A key Trump administration appointee revealed Monday (November 23) she would allow President-elect Joe Biden to officially begin his transition to the White House, shortly after Donald Trump tweeted that he would no longer block the protocol. This will clear the way for Biden’s team to get access to briefings, office space, and other government services needed for the peaceful transfer of power.
Trump has previously refused to concede and continues to make baseless allegations of voter fraud and that he won the November 3 election.
Taking to his Twitter account, the president said he’d agree to take the first steps in transitioning power, but fell short of outright admitting defeat.
“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA,” tweeted Trump. “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!”
He added: “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
...fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
CNN reports Emily Murphy, who serves as Administrator of the General Services Administration and is in charge of handing off the keys to the Biden team, had also previously been delaying an official determination recognizing Biden's win.
Murphy sent a letter to Biden this afternoon just hours after Michigan’s four-member elections board voted to certify Biden’s win in that state by 154,187 votes. On Friday, Georgia’s Republican governor certified his state’s results after a hand recount, which had Biden winning ahead by about 12,000 votes.
Biden earned 306 electoral votes to President Donald Trump's 232, with 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
In a letter to Biden, Murphy said she wasn’t pressured by Trump, who appointed her in 2017, to hold back the formal acknowledgement.
"Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," Murphy wrote. "I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official – including those who work at the White House or GSA – with regard to the substance or timing of my decision."
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call