Speed Reads

Trump-Biden transition

A growing chorus of GOP senators wants Trump to allow the Biden transition to start

Only a handful of Senate Republicans have publicly congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory, but a larger group is starting to get uncomfortable with the Trump administration's refusal to start the legal transition process, including giving Biden access to government officials and documents and allowing him to receive the classified President's Daily Brief intelligence report. "If that's not occurring by Friday, I will step in," Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told KRMG radio in Tulsa on Wednesday.

Lankford said he has "already started engaging in this area" and predicted General Services Administration head Emily Murphy will soon sign off on the transition process. If not, he added, he will "push them and say, 'This needs to occur,' so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task."

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 on Monday that "we're on a path it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States," adding that "it's not 100% certain but it is quite likely" and "so I think a transition process ought to begin." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that Trump can continue his legal challenge but we "need to have that contingency in place," and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said the transition process should "move forward." Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has congratulated Biden on his win, told NBC News "it's very much in our national interest, in our foreign policy interest, national security interest," to have a smooth transition transfer of power.

While Trump "ponders his options," The Associated Press reports, "his involvement in the day-to-day governing of the nation has nearly stopped: According to his schedule, he has not attended an intelligence briefing in weeks, and the White House has done little of late to manage the pandemic that has surged to record highs in many states."