Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:06 pm

"Lol just saw this:

"The military ballots will be key in Georgia."

Stop it, it's in the bag."



Now You are acting as if the responses I am putting out are similarly prohibitive in a way that attempts to simulate psychologically the general political fact finding required , by a a higher court, then merely that, which general opinipn can furnish.

I think that is a fairly typical response, in an attempt to form reactionary opinions.

I just have been unable to sleep it's almost morning here in California, and i am kind of apprehensive about this whole thing , going down as. nit has been. As close as it is..





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"LIVE UPDATES

Election 2020 presidential results



Updated 9:30 a.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Joe Biden just took the lead in Pennsylvania, a state Trump needs in order to win reelection.

Biden is also leading in Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

Six states remain too close to call. Here's why the vote count is still going on in key states.

THE ROAD TO 270





SORT BYLatestOldest

2 min ago

How close is Joe Biden to winning Pennsylvania — and the White House?



Presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden has taken the lead in the critical state of Pennsylvania. With an estimated 95% of the Keystone State votes having been tabulated, Biden is closing in on collecting Pennsylvania, and thus, the presidency.

"What our decision desk is now doing," explained CNN's David Chalian, "is calculating what do we know about the outstanding vote in Pennsylvania, what do we know about the rate it's been coming in."

The bulk of the remaining ballots in Pennsylvania will come from Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, a segment that has overwhelmingly come in for Biden to this point.

"Look what just happened in Philadelphia," said Chalian, of Biden's continued success in the state's largest city. "He got 87% of them. We know ... there's still a bunch of vote in Philadelphia to count. When that kind of Biden advantage vote, gets put into the vote totals, it just boosts that level of confidence that this will be potentially out of reach for Donald Trump."

Currently, Biden maintains a 253-213 electoral vote lead over the President. As votes continue to trickle in from the Philadelphia area, the Keystone State's native son is inching closer to the White House.

"We need to see a level of confidence when we're looking for these calculations that the candidate in second place, now Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, is not at all likely to overtake the candidate in first place, now Joe Biden," Chalian added. "When we get to that level of confidence... then a projection gets made."

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania carries 20 electoral votes, a bank that would get Biden past the coveted 270, the amount needed the clinch the presidency.

"We will await more vote to come into Pennsylvania, as we continue to make those calculations," Chalian reminded viewers.

10 min ago

Remaining pool of Philadelphia ballots is about 25,000

From CNN's Kate Bolduan and Mark Morales

The remaining pool of Philadelphia votes to be counted is about 25,000, according to a city official and an official familiar with the counting. 

These will take longer to count because they are provisional ballots, as well as ones that require review because of such issues as dates and signatures. 

The sources said city election officials are starting this batch from scratch.

"It’s going to be a while," one of the sources said.

7 min ago

GOP senator: Trump's claims of voter fraud are "not substantiated"

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 5. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said President Trump’s speech Thursday night was “very hard to watch” and that his claims of voter fraud are “not substantiated.”

“I saw the President’s speech last night. It was very hard to watch. The President’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here,” Toomey said Friday on NBC’s “Today.”

Toomey acknowledged there are “irregularities in every election,” but they “tend to typically be very small and involve just a handful of ballots.”

“But is there any evidence that I’m aware of that there’s significant, large-scale fraud or malfeasance anywhere in Pennsylvania? Absolutely not,” he added.

Asked if he thinks more Republicans should speak out against the President’s claims, Toomey said, “My colleagues will make their own decisions.”

Remember: CNN has not projected a winner in Pennsylvania, which is a key state Trump cannot afford to lose for a path to victory. Moments ago, Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania, but election officials are still counting mail-in ballots, which are allowed to be received and tallied up until Friday.  

Toomey told NBC that counting the “massive quality” of mail-in ballots is taking a long time because the state wasn’t allowed to count them until Election Day, and it’s a labor-intensive process.

Toomey argued that the “President still has a very narrow path by which he can win” in Pennsylvania. 

 

22 min ago

Joe Biden poised to quickly move to announce more pieces of transition

Joe Biden is poised to deliver an address to the nation today or tonight.

The timing is outside his immediate control, aides point out, but that may not be the most important task on his agenda today.

If he is declared the winner early today, the Biden team plans to move quickly to announce more substantial pieces of his transition. There are no plans to wait for any of the legal challenges, a person familiar with the plan said. Biden intends to immediately shift into the mode of president-elect to avoid ceding any momentum, they added.

The Biden transition team has been working behind-the-scenes for months – as required of all candidates seeking the presidency – but the urgency of the plan is being seen by Biden advisers as even more importance in the wake of President Trump questioning the legitimacy of the election.

If the call is made early, look for a speech today from the former vice president – but that won’t be all. Other announcements are ready to go to occupy the forthcoming role as president-elect. 

The stage is still set in Wilmington, with fireworks still waiting if the speech happens tonight, but advisers to Biden know the real fireworks are waiting in Washington.

7 min ago

Airspace now restricted over Biden’s home


New restricted "national defense airspace" has been put in place over Democratic nominee Joe Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Federal Aviation Administration posted the Temporary Flight Restriction on Wednesday, the day after the general election. An FAA notice to pilots available online shows the one mile radius no-fly zone is now active until next Wednesday morning.

The FAA says airspace has also been temporarily restricted over the nearby Chase Center, where the stage is set for a possible Biden victory speech – should he ultimately win the presidential election. 

More US Secret Service agents have also been sent to Wilmington, Delaware, in anticipation of a potential Joe Biden presidential win, CNN has learned. 

The extra Secret Service agents were sent to Delaware on Thursday, two sources said, with one law enforcement source telling CNN, “This was anticipated.”  

18 min ago

John King: Biden taking lead over Trump in Pennsylvania is "potentially decisive moment in the race"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

AP/Getty Images

Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania over President Trump, a “dramatic and potentially decisive” development, CNN's John King said.

In the latest update, Biden got 27,396 votes, while Trump got 3,760 votes. Of the 31,412 votes that were just tallied, 87% of that vote came in for Biden. He has now taken the lead in Pennsylvania by 5,587 votes. 

Overall in the state, Biden has 3,295,304 votes, 49.4% of the total — while Trump has 3,289,717 votes, or 49.3%.

“The President cannot win reelection without Pennsylvania and without Georgia. Overnight, Georgia flipped blue. Seconds ago, Pennsylvania flipped to the blue. We cannot understate this moment. It's not over, still counting votes, but Joe Biden now in the lead in Pennsylvania, in the lead in Georgia, in the lead in Nevada, in the lead in Arizona,” King said.

Watch:

16 min ago

"Bombastic statements" won't help Trump in possible recount and contest proceedings, GOP election lawyer says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

President Trump's series of lawsuits in multiple states and baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud are not enough to throw the election result in doubt, Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg says.

“The credible path is to actually be able to produce evidence in the individual states to show fraud to throw the results in doubt,” Ginsberg said Friday. “Bombastic statements do not work in the recount and contest proceedings in states."

More on evidence, he said:

“If you haven't developed the evidence on Election Day in real time, you're not going to be able to mount it and collect it afterwards,” he added. “There will be all sorts of legal conspiracy theories, but the President doesn't have many options absent real evidence.”

Watch:

13 min ago

Trump doesn't have a path forward without Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 5. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden just took the lead in Pennsylvania, where 95% of the vote count has been reported.

Here's why this matters: Trump cannot find a route to 270 electoral votes without Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, so his chances of securing reelection will hinge on developments in the states.

Right now, Biden has 253 electoral votes. If he wins Pennsylvania, he's over the 270 electoral vote threshold.

