Politics do not stop just because it is the weekend. Here is a look at what the national political leaders are up to as COVID-19 cases continue to surge into Thanksgiving week.
Trump Skips Out on Part of G20 Virtual Summit: President Donald Trump engaged in his last Group of 20 Summit on Saturday. However, he bailed out early by choosing to go play golf instead. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s G20 summit was held virtually. Throughout the week, Trump and his team had refused to confirm if the president would participate.Read More »
According to the official White House schedule, Trump is set to attend the Sunday session of the summit. This will likely be the last time that Trump meets with the top global leaders during his rapidly fading presidency.
Biden Team Forced to Raised Funds for Transition: President-elect Joe Biden and his team are being forced to turn back to supporters to raise money for its own transition operations. Because the General Services Administration (GSA) has not yet officially ascertained Biden as the winner of the presidential election, the transition team has not received the federal funding to carry out this transfer of power. It is a tradition for the GSA to ascertain the election immediately after the results are known, transferring millions of dollars in federal funding for the president-elect to use.
The GSA is refusing to trigger the release of the funds because Trump is still calling the results of the election into question. As such, the Biden transition team is sending fundraising pleas to its supporters asking for money to help the cause. This money is needed for a variety of purposes, including administration and staffing fees.
In addition to not receiving the necessary funding to carry out the duties of the transition, the failure of the GSA to recognize the results of the election also means that Biden does not have access to classified intelligence briefings.
Raising money for a transition through donors is not without precedent. In 2000, the George W. Bush team was also forced to raise its own money when the GSA did not ascertain the election until Al Gore conceded in December. This highly contentious election went all the way to the Supreme Court before being officially decided.
Georgia Certifies Election Results: After over two weeks, the election results from the state of Georgia are now certified as official. Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the paperwork on Friday, granting the Peach State’s 16 electoral votes to Biden. By formalizing the certification, Kemp has effectively stripped Trump of any chance he had left to try to overturn the results.
Following last week’s recount and audit, it was determined that Biden won Georgia by 12,670 votes. This number equates to 0.26% of the almost five million votes across the state. These results were verified by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. While this certification of the vote is generally considered to be a mere formality in any state, Trump’s refusal to concede the election is putting these actions into question.
Biden Continues to Widen Margin of Victory as Trump Presses on with Legal Challenges: As more votes begin to stream in, Biden’s margin of victory continues to widen. The Democrat is now up to a margin of over six million in the popular vote.
Despite what most people would consider a decisive victory, Trump continues to forge ahead with his legal challenges in an attempt to overturn the election and retain the presidency. However, he is not finding much luck in his quest to call the integrity of the election into question.
After meeting President Trump at the White House on Friday, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield issued a joint statement acknowledging they did not find any evidence of wrongdoing throughout the state’s election process. Michigan is set to certify its election results on Monday afternoon, making this meeting the last chance that Trump had to convince local government leaders to see his point of view.
The Trump legal team also ran into roadblocks in both Nevada and Wisconsin with officials and judges refusing to subject themselves to Trump’s demands for more recounts or to delay the certification process. As more states begin to certify the results, the chances that Trump could somehow flip any of the electoral votes become next to nothing.
First Official White House Pressing Briefing in Seven Weeks: The White House held its first official press briefing since October 1 on Friday. During the briefing, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed reporters about a number of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and election results.
However, McEnany only answered a few questions before cutting the question and answer period short. When pressed by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins about why she did not answer more questions, McEnany called Collins an activist before leaving the room. Collins responded that McEnany was not doing her job paid for by the American taxpayers by not responding to reporters.
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