Biden Brushes Off Trump’s Long-Shot Bid to Undercut Election

Date: 2020-11-11 22:35:27

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President-elect Joe Biden shrugged off Donald Trump’s effort to challenge the election results, forging ahead with transition planning even as the president pursues a multistate legal fight backed by Republican allies and the Justice Department.

Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit in Michigan that seeks to stop the state’s top election official from certifying Biden’s win. The campaign filed a similar suit in Pennsylvania, which Secretary of State Kathryn Boockvar moved to dismiss Tuesday, arguing Trump’s lawyers failed to present a case.

Biden leads Trump in Michigan by more than 148,000 votes and in Pennsylvania by more than 46,000 votes.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, meanwhile brushed aside calls from the state’s two U.S. senators, both fellow Republicans, for him to resign over unspecified election irregularities. Biden leads in the state by more than 12,000 votes.

Trump’s campaign has so far produced no evidence of widespread irregularities or fraud, and it isn’t clear his effort to delegitimize the election is finding much traction among the public. A Reuters/Ipsos poll published Tuesday found that 79% of Americans believe Biden won the election, including nearly 6 in 10 Republicans.

Just 3% say Trump won, according to the poll, while 13% say the election hasn’t been decided.

Two separate groups of international observers have said the election was fair and free of major irregularities. One of them, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, criticized Trump for “baseless” attacks on the integrity of the vote. The other, the Organization of American States — which was invited by the State Department to observe the election — pointed out that Trump has repeatedly sought to cast “aspersions” on the election process.

Biden called Trump’s approach an embarrassment, and his lawyers said the legal challenges would fail and the Democrat will inevitably be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

“How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy,” Biden said at a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

His campaign announced dozens of members of “agency review teams” on Tuesday that will begin preparing the government for Biden’s administration once the administrator of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee, allows the transition to begin with a finding that the Democrat is the incoming president.

Biden allies have complained that the GSA administrator, Emily Murphy, is obstructing the transition by so far refusing to issue the finding.

Republicans have largely backed Trump’s effort, though a handful — including Ohio Senator Rob Portman, in a statement on Tuesday — have called on the president to produce whatever evidence he has of widespread fraud. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, also a Republican, said Tuesday in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that the Trump administration should begin the transition to Biden’s presidency, a step it has so far resisted.

Nonetheless, Trump’s campaign has pressed ahead with its long-shot court cases while the president — who hasn’t spoken publicly since last Thursday — fires off tweets falsely declaring himself the winner. In a tweet on Tuesday evening he said that the country had endured a “rigged election,” as usual presenting no evidence for the claim.

Trump’s campaign sent talking points to allies on Tuesday saying the election is “far from over” and that it would pursue a range of legal challenges. It also said they are “preparing to announce recount requests in key states.”

Vice President Mike Pence is postponing a trip to Sanibel, Florida — a regular vacation spot for his family — as Trump fights to try to reverse his re-election defeat, according to two people familiar with the matter. The vacation had been planned since before the election, but will be postponed until later this fall.

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