And remember: Five more states — Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina – are still yet to be projected. Trump has leads in Alaska and North Carolina, while Biden has leads in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

35 min ago

Philadelphia updates its vote count

With newly updated numbers, Philadelphia now shows that former Vice President Joe Biden has 553,953 votes to President Trump’s 125,513.



© 2020 Cable News Network.A Warner Media Company.All Rights Reserved.CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Trump and the Supreme Court

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:46 pm

"Why the Supreme Court probably won’t help Trump’s reelection fate

The president’s vow to take his unsubstantiated election claims to the highest court was met with confusion.



The only case about vote-counting deadlines that could be teed up at the high court right now is from Pennsylvania, where Democrats and Republicans have fought over an extension to accept mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day for three days past the election.






President Donald Trump’s drive to have the Supreme Court ensure his reelection faces serious obstacles — both legal and practical — that could wind up leaving him empty-handed.

“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump declared early Wednesday during a speech to supporters at the White House. “We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, OK? ... We will win this and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”



Legal experts from both parties said they were somewhat baffled by Trump’s remarks about asking the high court to stop voting. Even interpreting his statement to mean halting vote counting was confusing because under any scenario, vote counting in some states was sure to continue for several days after the election.

Asked to parse Trump’s comment, longtime GOP election lawyer Jan Baran said: “I have no idea—and I don’t think he does either.”



As of Wednesday afternoon, the president still had a path to victory, but it had significantly narrowed after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clinched Arizona and increased his gains in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Trump campaign officials had little to say Wednesday about the Supreme Court, although they did announce plans to seek a recount in Wisconsin, where Trump was running about 20,000 votes behind Biden.



2020 ELECTIONS

Trump's post-election marching orders: Dispute ballots, contest results

BY NANCY COOK AND GABBY ORR

Baran suggested that was a longshot, judging by history. He said he was unaware of any statewide race where a recount moved close to that many votes.



“There are legal mechanisms, but you need some evidence and some facts, as well as legal arguments,” Baran said. “Twenty thousand votes? Who knows what you may find under the rug or behind the couch that does pop up. It’s possible.”

The only case about vote-counting deadlines that could be teed up at the high court right now is from Pennsylvania, where Democrats and Republicans have fought over an extension to accept mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day for three days past the election.

Indeed, on Wednesday evening, Trump’s campaign formally asked to intervene in petitions on that issue that are already pending at the Supreme Court.



“Given last night’s results, the vote in Pennsylvania may well determine the next President of the United States,” the campaign’s motion said. “And this Court, not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, should have the final say on the relevant and dispositive legal questions.”

The court gave the existing parties on both sides until 5 p.m. Thursday to respond. The campaign’s filing appeared to be a precursor to Trump‘s asking the high court for relief in Pennsylvania, such as a halt to further vote counting, but so far no request to the justices to do that has come.

Yet even if Trump somehow were able to succeed in stopping the state from finishing its vote count, the state’s 20 electoral votes would not be enough to put him over the top in the Electoral College.



Joe Biden is inching his way toward a win, but Congress is on track to be more divided than ever



So the president would likely have to broaden the legal fight to at least one other state to hold onto his job. It’s not immediately clear which state would be a fruitful target for him.

Most of the other states that have seen recent legal jockeying at the high court already appear to be in Trump’s column (North Carolina, for instance). While Trump might benefit from a recount in Wisconsin, Democrats lost a court battle over late-arriving ballots there, so it’s unclear what new litigation could be filed to cut off the ballot tabulation, or how it would reach the Supreme Court.

Another, perhaps insurmountable, legal challenge for Trump is that even if the Supreme Court ultimately rules that a change like Pennsylvania’s three-day was unconstitutional, there are signs a majority of the court could order those ballots to be counted anyway.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate on how the Court would rule, but the argument that voters relied on the rules in place on and before Election Day – and should therefore have their votes counted – is very strong,” said Dan Tokaji, dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School.

The best indication of the uphill battle Trump faces may be the Supreme Court’s approach early last month to a legal fight over a federal court order that blocked South Carolina’s requirement that a witness sign absentee ballots. Republicans prevailed in that battle, as the high court reinstated the usual rule.



However, the Supreme Court’s decision came with a seemingly minor caveat that voters who’d already sent in their absentee ballots without a witness signature wouldn’t have the absence of that held against them. The justices even added—seemingly out of thin air—a two-day grace period from their decision to allow those unwitnessed ballots to reach election officials.

In the Oct. 5 order, three GOP-appointed justices noted their objection to that carve-out: Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. It appears that the five other justices — the three liberals, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh — formed a majority to create a safe harbor for voters who skipped the witness requirement based on a good-faith belief that the rule had been waived for this election.

The Supreme Court didn’t explain its rationale for the grace period in the South Carolina case or for not making its ruling enforcing the witness requirement retroactive, but lawyers say the most likely explanation is the notion of “reliance interests” — the idea that voters shouldn’t be penalized for doing what they were told was permissible.

If the court extends that principle to the Pennsylvania case, that would mean late-arriving ballots should be recognized because voters might have mailed them on Election Day thinking they’d be counted if received in the following days.

“The legal posture of the case … cuts against the Supreme Court ruling these ballots invalid,” said New York University law professor Richard Pildes. “That’s because the court had two opportunities to stop voters, but did not, from believing their mailed-in ballots were valid as long as they arrived on or before Nov. 6.”

Newly minted Justice Amy Coney Barrett wasn’t on the court yet when the justices ruled on the South Carolina dispute last month. But if the pattern established in that case holds, it wouldn’t matter whether Barrett aligns herself with the court’s most conservative bloc or throws in with the chief justice and Kavanaugh. Either way, Trump may not have the majority he’d need to throw out late-arriving votes.

Of course, one big “if” in this scenario is the presumption that the court would follow the rule it set in the South Carolina case. Roberts, Kavanaugh or, less likely, one of the liberal justices, might waver or find some fine distinction, particularly if the outcome of the election seems to ride on the high court’s ruling.

Another big “if” is whether ruling late ballots in or out could make a difference for Trump in the Keystone State. Some legal experts doubt it, especially given all the attention in recent weeks to postal delays and the need for ballots to arrive on time.



“I would expect the number of these ballots to be small, much less than some might think,” Pildes said. “Because Pennsylvania has been in the crosshairs of both campaigns from the start, voters were not just highly mobilized, but voting early, in person or by returning those ballots.”



Politico




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Trump eyes Supreme Court, but campaign takes election fight to state courts

“He just doesn’t know how it works,” said a Republican close to the White House. “It’s just out of ignorance of the process.”



Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By ANITA KUMAR

11/04/2020 09:22 PM EST

When President Donald Trump vowed to ask the Supreme Court to halt ballot counting, he wasn’t actually outlining his campaign’s plan. In fact, some Republicans say, Trump didn’t even understand what he was calling for.

But buried in Trump's confusing claim was the seed of his campaign’s actual legal strategy, one it has been building for more than a year with the help of thousands of lawyers and that finally took shape this week, according to Republicans familiar with the situation.

Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed lawsuits to halt the counting of ballots in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia — all key swing states. It’s contesting ballots in a Democratic stronghold in Nevada. And it could appeal a decision to permit late-arriving absentee ballots in North Carolina, as long as they were mailed before the election deadline.

On top of that, the campaign is calling for a recount in Wisconsin and, possibly, Michigan.

In the coming days, the success or failure of that strategy will determine whether Trump or Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as president in January.

“I don’t think the president’s campaign should be faulted for using available legal processes to determine the winner,” said Scott Jennings, who worked under President George W. Bush and is close to the Trump White House. “Why shouldn't they be allowed to pursue this? They have rights and they have the lawyers and it’s the American way.”

