“It’s an Embarrassment”: Biden Says Trump’s Refusal to Concede Won’t Stand in His Way

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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President Trump has refused to concede the election, which, as things currently stand, he’s losing by nearly 4.7 million popular votes and 65 electoral votes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t accept the election results until the Electoral College meets next month and thinks Trump is justified in trying to sue his way to victory. Most alarmingly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

President-elect Joe Biden is unfazed. At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, reporters hammered the former vice president with questions about how he would handle Republicans’ refusal to cooperate with the transition. Biden said it didn’t matter; the transition was already underway.

“I’m confident that the fact that they’re not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we’re able to do between now and January 20,” he said. As for McConnell’s allegiance to Trump? “I think that the whole Republican Party has been put in a position, with a few notable exceptions, of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president.”

Still, the White House has showed no sign of standing down, going so far as to begin preparing a budget for the next fiscal year, even though Trump won’t be in office in February, when the budget proposal is set to be issued. Biden refuses to take such gestures seriously.

“I just think it’s an embarrassment,” he said of Trump’s refusal to concede. “I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far that they are hopeful that the United States’ democratic institutions are viewed once again as strong and enduring, but I think at the end of the day, it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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