.”

Other stakeholders weighed in on Twitter.