Biden is leading Trump in the popular vote and is on the cusp of securing the electoral votes he needs to win the presidency. But Trump’s campaign insists it remains competitive in states still counting votes, and claims that several states Trump seems to have lost by thin margins may have miscalculated the results. In many places, it’s taking this case to the courts.

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Re: Trump enters the stage - Panetta comments

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:10 pm

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Re: Trump enters the stage - Trump won't concede

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:27 am

Bad form. Even Republican Senators chide in.


"POLITICO

2020 ELECTIONS

‘My sense is that we lost’: Trump campaign aides grapple with dwindling odds

Only a small number of those in the president's inner circle have adamantly encouraged Trump not to concede.







11/06/2020 06:51 PM EST

Inside the Trump campaign’s headquarters Friday morning, a painful reality began to sink in.

As senior campaign officials huddled with attorneys to discuss President Donald Trump’s legal options with his opponent closing in on 270 electoral votes, others in the Virginia office building polished off their resumes and wondered when, if ever, their candidate might concede. The president, who currently sits at 214 Electoral College votes, has refused to accept a potential election loss and unleashed a legal offensive not seen in a presidential cycle since 2000.



But across the office, acceptance was starting to take hold.

“Barring any major cases of voter fraud or something drastic, this is over, and it’s been over for a day. Most people are aware. Some folks are taking a bit longer to accept it,” said a senior Trump campaign official. “There are a lot of people just sitting and staring at their desks."

“My sense is that we lost,” added a former Trump aide, who on election night and the days after thought the president would win. The former aide said he shared Trump's belief that pandemic-driven voting rule changes had negatively impacted his bid for reelection, but said the president no longer has a viable path to victory.

“It’s an uphill battle," this person said.



Trump's dwindling circle of believers comes at a critical moment for the president’s legacy, which his allies fear could be permanently tarnished if he presses too long with a court battle that plunges the nation into political crisis and fails to yield his desired result. Only a small number of those in the president's inner circle — namely former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie — have adamantly encouraged Trump not to concede.

The bleak atmosphere that has taken hold inside Trump’s campaign operation reached a new level Thursday night, after the president convened a last-minute news conference from the White House briefing room to falsely insist he won the 2020 election and further amplify unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. His appearance was followed by Democratic challenger Joe Biden taking the lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia early Friday morning, putting him on a path to the presidency, as well as calls from top allies to furnish proof of legitimate voter fraud.

“If you’re going to say those things from behind the podium at the White House, it’s his right to do it, it’s his right to pursue legal action. But show us the evidence,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday on ABC News. “This kind of thing, all it does is inflame without informing and we cannot permit inflammation without information.”

Christie also accused the Trump campaign of lacking a clear legal strategy or leadership as top surrogates and Republican attorneys laid out their cases in haphazard TV appearances and disorganized press conferences.



“One of the things you’re seeing here is the absence of Don McGahn,” Christie said, referring to the former White House and campaign counsel. “This race was just as close in 2016 and you never saw any mayhem because there was a legal strategy laid out.”

On Friday afternoon, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner installed Bossie, a former Trump aide and veteran GOP operative, to spearhead the president’s legal quest to review vote counts in a handful of key battleground states where he lost by thin margins or appears poised to lose. But as Bossie and other Trump aides fanned out across Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona this week to unveil their legal challenges, some of the president’s closest allies privately described a protracted legal battle as an exercise in futility.

“Obviously with Georgia and Pennsylvania there is a lot of headwind against us, but at this point it’s a legal operation and we’re exhausting every available thing to us,” said one adviser to the Trump campaign.

A second adviser to the campaign suggested a court battle is unlikely “to swing things” in Trump’s favor but could form the basis of the president’s eventual concession, which Trump aides universally agree will flout tradition.

“He’s going to say, ‘They stole it from me,’ and then he’s going to go to Florida and continue to be the most influential Republican in the country,” said the second campaign adviser.

Trump’s reluctance to admit defeat, which would amount to a sign of weakness in the president’s playbook, left some of his aides concerned about the transition of power that must happen before the presidential inauguration in January and the possibility of a fruitless lame-duck session if he remains fixated on the election outcome and the fate of his campaign’s lawsuits. One of the advisers to the Trump campaign suggested that the president might refuse to meet with Biden and avoid his inauguration but was unlikely to interfere with the government transition.

“I do hope the president can abandon his focus on legal stuff long enough to engage in stimulus negotiations,” said a senior administration official. “We have an opportunity to get stuff done and it should not be drowned out by the noise Trump and his lawyers have been making.”

But the campaign’s focus on recounts and legal challenges isn’t the only distraction that could overshadow or derail a bipartisan Covid-19 relief package in a lame-duck session. With the election outcome still hanging in the balance, public frustrations and finger-pointing among Trump aides began to surface on Friday.



In a tweet, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale gave a backhanded compliment to Hannah Castillo, who ran the campaign’s Latino outreach program and oversaw coalition operations earlier this year. “She should get credit for an amazing job!” tweeted Parscale, who was fired in July. “Too bad she wasn’t there the last couple months.”

Shortly after, news broke that Parscale, who spoke to the president daily as chief of his campaign and has been a trusted friend of the first family, planned to join the ranks of ex-Trump aides who have cashed in with tell-all books.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. lashed out at Republicans — including rumored 2024 GOP hopefuls — who had not yet come to his father’s defense on Trump’s evidence-free claims of illegal vote counting and a rigged election. Just minutes after the younger Trump issued a scathing call for backup, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others chimed in. In a Fox News appearance Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would contribute $500,000 to the president’s legal defense fund to pursue challenges to vote tabulations.

There were also lingering frustrations over Fox News calling the race for Arizona on Tuesday night, as other election forecasters and media outlets held off on declaring Biden the clear winner of the traditionally red state. The president’s supporters have unleashed a torrent of criticism against the conservative news outfit since Tuesday night, when the network’s decision desk declined to reverse its early call on Arizona.

“In the court of public opinion, it looks bad and it sways a lot of the commentary,” said one adviser to the campaign. “Then you’re fighting two battles — the vote count and the court of public opinion.”

The Trump campaign has repeatedly signaled that it is preparing for a lengthy battle in the courts, even if Biden remains in the lead or crosses the 270-vote threshold, giving him the presidency. On a call with top donors — which the campaign said was its largest ever — officials said they need to raise “tens of millions” of dollars to pay for upcoming legal fees.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Biden wins!

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:32 pm

Biden just defeated Trump: Nevada and Pennsylvania just now went for Biden !
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Re: Trump enters the stage - as the apprentice continues rol

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:00 pm

."2020 ELECTION

Trump says election 'far from over' as he vows to fight results

The president and his team of lawyers are pressing on with baseless accusations of voter fraud after Biden is projected the winner.






Nov. 7, 2020, 1:31 PM EST



WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump vowed Saturday to press forward with a legal fight, pushing unfounded claims of voter fraud in response to news that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.

Trump was at his Virginia golf club when NBC News and other networks projected Biden the winner. He released a statement within minutes of the announcement claiming that the "election is far from over."

"Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated," Trump said. "The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots."

When asked, Trump nor his campaign have presented evidence that illegal ballots were counted. Despite having repeated the claim for days now, the Trump campaign has failed to provide any sound evidence of voter fraud.



Trump sought to depict the decision by news networks to project Biden as the winner as evidence that forces were working against him.

"We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over," Trump said in his statement. He added, "I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands."

Election administrators around the country have also worked to make the process transparent, allowing representatives from both political parties as well as the news media into the room to watch votes being tabulated. Philadelphia offered a live streamed video to allow the public to watch.

Still, Trump's team of lawyers pressed on with their strategy to litigate the election results.

