Washington – President Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. set out to begin building his administration on Sunday, even with scores of Republican leaders and party lawmakers apparently refraining from acknowledging his victory to President Trump, who refused to refuse are.
With Mr. Biden greeted with leaders from around the world, his team shifted its focus to a change that would turn into an action on Monday, including the Coronovirus Task Force and Swift Moves. Start gathering your team.
But more than 24 hours later Their election was announced, The vast majority of Republicans refused to offer statements with good intentions for victory according to the standard after US presidential contenders, as Mr. Trump rejected the results and vowed to move forward Long trial Trying to reverse them.
While the only surviving former president of the party, George W. Some prominent Republican celebrities, including Bush, called Mr. Biden to wish him well, with most elected officials remaining silent in the face of Mr. Trump’s unbridled claims that the election was stolen from him.
Mr. Biden did not respond to Mr. Trump’s attacks on the result, but he was also not waiting for a concession. On Sunday, he unveiled his official transition website Designed a series of executive actions For his first day at the Oval Office – including According to the Paris Climate Agreement, Moving aggressively to counter the coronovirus epidemic and restoring labor organizing for public servants – aimed at ignoring Mr. Trump’s domestic agenda and improving the United States’ image in the world.
But Republican silence suggested that even in defeat, Mr. Trump maintained a powerful hold over his party and its elected leaders, who have spent four years hugging them tightly or refraining from working quietly. For many prominent Republicans, the president’s unwillingness to accept the election results created a dilemma, with even the boldest expression of support for Mr. Biden seeming like a typical break with Mr. Trump.
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri was the most senior Republican who suggested that Mr. Trump had most likely lost and doubted his accusations of a stolen election, but he cautiously dismissed Mr. Biden as president-elect Stopped discussing. Television interview.
The chairman of the rules committee, Mr. Blunt, said in ABC’s “This Week”, “It’s time for the president’s lawyers to present the facts, and those facts to speak for themselves.” “It seems that any change may not make any difference, but it is a close election, and we need to accept it.”
“I look forward,” Mr. Blunt said, “to deal with the President though he needs to deal with it.”
In the White House, there were very few signs that Mr. Trump was dealing with it at all. As he played golf for the second consecutive day at his private club outside Washington, the president reiterated a baseless claim by former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who told Fox News. “I think this is a corrupt, stolen election.“
in private, The president’s advisers, many of whom have stood quietly with Mr. Trump to the point of no chance of success in any challenge to the election result, concluded that they had more than allowed the president to be prepared to fight There was no other option until he was ready to bow down to the reality of his loss.
On Friday a large group of them met with the chairman in the Oval Office and discussed the way forward, giving them a brutally honest assessment of the possibility of prevailing. After another meeting Saturday at Mr. Trump’s campaign headquarters, where political allies again had little prospects of changing the outcome of the race, Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, asked the group to leave. According to information at the meeting, the White House outlined it for Mr. Trump.
Campaign officials continued to discuss their legal strategy to challenge the election results on Sunday and named Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, who Lost his bid for Senate seat on Tuesday, To lead their recurring effort in the state.
On his first full day as president-elect, Mr. Biden kept a low profile, publicly emerging only to attend Mass, as he does most Sundays. Later, he visited the cemetery, where his son Bue; His first wife, Nelia; And his daughter Naomi was buried. In a sign of a specific stylistic change coming to the White House, he remained calm in another way: Apart from airing a video posted by his presidential transition, he had not sent a single tweet until Sunday evening.
Leaders from around the world congratulated Mr. Biden, underscoring the international community’s acceptability of the results, even by those who cultivated close personal relationships with Mr. Trump, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Boris Johnson of Britain. Leaders of Russia and China, Vladimir V. Some retracted, including Putin and Xi Jinping.
There were indications that Mr. Trump would come under increasing pressure to accept the election results. The Nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition, a nonprofit that assists in the transfer of power between administrations, calls on its team to “begin the process of transition immediately”.
Members of the group’s advisory board – including former Utah governor of Utah and Josh Bolton, the White House chief, “While there will be a need for a legal dispute, the result is clear that the transition process should begin now,” under Mr. Bush’s staff – Written in a letter Previously reported by POLITICO.
