“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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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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