On Saturday afternoon, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, held a press conference in Philadelphia, claiming that there were "highly suspect ballots" cast that amounted to "absolute fraud."

Pennsylvania was the state that put Biden over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

When votes began to be tabulated on election night, Trump was initially leading in the Pennsylvania count when polls first closed. This lead was anticipated — Trump had discouraged mail voting and his supporters were expected to utilize in-person voting compared to Biden supporters, who made up a greater share of mail-in votes. As mail-in and absentee votes were counted throughout the week, Trump's lead in the state shrunk.

"You don't lose leads like that without corruption," Giuliani argued without providing evidence.

Trump also tried to cast doubt on the Pennsylvania results on Saturday, writing in his statement that "legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process," adding that "legal votes decide who is president, not the news media."

Poll watchers have always been in the room where votes were being counted and were never denied access, but they were asked to stand a distance away from the ballot counting machines due to the coronavirus.

"Obviously he's not gonna concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question," Giuliani said but provided no basis for the number."



© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Finally, party unity?

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:32 pm

"2020 ELECTION

Biden won. Now comes the unimaginably hard part.

Analysis: To get anything done, Biden will have to satisfy the fractious wings of his own party, and possibly Senate Republicans.







WASHINGTON — The good news for President-elect Joe Biden is that he defeated Donald Trump. The bad news is he has to preside over an angry and polarized nation, a broken Congress, and the continuing economic and public health crises posed by the coronavirus.

He has promised to unify the country, a brutal task that will require him to manage the expectations of the left wing of his own party and the anger of defeated Republicans. And to enact his legislative agenda, he will have to satisfy a Senate that may be led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., depending on the outcome of remaining races, as well as a House led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The political bases of both sides are suspicious of anything that unites them.

That's why many political insiders say Biden will only be successful if his presidency matches a campaign in which he rejected the most extreme proposals of fellow Democrats and embraced coalition-of-the-willing Republicans.



"It’s going to be a difficult environment," said Doug Heye, a former leadership aide on Capitol Hill who backed Biden. "He may be the best-suited person to get anything done."

Few are confident that Biden can fulfill his promise to bridge the nation's various political divides. But his patience and compassion, combined with his history of making deals with McConnell, have created a sense of tentative optimism among those who supported him.

"There’s a possibility that Biden gets to be a president who passes durable legislation, and when I say durable, I mean legislation that’s passed in a bipartisan way," said Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a leader of the moderate Democratic Blue Dog Coalition in the House who has been critical of the left's policies and tactics. "My fear is that in pursuit of purity, we will abandon progress."

There's good reason for both her hope and her fear.

For years, then-Vice President Biden was the Obama administration's point man for making necessary but politically uncomfortable deals with McConnell. In 2011 and again on New Year's Eve in 2012, Biden and McConnell hammered out budget agreements that kept the government running and averted national fiscal disaster.

They were so unpopular with progressives — the latter pact indefinitely extended President George W. Bush's tax cuts — that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., got the White House to agree that Biden would no longer be the administration's emissary on budget talks.

Already, progressive groups are making demands on Biden's agenda.

Some progressive designs, like packing the Supreme Court and expanding government-run health care, are proposals that Biden would probably have opposed regardless. If McConnell keeps control of the Senate, that may give Biden an easy scapegoat, allowing him to blame Republicans whenever his liberal flank demands action.

At the same time, more centrist House Democrats are unloading on the liberal colleagues following a difficult election night in which the moderates' ranks were thinned.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., who leads by about 5,000 votes in her tightly contested re-election bid, told fellow Democrats on a conference call this week that progressives' embrace of the slogan "defund the police" nearly cost her the seat. She called her party's strategy "a failure" after Democratic congressional leaders' predictions of expanding their House majority and flipping the Senate fell well short on Election Day.

The fracture within the House Democratic caucus speaks to the complexity of Biden's problems.

When Biden was elected vice president, Democrats had control of both the House and the Senate and were coming off an election in which they not only took the White House but expanded their numbers in Congress. That allowed President Barack Obama to enact an economic stimulus law, an overhaul of financial services industry regulations and the Affordable Care Act.

But Biden may not have one-party control of Washington, and with votes still coming in, it is unclear how large his mandate will be. He was also elected by a patchwork coalition that will have its own priorities. Black lawmakers, political operatives and activists helped build a surge of Black voters. White centrists in both parties helped create a small but significant shift toward Biden in key swing states. And white progressives swung in behind Biden despite having preferred other candidates for their party's nomination.

So every constituency in Biden's coalition has reason to believe it was decisive in his victory and will surely pressure him to address its needs first and foremost. That will make it difficult for Biden to keep his chorus from descending into cacophony.

He hopes to break Washington's decades-long partisan fever, which has increasingly driven and reflected the nation's political polarization. But the trees of the nation's capital have little low-hanging legislative fruit for the taking right now.

It's not clear whether the current regime — a divided Congress and Trump — will pass an additional coronavirus relief bill during the lame-duck session before the presidency changes hands. If that doesn't happen, Biden is likely to move swiftly to get an agreement in line with his vow to make fighting the pandemic his No. 1 priority. Additionally, Trump's failure to sign legislation funding rebuilding roads and bridges — a priority of both unions and the Chamber of Commerce — leaves room for Biden to back an infrastructure deal to help stimulate the economy.

"I think McConnell and Biden will be able to do a deal on a big infrastructure program," said Robert Wolf, an investor and major Democratic donor. "They’ll also agree to some iterations for health care with Covid.... The other things on the Biden agenda will be tougher to negotiate, like tax reform."

Heye said tax increases will be dead on arrival in the Senate if Republicans retain control. An opposition Senate would also change the calculus on the composition of Biden's Cabinet, because his nominees would have to pass muster with McConnell.

Murphy, the House Democrat, said it is incumbent on Biden to put forward such mainstream proposals that McConnell has to choose between cooperating and risking political backlash for his party if he doesn't.

"McConnell has demonstrated that he is the most craven political person in Washington, that his moral compass is pointed toward power," she said. "He only does things where there’s benefit to him and his party. And so that will make a difficult negotiating partner, no doubt."

So, congratulations, Mr. President-elect. And good luck with all of that."



© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage - how and what it is?

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:37 pm

It is , what it is, and what it really is , well, that remains to be seen. It is more akin to pseudo science , cause it is a matter of simulation, of affronting the particular, ....the alchemy of the mysterious for those who can bear it's weight.

That weight places on the incredible scale of extreme opposites, is weighed qualitatively, and not quantified by an imminent domain of accountability. The continuum from that to the buddhic notion of karmic law has been broken.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Kushner the man behind the man

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:51 pm

"
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Joe Biden pledges to unify, not divide, as president
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Joe Biden elected president
By Meg Wagner, Fernando Alfonso III, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 10:29 a.m. ET, November 8, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden sought to unify the nation in his victory speech Saturday night.
Kamala Harris, who will be the nation’s first Black and South Asian vice president, and first woman to hold that office, also delivered remarks.
How do you feel about Joe Biden's victory? Call or text and let us know.
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Jared Kushner has approached President Trump about conceding the election
From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Caroline Kelly, Betsy Klein and Keith Allen

Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has approached the President about conceding the election, two sources tell CNN.

The move comes following Trump's assertion in a statement from his campaign -- moments after CNN projected that President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States -- that Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and that the race is “far from over."

"I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands," Trump said in the statement, which states that the campaign’s legal battle will begin Monday.

Biden-Harris deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Saturday night, as CNN has reported, that there has been no communication between Biden and Trump, or between any representatives from either campaign, since the race was called earlier in the day..

