United States President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said that President Donald Trump’s refusal to authorise an orderly transition of power ensured that he would be remembered as “one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history”.
In a news conference after a meeting with Republican and Democratic governors, Biden lambasted Trump’s actions, saying that he was sending “incredibly damaging messages” to the rest of the world about how democracy functions, by undermining the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential elections.
It has been days since major news networks declared Biden the winner of the November 3 elections, but Trump is yet to concede defeat. Instead, he continues to claim, without evidence, that there has been a multi-state conspiracy by Democrats to rig the vote tally in Biden’s favour. The Trump administration has refused to allow Biden’s transition team access to federal agencies, including those coordinating the coronavirus response, saying they will continue to challenge the election outcome legally.
“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks,” Biden told reporters in Delaware. “It’s just outrageous, what he’s doing. I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won, and is not going to win, and we’re going to be sworn in on January 20.”
In this election, Biden received more votes than any other US president in history – 79 million so far – and has almost 6 million votes more than Trump.
When asked about the president’s interventions in Michigan’s election certification process, Biden said the country was witnessing “incredible irresponsibility”.
His comments came after Trump made a call to a Republican on the canvassing board of Wayne County of Michigan, who initially refused to certify election results showing a Biden victory. Trump also reportedly invited Michigan Republican lawmakers to the White House, even as his campaign team withdrew a lawsuit that asked the courts to block final certification of the state’s results, according to AFP.
Trump’s own lawmakers are unhappy with his actions, Biden claimed on Thursday. “I think most of the Republicans I have spoken to, including some governors, think this is debilitating,” he added. “It sends a horrible message about who we are as a country.”
The Democrat said he was not concerned that people may question the legitimacy of his administration. “Over 78% of the American people believe it is without question, it is legitimate,” he said.
Biden also announced that he was moving forward with building his administration, and has chosen a nominee for treasury secretary that he intends to announce just before or after Thanksgiving. “You’ll find it is somebody that will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive and the moderate coalitions,” Biden said.
Hours after his press briefing, Biden was confirmed as the winner of Georgia after the state completed a hand audit of ballots. Final results from the audit showed that Biden defeated incumbent Trump by 12,284 votes.
Although counting of votes in the United States is still underway, Biden holds a sizeable lead in multiple battleground states and there has been no indication of improperly counted votes so far that would shift the outcome.