On Tuesday, US President-elect Joe Biden will name his first cabinet picks, his chief of staff said, even as, despite growing dissent from within his own party, Donald Trump clung to unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
On January 20, Biden pushed ahead with preparations to assume the presidency, regardless of Trump’s attempt to undo the November vote results.
Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, told ABC’s “This Week on Sunday, “You’re going to witness the first of the President-cabinet elect’s selections on Tuesday.”
Several US media outlets, including Bloomberg and The New York Times, have reported that experienced diplomat and long-time aide Antony Blinken will be nominated as Secretary of State by the president-elect.
Biden also stated last week that he had already planned on his selection for the key Treasury Secretary position.
U.S. media also heavily publicised that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who worked under President Barack Obama as assistant secretary of state for Africa, would be named as his UN ambassador.
An increasing number of Republicans have either accepted the victory of Biden or at least implored the
General Services Administration to release federal funds for the Biden transition, the generally low-profile agency that manages the federal bureaucracy.
Biden and his close associates were denied briefings on delicate domestic and foreign policy matters,
most notably the coronavirus pandemic battering the nation, with Trump refusing to acknowledge the election result.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who advised the Trump transition in 2016, told reporters on ABC that a “national embarrassment” was the president’s legal team.
Another prominent Republican, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, told CNN that Trump was making the nation look like a “banana republic,” further tweeting that the President should “stop golfing and concede.”
Trump has played golf every weekend since the election, although this weekend he took part in the G20 leading economies conference virtually, skipping a pandemic session on Saturday.
“And on Fox News, even Representative Devin Nunes, an ardent Trump
loyalist, backhandedly asserted that Biden had “run a successful underground campaign.
On Sunday, Trump again tweeted about “huge numbers of falsified ballots,”
a claim abolished in several states by a long list of judges.
As another former member of his legal team, Sidney Powell, claims, interviews by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have drawn caricature.
Powell has suspected baseless theories of conspiracy involving a possible election hack, earning her pervasive derision, but also praise from some of the most ardent supporters of Trump.
Giuliani announced on Sunday that he had dropped Powell from the team.
The latest legal setback for Trump came Saturday when in a scathing judgment, Pennsylvania Judge Matthew Brann hurled out the president’s fraud claims.
Pennsylvania was a must-win state, and after supporting Trump in 2016, it flipped to Biden.
The decision by Brann opened the way for Pennsylvania to validate the victory of Biden in the state.
The state-by-state Electoral College votes, which actually determine who will take the White House from 306 to 232, were won by Biden.
State accreditation of popular poll results is normally routine in presidential elections.
But the refusal of Trump to admit has expressed concerns that it could trigger long-term deterioration to the public’s confidence in the voting system underlying US democracy.
The Pennsylvania judgment came hours after Republicans in Michigan, another battleground state won by Biden, also asked for a delay in certification.
In Wayne County, home to majority-black Detroit, which voted heavily for Biden, they demanded a two-week delay to enable a full audit of the results.
The board of canvassers in Michigan, which involves two Democrats and two Republicans, is scheduled to meet to validate the results on Monday.
Reports were made that a Republican board member was thinking of voting against accreditation.
Biden has so far moderated his criticism of the actions of Trump, although he has spoken of “extremely detrimental messages about how democracy works being sent to the rest of the world”.