Kushner approached Trump about conceding the election.
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Re: Trump enters the stage -THE DYNAMICS "

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:25 am

The New York Times

2020 Election

l

As Trump Refuses to Concede, G.O.P. Remains Divided

White House advisers have warned President Trump of his narrow chances in any legal fight. The Biden team turned its focus to the transition. And world leaders offered their congratulations to the president-elect.

Republicans are split over whether to call the election over



As the Trump campaign continued to pursue long-shot legal challenges and top Republicans remained split on whether to congratulate President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on his projected victory, Democrats began to take steps on Sunday toward planning for a Biden administration.

Mr. Biden unveiled his official transition website on Sunday as he prepared to unleash a series of executive actions on his first day in the Oval Office aimed at unwinding Mr. Trump’s domestic agenda and signaling a wholesale shift in the United States’ place in the world.

On the website, buildbackbetter.com, Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris pledged to be ready on Day 1 to tackle four main priorities for the new, Democratic administration after four years of Mr. Trump’s rule: Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.

“A Biden-Harris administration, propelled by the foundation laid by the transition, will lead a just and equitable recovery that rebuilds a strong, inclusive middle class and builds an economy for the future,” they said on the website.

In the first hours after he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, Mr. Biden has said, he will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that the country will rejoin the global effort to combat climate change, reversing Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord with more than 174 countries.

He has also vowed that on Day 1 he will move rapidly to confront the coronavirus pandemic by appointing a “national supply chain commander” and establishing a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel. He has said he will restore the rights of government workers to unionize. He has promised to order a new fight against homelessness and resettle more refugees who are fleeing war. He has pledged to abandon Mr. Trump’s travel ban on mostly Muslim countries and to begin calling foreign leaders in an attempt to restore trust among the United States’ closest allies.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden repeatedly said that he was campaigning as a Democrat but would govern “as an American.” But he and members of his party are eager to systematically erase what they view as destructive policies that the president pursued on the environment, immigration, health care, gay rights, trade, tax cuts, civil rights, abortion, race relations, military spending and more.

Some of that will require cooperation with Congress, which may remain divided next year. But Mr. Biden may be able to achieve some of his goals with nothing more than the stroke of a pen.

He has signaled that his top priority will be demonstrating a much more muscular federal approach to the pandemic than Mr. Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states strategy.

Aides said he would use the power of his office to invoke the Defense Production Act — the Korean War-era law that allows the president to order businesses to manufacture products necessary for national defense — to build up supplies more aggressively than Mr. Trump had. He has also said that he will require masks on all federal property and on “all interstate transportation.”

The president-elect has also repeatedly derided Mr. Trump’s lack of ethical standards, accusing him of waging an extensive assault on Washington’s norms and traditions. Mr. Biden’s response to that will probably take the form of an ethics pledge to impose tough new requirements on the people who serve in his government.

Mr. Biden has also made it clear that he will immediately begin using the levers of executive authority to re-establish former President Barack Obama’s regime of environmental regulations that Mr. Trump systematically shredded during his tenure.


U.S. POLICIES

The early signals that Joseph R. Biden Jr. sends as the country’s new leader will be critical.

Republicans are split over whether to call the election over.


Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota lashed out at Democrats and the news media on ABC’s “This Week,” insisting that “computer glitches” and reports of “dead people voting in Pennsylvania” were examples of widespread fraud.Credit...ABC

As top Republicans remained divided over congratulating President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and declaring the election over, Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and other advisers have discussed the need to make it clear to Mr. Trump that any legal challenges to the results have a very small chance of altering the outcome.

On Friday, a large gaggle of Trump advisers met with the president in the Oval Office to discuss the way forward. Several have been fairly candid that the chances of success are not high. On Saturday, another meeting of White House aides and political advisers took place at the Trump campaign headquarters.

When campaign officials laid out the small chances of changing the outcome of the race at the Saturday meeting, Mr. Kushner asked some of the political advisers to go to the White House to lay it out for Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the meeting.

But a White House official later disputed reports of Mr. Kushner advising the president to concede the 2020 election, and said instead he is telling him to pursue “legal remedies.” The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Kushner has abided by Mr. Trump’s desire to continue trying to fight the results of various contests through court challenges. That path has been encouraged most strongly by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, while most other Trump advisers have said privately that the chances of the results changing are exceedingly slim.

At the same time, some within the Republican Party have made it clear that it was time for the president to concede. On Sunday, former President George W. Bush became the highest-profile Republican to publicly declare the election over in defiance of Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept the results.

“I extended my warm congratulations” to Mr. Biden “and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night,” Mr. Bush said in a statement released after he spoke with Mr. Biden by telephone. “I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency. Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”

Although Mr. Bush said Mr. Trump had “the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges,” his statement made clear that he did not think those efforts would succeed, and Mr. Bush’s position could encourage other Republicans to speak out and increase pressure on Mr. Trump to stop fighting the results with unsubstantiated claims.

“The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair,” he said. “Its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”

Mr. Bush, the only living former Republican president, put his stamp on the outcome even as many of his party’s elected leaders held back either out of loyalty to Mr. Trump or out of fear of crossing the outgoing president. Mr. Trump has falsely asserted that the election was stolen without any evidence, leaving his party in the awkward position of following a president refusing to accept the reality that other Republicans have, even if they do not say so out loud.

Republican leaders like Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have refused to publicly acknowledge Mr. Biden’s victory without necessarily embracing Mr. Trump’s wild claims. Many of them have either remained silent or have straddled the line with statements calling for all legal votes to be counted, suggesting that the president should be permitted to file any lawsuits or call for any recounts allowed under the law. Only a few well-known Republicans, like Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have congratulated Mr. Biden.

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota lashed out at Democrats and the news media on the ABC program “This Week,” insisting that “computer glitches” and reports of “dead people voting in Pennsylvania” were examples of widespread fraud.

“When you break the process on which we elect our leaders, you will break America forever,” Ms. Noem said, even though voting went smoothly and it is Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede that flouts the normal process.

Senator Roy Blunt, the Republican from Missouri who will oversee planning for the inauguration at the Capitol on Jan. 20, referred to Mr. Biden as the former vice president, not the president-elect, and insisted that preparations are underway to make sure “that the person who is sworn in on inaugural day sees it as a great day.”

Speaking on “This Week,” Mr. Blunt praised Mr. Biden for his speech on Saturday night, but the senator insisted that the election is not over because of the legal challenges that are still pending.

“I thought Vice President Biden did a great job last night talking about where the country wants to head,” Mr. Blunt said. “And one way to do that is to finish this election the way it deserves to be finished.”

Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican and a friend of Mr. Trump’s, said on ABC that his party’s reluctance to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s victory was a result of the president’s behavior.

Mr. Christie urged Republicans to embrace the message he had delivered to Mr. Trump: “If your basis for not conceding is that there was voter fraud, then show us. Show us. Because if you can’t show us, we can’t do this. We can’t back you blindly without evidence.

Trump remains out of sight but is active on social media, where his messages were flagged for inaccuracy.


A supporter of President Trump in Las Vegas on Saturday. The Trump campaign sent out a flurry of solicitations to supporters asking for money to fund its legal battles.Credit...Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

President Trump and his allies continued to raise baseless claims of fraud and irregularities in the election as they pushed ahead on Sunday with an aggressive fund-raising, media and legal campaign, which proceeded with no apparent recognition of his successor’s efforts to start planning a smooth transition.

From midnight until noon — after President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s victory speech on Saturday night — the Trump campaign sent out a flurry of solicitations to supporters asking for money to fund its legal battles. The emails went out at the rate of almost one every hour, reflecting the growing desperation among the president and his close aides and associates as they refuse to concede defeat.

