Trump finally agrees to Biden transition, but still not conceding

After more than two weeks, President-elect Joe Biden has formally been given the go-ahead to begin his transition to the Presidency. This allowing him to appoint his incoming administration. US correspondent Jagruti Dave has the latest developments in the US. Courtesy #DStv403

 

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump came his closest yet to admitting election defeat after the government agency meant to ease Joe Biden's transition into the White House said it was finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance.

READ: Trump hit with new blow in bid to overturn vote results

Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to "do what needs to be done."

In the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"

But for the Republican to sign off on the GSA's decision to work with the Biden transition team signalled that even he sees the writing on the wall after three weeks of evidence-free claims that the November 3 election was stolen from him.

This means that Biden's team will now have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials. 

Biden's office, which hours earlier announced a highly experienced group to be nominated for top US foreign policy and security posts, said the GSA would now allow "support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power."

READ: Biden cabinet picks promise calm after Trump upheaval

"In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies," Biden's transition director Yohannes Abraham said in a statement.

The sudden break in Trump's dogged attempt to deny Biden's win came after Michigan became the latest state to certify its results and more powerful Trump supporters came out demanding that the impasse end.

Earlier, Biden announced a foreign policy and national security team crammed with veterans from the Barack Obama years, teeing up an end to the upheaval under Trump and a return to traditional US diplomacy.

READ: Missing links: Trump goes golfing in middle of G20 summit

Biden also named the first female head of intelligence, the first Latino chief of Homeland Security, the first woman as treasury secretary, and a heavyweight pointman on climate issues -- Obama-era top diplomat John Kerry.

Trump, meanwhile, has largely halted at least his public work duties, while heading out to a golf course he owns in Virginia half a dozen times since the election.

He has also not taken questions from reporters since the election -- a previously unimaginable silence from a president who for most of his time in office sparred near daily with the press.

His options for overturning the election, however, are dwindling rapidly in the face of repeated court defeats.

Source
AFP

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