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Trump news – live: President finally orders transition to Biden

President-elect Joe Biden with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris participate in a virtual meeting with the United States Conference of Mayors at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on 23 November, 2020

As Michigan certifies its election results and awards its electors to Joe Biden,  the president-elect has pushed ahead with his transition plans despite the lack of cooperation from the current administration.

Mr Biden has named a host of nominees to national security roles, including Antony Blinken as the next US secretary of state as he prepares to undo Donald Trump‘s “America First” foreign policy.

It was also revealed that Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will be nominated to be the first female secretary of the Treasury. Mr Biden looks set to fulfill his promise to appoint many women into senior positions, including as head of intelligence, UN ambassador, and potentially several other roles.

In other news, Stephen Schwarzman, one of Mr Trump’s closest allies, has said the election is over and the president must “move on”.  

The businessman, who is chief executive of The Blackstone Group, urged Mr Trump to accept he has lost and allow the Biden team the resources necessary to transition into the White House.  

He told news website Axios he was a “fan of good process” and “the country should move on” as the outcome of the 3 November vote was “very certain today”.  

More than 100 former Republican national security officials have also signed a letter demanding party leaders denounce Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the presidential election, labelling it a dangerous and anti-democratic assault on US institutions.    

Meanwhile, first lady Melania Trump took delivery of the Trumps’ last White House Christmas tree, as two turkeys named Corn and Cob rest up in a downtown DC hotel ahead of the traditional Thanksgiving presidential pardon tomorrow.

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Trump finally orders transition to Biden

President takes to Twitter to say he has authorised his administration to work with Joe Biden “in the best interest of our country.”

Graeme Massie23 November 2020 23:36

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Trump lawyers now claim election certification is just ‘procedural step’

Despite trying to prevent battleground states certifying their election results, Donald Trump’s legal team now say they are not important.

Graeme Massie23 November 2020 22:44

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 ‘Biff is president!’

“Every worst instinct in mankind has been played on [by Trump], and for me that’s just anathema,” Back to the Future star Michael J Fox told The Guardian, before likening the president to the villain from the movie, Biff Tannen.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 22:19

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Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 20:44

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Senator Lamar Alexander hopes for ‘prompt and orderly transition’

Senator Lamar Alexander has some words of wisdom for Donald Trump as the election comes to a “formal end”.

The Tennessee Republican hopes for a “prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed”.

He sagely adds: “When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do.”

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 22:25

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Secret Service agents asked about relocating to Florida, report says

ABC News reports sources as saying that Secret Service agents in Donald Trump’s security detail have been asked if they’re interested in transferring to Palm Beach, Florida.

The source also says that the Miami field office has begun looking at physical reinforcements to Mar-a-Lago, and “updates” to the living quarters are underway should the Trumps relocate there on a more permanent basis after 20 January.

They changed their residency to Florida in 2019, which many saw as an admission that they realise they may no longer be welcome in New York. There are also significant tax benefits to living in the sunshine state.

Mr Trump has yet to officially concede the election to Joe Biden, though his path to overturning the results has narrowed significantly.

Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Florida

(AP / Carolyn Kaster)

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 22:04

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Politicians call for federal funds to be released for president-elect

The Independent’s Graeme Massie has more on Senator Rob Portman’s call for transition funds to be released to the Biden team, arguing that there is “no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state”.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 21:21

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Yellen gets a thumbs up from Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted out her approval of Joe Biden’s choice of Janet Yellen as secretary of the Treasury, lauding her for standing up to Wall Street banks, including holding Wells Fargo accountable for cheating working families.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 21:46

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Just in from Michigan…

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has certified election results for the 2020 presidential election at a meeting this afternoon.

The state’s 16 electors will now go to the winner of the popular of the vote of the state, Joe Biden, in a huge setback for Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn election results.

Alex Woodward has more.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 21:44

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How Biden could change US relations with Iran and Russia

The Trump administration has done international damage with its ‘maximum pressure’ strategy with Tehran and its hot-and-cold relationship with Moscow. Undoing it all like this would be an easy win for a President Biden, writes Daniel DePetris.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2020 20:34