The emails contained the same bellicose language and unsubstantiated charges that the president has used, and called on Trump supporters to come to his defense. “We need YOU to step up,” one email demanded.

The occasional digital message remained the only way the president has communicated with the public since news organizations called the race for Mr. Biden on Saturday morning. And he continued to get pushback on his preferred medium, Twitter, which flagged several of his messages on Sunday as factually disputed. One of Mr. Trump's tweet cited Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally who was the former Republican speaker of the House, as saying of Democrats, “These people are thieves.”

Michigan’s governor advises Democrats to focus on ‘dinner table issues.’





Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory was especially sweet for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who served as a national co-chair of his campaign and was on Mr. Biden’s short list for vice president. Four years after voting for Donald Trump, her state gave Mr. Biden a win. With most of the votes counted on Sunday, the president-elect had a lead of more than 145,000.

Ms. Whitmer talked with The New York Times about the path to the presidency and her hopes for the new administration.

What are your thoughts on Mr. Biden’s win?

I have two daughters and the fact that for eight years of their life, we had Barack Obama as our president and now watching Kamala Harris, on the national stage, these are things that I never saw as a young woman and the incredible change and optimism really gets you in the gut.

What was the difference in Michigan?

I always said the road to the White House runs through the state of Michigan. And you can’t get on this road without going through the city of Detroit. And I loved how Joe Biden last night acknowledged how important African-American voters were in this election. And how Kamala Harris recognized how important female voters were in this election. This was a coalition that I think came together because of the personal stake every one of us has come to appreciate we have in this moment.

How do you keep Michigan blue?

Joe Biden is a very experienced leader. He has worked with people on both sides of the aisle. He understands the challenge ahead of us in terms of Covid-19 and our economy, the climate crisis, the health care crisis, so he is the perfect person at this moment in American history. I believe that they will be able to get some very important things done because of the experience he brings to the table.

How do you avoid overreaching with a progressive agenda?

The most important thing our leaders can do is to have an agenda that really addresses the dinner table issues for the people they serve. Whether it is infrastructure, which Joe Biden cares a great deal about, which is wonderful news for us, or it’s health care, or it’s the pandemic that is threatening our lives and our livelihood, these are the dinner table issues of 2020. And I do believe by staying focused there, you meet the needs of the majority of people on both sides of the aisle.



In the “America First” landscape that President Trump created, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was an outdated romantic trans-Atlanticist. So there is relief in Europe about having a well-disposed friend in the White House who is more likely to support than to berate, harangue and insult.

A former French ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud, said that “every single European leader has had an appalling conversation with Trump.” Referring to the German chancellor and the former British prime minister, Mr. Araud said: “He insulted Angela Merkel, he insulted Theresa May. He attacked them. It was surreal. And it’s over.”

Civility will be restored, with Biden planning to rejoin the Paris climate accord and to remain in the World Health Organization. He will offer warm words about NATO and US. allies, and probably embark on early visits to Germany and possibly to Brussels, analysts close to the Biden campaign suggested. There will be less confrontation on trade, fewer punitive tariffs and an early effort, Mr. Biden himself has said, to create a kind of “global summit for democracy” — especially in the face of a rising China that is promoting its authoritarian capitalism — as well as a more unified stance against Russia.

David O’Sullivan, former European Union ambassador to the United States, said he looked forward to a renewal of American leadership — if not the hegemony of the past, then at least “America’s role as the convening nation” for multilateral initiatives and institutions.

But there will still be wariness among European leaders — about what Mr. Biden may ask of them, especially with the knowledge that he may be a one-term president and that the populist impulse that animated Trumpism has hardly gone away.

“What is difficult to repair is the fear that this could happen again,” said Stefano Stefanini, a former Italian ambassador to NATO. “If you worry about a one-term presidency, you hold back a lot, which is why Congress will matter. If a Republican Senate tries, as under Obama, to block everything Biden does, Europeans will say, ‘OK, Biden’s fine, but let’s be careful.’”



THE VIEW FROM EUROPE

With the United States so polarized, and with the possibility of a Republican-controlled Senate, allies welcome Joe Biden but are also wary.

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Farmers fear a growing strain on their livelihoods, no matter who is in charge.


A banner hanging over a cornfield in Lilitz, Pa., in September. Credit...Mark Makela for The New York Times

DENVER — Karen Grube and her husband dutifully voted for President Trump, like more than 80 percent of the voters in their farming community of Mercer County, Ohio. But her heart wasn’t in it.

“People thought he’d be the savior for farmers, but he didn’t help,” said Ms. Grube, who keeps the books for the family farm while her husband, Charlie, rises before dawn to milk and feed the cows. “We’re still hanging on, but whether we’ll be here next year, I don’t know.”

Mr. Trump had promised to revive American farms, but years of trade wars with China and Europe, falling crop and milk prices, rising bankruptcies and the coronavirus pandemic took their toll. Farms went under even as the Trump administration plowed billions of dollars in federal aid into traditionally Republican agriculture belts in the South and Midwest.

Now farmers across the country who largely supported Mr. Trump’s re-election are expressing a mixture of hope and trepidation about the victory of Joseph R. Biden Jr. Some worried that a Biden administration would tighten rules on water pollution and limit how they use fertilizer and chemicals to grow crops.

“We have a responsibility to care for our land and water and all the things we’ve been blessed with,” said Ray Gaesser, a Republican corn and soybean farmer in Iowa who voted for Mr. Trump. “But we also need to make a living. If the regulations are severe and drive our costs up, you’re going to put our small farmers out of business.”

But others in farm country celebrated Mr. Biden’s win, including groups that represent farmers of color, small farms and migrant workers. They expressed hope that Democrats would shift agriculture policies that they said were skewed to favor huge corporate farming operations throughout Mr. Trump’s presidency.

The National Farmers Union, whose members tend to run smaller farms, urged Mr. Biden to take action on climate change, expand rural internet service and confront racism in their industry.

John Wesley Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, had endorsed Mr. Biden and said he was gratified on Sunday as he prepared land to plant winter wheat. “Farmers like myself, I just don’t think we could have stood four more years of Trump,” he said.

Mr. Boyd said he wanted Mr. Biden to diversify the top ranks of the Agriculture Department, which has a long history of discrimination against minority farmers. Mr. Boyd said he has struggled to get equal access to federal programs and payments, and recently got a letter telling him he did not meet the standards for a new federal relief payment.

“We always manage to help large-scale white farmers,” Mr. Boyd said. “The relief programs are designed to help corporate farms. They’ve got to find a way to make sure the little guy can still stay on the farm.”


‘Get Joe on the phone’: Biden and McConnell have a history of deal-makin

In late July 2011, with a Treasury default only a few days away and Congress flailing, Senator Mitch McConnell received a phone call on a Saturday from Joseph R. Biden Jr., then the vice president.

“I think it’s time we talk,” Mr. Biden told Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who was then the minority leader.

That opening, recounted by Mr. McConnell in his memoir, “The Long Game,” initiated the second in a series of one-on-one negotiations that produced agreements that rescued the government from imminent fiscal disaster while drawing mixed reviews from fellow Democrats.

President-elect Biden could be making a lot more of those phone calls in the years ahead.

Unless Democrats pick off two Senate seats in Georgia to be decided in runoff elections on Jan. 5, Mr. Biden will have to navigate a Senate narrowly controlled by Mr. McConnell. The two men have personal ties: Mr. Biden has a track record of working with the Senate leader to strike deals, and the Kentuckian has described Mr. Biden not only as someone he liked but also as a man of his word who understands how congressional negotiations work.

“There’s a reason ‘Get Joe on the phone’ is shorthand for ‘time to get serious’ in my office.” Mr. McConnell said in 2016.