“It was a difficult fighting campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who have emerged from such campaigns to assist their heirs,” he wrote.
Mr. Bush congratulated Mr. Biden in a statement released after the two men spoke on Sunday.
“Although we have political differences, I know that Joe Biden is a good man who has won the opportunity to lead and unite our country,” Mr. Bush said in a statement.
And Gary Cohan, a former member of Mr. Trump’s cabinet, also acknowledged Mr. Biden’s victory, His “congratulations” tweet Go to “President-Elect @joebiden and Vice President-Elect @kamalaharris”.
“With more than 145M votes,” he continued, “both campaigns should be commended for achieving unprecedented numbers of citizens involved in the democratic process.”
Silence from most other prominent Republicans cut both ways for the president. While this allowed Mr. Trump to continue imagining that he had not lost, it also left him to fight against the election results without the full, vocal support of his party.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has refused to say anything since Friday, before the election results came, when he issued a general statement encouraging officials to “count all votes.” No member of his leadership team has access to Mr. Blunt’s careful statements on Sunday.
In a brief interview on Sunday, Mr. Blunt said that making the Trump campaign’s fraudulent claims public could help reassure voters on both sides of the election’s legitimacy.
“I think it’s best for both the chairman and Biden to exclude as much information as possible,” he said.
At the same time, only two Republican senators – Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – and a handful of House members accepted Mr. Biden’s victory by Sunday evening, while others were trying to doubt the results.
“Every legal challenge must be heard,” said House of Minority Leader California Representative Kevin McCarthy. “Only then and then will America decide who wins the race.”
Speaking on Fox News, Mr. McCarthy questioned why the media had called a presidential race for Mr. Biden, ahead of tens of thousands of votes in the crucial battleground, before learning the final results of the contests in competing House districts The In dark blue California and New York – where thousands of mail-in ballots are uncountable.
“Why would you call the first presidential race?” He asked.
News outlets call the race after analyzing the returns and the end of the result is certain, and the results of the congressional race in which ballots are still being tabulated – all but one of the handful of states that Mr. Biden easily Won – the race had no effect on the president.
Still, some Republicans were vying for evidence of wrongdoing. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina urged Mr. Trump to refuse and fight. However, he admitted that a claim that he had circulated over the weekend that a postal employee said he believed corruption was occurring at a facility in Erie, Pa., Remained unverified.
Mr. Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News on Sunday morning, “Do not accept Biden’s media announcement.” He called the election “contested” and urged: “Do not accept, Mr. President. Fight forcefully.”
Those comments included some of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, primarily Rudolf W. The advice of Giuliani, his personal lawyer, was reflected on Sunday, urging him to continue with the results.
A very small number of Republicans called on the country to move forward and accepted Mr. Biden’s victory. They had three governors of blue states – Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland and Phil Scott of Vermont – and more than a dozen House Republicans.
They included the St. Chris representative from New York and Fred Upton from Michigan; Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has been a vocal critic of Mr. Trump; And four legislators who will not return to Congress next year: Representative Paul Mitchell of Michigan, Heard of Texas and Francis Rooney of Florida, who are retiring, and Virginia Representative Denver Riggleman, who lost their primary this year.
Representative Don Young of Alaska, whose race again remains reluctant after being hit harder than the electoral bid, said that “the presidential election is no doubt the most challenging chapter of his political career.” . “
“It’s election time behind us, and a time to work for a better tomorrow for our nation,” Mr. Young said in a statement.
On “Fox News Sunday”, Mr. Romney provided many contrasts to his Republican colleagues. He said he believed it was “appropriate” for Mr Trump to pursue recruitment and legal challenges in some battlegrounds, but cautioned against widespread condemnation of US elections.
“It is important to the cause of democracy and freedom that we do not accuse fraud and theft and so forth, unless there is very clear evidence of that,” Mr. Romney said. “To date, that evidence has not been produced.”
Mr. Romney said he had a legal team ready to challenge the results of the 2012 election when he was the Republican nominee, but decided that he would not go ahead because he saw such efforts would be futile.
“At some point, truth, freedom and democracy have to climb,” he said, “and you step aside.”
Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker, Carl Hulse, Annie Kearney, Katie Glook, Thomas Kaplan and Kayne Rogers.