Rohit Kumar, who once served as deputy chief of staff to Mr. McConnell, sat in on the three Biden-McConnell negotiations from 2010 to 2013. “My memory is that they actually get along reasonably well,” he said. “It helps that they speak the same language. They are senators.”

Much has changed in the Senate in the four years since Mr. Biden left public office, and even more in the decade since he left the chamber, where relations between the two parties are now hostile and Mr. McConnell has abandoned legislation in single-minded pursuit of the confirmation of conservative judges. When Mr. Biden suggested during the campaign that he could work with his old friend Mitch, many Democratic senators scoffed. And by Sunday afternoon, 24 hours after Mr. Biden had been declared the victor, Mr. McConnell still had yet to issue a statement congratulating the president-elect.

Mr. Biden’s allies say he is far from naïve about the state of the Senate and Mr. McConnell’s track record. But colleagues say he is not the sort to surrender before the battle begins.

For now, Mr. McConnell is not talking, declining interviews during a delicate period when President Trump is resisting the election results and control of the Senate remains unclear.



OLD SPARRING PARTNERS:

Will Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell actually get anything done?

What’s next for Trump’s family business?



Denied a second term by voters, President Trump may now seek to return to a once-lucrative career in television. His family business will also be free to make up for lost time by once again looking overseas, where hotels and golf clubs helped drive its growth before his election in 2016.

Eric Trump and a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment on the business’s post-White-House plans, and the president put out a statement on Saturday disputing the outcome of the election, indicating that he did not believe he had lost.

But as Mr. Trump is poised to once again become a private citizen, here is the landscape for his family business:

Mr. Trump may begin selling his name again.

The fastest way for the Trump Organization to raise money is to flip the switch on its international deal machine, licensing the Trump name to real estate projects like hotels and residential towers. When Mr. Trump entered the White House in 2017, Trump Organization executives said the company had left behind more than two dozen such branding deals, including in China, Israel and South America.

His company, however, still faces legal scrutiny.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating Mr. Trump and his company for an array of potential financial crimes and is seeking his tax returns. The New York State attorney general’s office is conducting a separate civil inquiry into suspicions that the company misstated its assets. The company has denied any wrongdoing, but it may be reluctant to provide the investigators with additional deals to scrutinize.

A polarized country and the pandemic could hamper a rebound.

Some of Mr. Trump’s most lucrative properties are in Democratic strongholds, like New York and Chicago, where he remains deeply unpopular. And his biggest revenue-generator, his Doral golf resort in Florida, has suffered from a drop-off in conference revenue as some big companies and organizations stayed away because of his divisiveness. Mr. Trump has tried to fill the gap, in part, through events booked at his properties by groups connected to him and Republican politics. It is unclear if that patronage will continue, or if Mr. Trump’s detractors will return to his properties. Additionally, it has been a tough year for the hospitality industry because of the pandemic.

There may be another presidential act for Mr. Trump or his children.

Mr. Trump has privately raised the idea of running again in 2024, which could have a chilling effect on his business in the intervening years. Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump may also hold future political aspirations, and that could curb some plans for growth.

Finally, there is Mr. Trump’s love for television.

A onetime reality TV star, Mr. Trump may instead return to television as a political pundit or in another role, those around him say. There have been preliminary discussions about acquiring or starting a Trump-branded network, for example. Paid speeches and a book deal could also await him.


Family business awaits Trump’s return.

A new tone from the top, seeking ‘the confidence of the whole people.’



Joseph R. Biden Jr. waited a long time to give the speech he delivered in Delaware on Saturday night. Not just the five days since Election Day but arguably the 48 years since he was first elected to the Senate, during which he ran for president three times. And at age 77, as Mr. Biden came trotting up the runway to an explosion of car horns and cheers, beaming and looking almost surprised by the ovation, it was clear that his moment had arrived.

The president-elect invoked his own spirituality and shared credit for the moment with his supporters and the people around him.

He quoted from a hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings.” He thanked his supporters: “I owe you, I owe you, I owe you everything.” He warmly praised Kamala Harris, his running mate, and celebrated the fact that she would be the first woman, let alone woman of color, to serve as vice president: “It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard, for so many years to make this happen.”

In every passage in his speech, the contrast between Mr. Biden and President Trump was bracing and notable.

Mr. Trump defined the tone of his presidency at his inauguration, with a dark speech in which he notably did not reach out beyond his base of supporters. The strategy had lifted him to a narrow victory in 2016 in the Electoral College (he lost the popular vote) and he sought to reprise it in his losing campaign this year.

Mr. Biden aggressively moved in the other direction.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify — who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States,” he said on Saturday. “And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.”

To some extent, that reflects what Mr. Biden said during the campaign, but the approach will take on a new urgency as he becomes president.

There were many other notable passages in Mr. Biden’s speech, but one stood out. “Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” he said.

And even as the nation faces one of the darkest periods in its history — a deadly pandemic, economic decline, political polarization — Mr. Biden was relentlessly optimistic, even cheerful. “We can do it,” he said. “I know we can.”


BIDEN’S VICTORY

Deep divisions among Democrats play out the day after Biden wins presidency.



A day after the presidential race was called for Joseph R. Biden Jr., it was clear that the deep divisions within the Democratic Party would continue to play out even before the new administration takes office.

The tensions were encapsulated on the ABC program “This Week” in an exchange between former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat, and Yvette Simpson, the chief executive of the liberal group Democracy for America.

“They get concerned when they see radical ideas being introduced to completely upend the energy system,” Ms. Heitkamp said of conservative Democrats in her state. “There is a place that you can go in solving these problems that speaks to all sides and does not radicalize important issues in this country.”

Ms. Simpson took issue with Ms. Heitkamp’s description of left-wing environmental policies as “radical,” calling it “a Republican talking point.”

“You just called the base of the Democratic Party, progressives, ‘radical,’” she said. “If parts of our party, when we bring home the bacon as we did just yesterday, call us ‘radical’ like Republicans did, that’s not the starting place of a good family conversation.”

This conflict over what the Democratic base wants, and which policies helped or hurt Democrats electorally, spilled into the open this week in a postelection call among House Democrats, in which moderate caucus members like Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia blamed “socialism” and progressive ideas like defunding the police for the party’s losses in swing districts.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking Black Democrat in Congress, said on Sunday that slogans like “defund the police” provided fodder to opponents and pointed to his work in the civil rights movement as proof.

“Months ago, I came out very publicly and very forcefully against sloganeering,” Mr. Clyburn said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “John Lewis and I were founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. John and I sat on the House floor and talked about that ‘defund the police’ slogan, and both of us concluded that it had the possibility to do to the Black Lives Matter movement and current movements across the country what ‘burn baby, burn’ did to us back in 1960.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a leader of the young, progressive wing of the Democratic Party, criticized that sort of argument on CNN after doing the same in an in-depth interview with The New York Times.

“It is not to deny that Republicans led very effective rhetorical attacks against our party — that I believe is absolutely true — but I think one of the things that’s very important is to realize that very effective Republican attacks are going to happen every cycle,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “And so the question is, how do we defend ourselves against that?”

Progressives “have assets to offer the party that the party has not yet fully leaned into or exploited,” she added. “When we come out swinging not 48 hours after Tuesday, and we don’t even have solid data yet, pointing fingers and telling each other what to do, it deepens the division in the party. And it’s irresponsible.”



President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. conducted a roundtable on economic recovering from the coronavirus pandemic in Philadelphia in June.Credit...Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Progressives think President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s policies do not go far enough. President Trump has called Mr. Biden a Trojan horse for the radical left. Here is where he actually stands on several key issues: the coronavirus, health care, the economy, taxes and climate change.

Coronavirus

Mr. Biden’s plans to combat the pandemic include improved testing, expanded production of personal protective equipment, safe vaccine development and the safe reopening of schools. He has vowed to do “whatever it takes,” including lockdowns if scientists recommend them. He has also said he will ask governors to institute a mask mandate in their states; if they refuse, he will work with local officials to get mandates in place.

Health Care

Mr. Biden supports expanding the Affordable Care Act and creating a public option. He has denounced Republican efforts to overturn the health care law, and vowed that Americans with pre-existing conditions will continue to have access to health care. He does not support the single-payer proposal known as “Medicare for all.” He has endorsed lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65.

Economy

Mr. Biden’s economic recovery plan promises to create millions of jobs. He has tied the economic revival to tackling climate change, racial equity and reinvestment in American manufacturing. Among his proposals are a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies, like electric vehicles and 5G cellular networks.

Taxes

Mr. Biden would partially repeal the Trump tax overhaul, rolling back tax cuts for corporations and the highest earners. He has proposed increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, from 21 percent. But he would keep tax cuts in place for other households, including those in the middle class, and he has promised that no one making under $400,000 will pay higher taxes.

Climate Change

Mr. Biden would spend $2 trillion to develop clean energy and eliminate emissions from the power sector by 2035. But he has declined to support the Green New Deal, a plan embraced by progressive groups. Although Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Biden of wanting to “ban fracking,” Mr. Biden has repeatedly said he will not do so. He has proposed ending the permitting of new fracking on federal lands, but not a national ban.



MARIETTA, Ga. — It took a lifetime for Angie Jones to become a Democrat.

As a young woman, she was the proud daughter of a conservative family that was active in Republican Party politics. Ten years ago, after a friend’s son came out as gay, Ms. Jones became an independent, though one who still watched Fox News. After the 2016 election, Ms. Jones, a stay-at-home mother in Johns Creek, a pristine wealthy suburb north of downtown Atlanta, became frustrated with seeing her conservative friends defend President Trump through scandal after scandal.

And this year, she voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr., after spending months phone banking, canvassing and organizing for Democratic candidates with a group of suburban women across Atlanta.

“I feel like the Republican Party left me,” Ms. Jones, 54, said. “It very much created an existential crisis for me.”

This week, the political evolution of voters like Ms. Jones drove Georgia to a breakthrough for Democrats: Mr. Biden, the president-elect, is on the verge of adding the state to his winning electoral margin, with a narrow lead that is headed for a recount but is nevertheless a drastic sign of the shifting politics in the South.

And two Democratic candidates, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, forced runoff elections on Jan. 5 that are expected to decide control of the Senate, and thus the fate of Mr. Biden’s agenda. With the November election barely over, the nation’s political focus will now turn to Georgia as much as the presidential transition in Washington, as both parties pour money and resources into what may be an epic, double-feature political battle, in a state that was considered safe Republican territory just a decade ago.



Vote counts are continuing, but the chances of Trump’s fortunes changing are slim



President Trump’s already daunting odds for a change in the election result appeared to be dimming even further in key states in the ongoing vote counting on Saturday.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 37,000-vote lead over Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania was just outside the state’s 0.5 percent-margin threshold for automatic recounts, and Mr. Biden’s team expected that number to grow by tens of thousands of votes before the state’s results are certified.

Pennsylvania election officials can force recounts with higher margins if they believe there have been sufficient irregularities, but even state Republican leaders have said they have not seen any evidence of widespread problems as of yet. A minimum number of three voters can request recounts in individual counties. Even if Pennsylvania or individual counties were to conduct recounts, Mr. Trump would have a huge deficit in the vote count to surmount.

In Arizona, though Mr. Biden’s edge over Mr. Trump tightened to just over 21,000 votes by Saturday afternoon, it was still greater than the 0.1 percent margin that triggers an automatic recount there.

In Nevada, any candidate can request a recount and must do so by Wednesday. But that candidate must pay for the process, and Mr. Trump would likely find it to be a poor investment: His deficit was in the 26,000-vote range with 97 percent of precincts reporting. There were more outstanding votes in blue counties than red ones, and recounts rarely if ever generate thousands of new votes for a losing candidate.

The one state where an automatic recount seemed almost certain was in Georgia. As of Saturday morning, Mr. Biden led Mr. Trump there by more than 7,000 votes.

Gabriel Sterling, an official with the secretary of state’s office, said that a pool of about 4,200 ballots, most of them absentee, remained to be tallied in four counties: Floyd, Cobb, Cherokee and Gwinnett, where the largest tranche is to be counted and which contains Atlanta suburban communities that have gone from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic in recent years.

The state must also deal with ballots from military and overseas voters, which will be counted if they arrived in the mail before the end of business on Friday and were postmarked by Tuesday. Mr. Sterling said that the unofficial tally of the votes could be completed by the end of the weekend.

Overall, in the 31 statewide recounts held in the United States since 2000, the average change in the number of votes was 430, or 0.024 percent of the entire vote, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Fair Vote.

But even if Mr. Trump were to ultimately win the state and snatch victory away from Mr. Biden in Arizona and Nevada, he would still fall well short of what he would need to claim the presidency in the Electoral College.


Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, is headed to a runoff election after Senator David Perdue of Georgia fell short of a majority he needed to win re-election.Credit...John Amis/Associated Press

As the dust settles from the presidential race, the eyes of the political world have already shifted to Georgia, where two runoff elections set for early January will almost certainly determine which party has control of the Senate.

The outcome of the contests, which will play out two weeks before President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration, will either swing the majority to Democrats, handing the new president broad power to carry out his policy agenda and push through nominations as he sees fit, or leave Republicans in charge, allowing them to influence his plans.

In the weeks ahead, tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash are expected to pour into the state to fund a marathon of political advertising, while party leaders and interest groups on both sides train their attention on the races.



© 2020 The New York Times Company
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Re: Trump enters the stage - conceed or not

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:17 am

"POLITICO

2020 ELECTIONS

Trump digs in as his family and allies spar over a concession

The president and his campaign maintained their fight a day after President-Elect Joe Biden delivered his victory speech.







11/08/2020 06:12 PM EST

President Donald Trump has spent the hours since Joe Biden was declared his successor in an increasingly lonely environment: Resisting family members’ calls to concede, fending off criticism from every corner of Washington and watching surrogates who once marveled at his stubborn defiance go dark on the airwaves.

For the second time this weekend, the president left the White House in the morning for an outing at his Virginia golf club — a “safe space,” as one administration official described it — for him to weigh his next steps. In recent days, the defeated incumbent has been confronted with a torrent of conflicting advice over how he should spend the remaining months of his presidency. Some in his inner circle have encouraged him to battle the election results until the bitter end, while others privately insist he should simply concede to protect his legacy.



Within Trump’s own family, there appear to be divisions. Trump’s wife, Melania, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have been urging the president to think seriously about an exit strategy, according to two people briefed on their discussions. But Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric have continued pugnaciously tweeting away.

At Trump’s campaign, many aides are coming to grips with the reality of a loss. But at campaign headquarters on Sunday, staffers were met with walls covered in print-outs of Trump tweets and a doctored newspaper front page encouraging them to fight on — an idea that came from the highest ranks of the Trump campaign, according to a person familiar with the episode.

Others, like Vice President Mike Pence, have simply gone dark, raising eyebrows among Trump allies.

It’s the same fractious Trump universe that has existed for over four years, in which a consistent message often falls victim to warring factions orbiting Trump. It’s the way numerous decisions have been made during Trump’s presidency: competing power centers push their own agenda publicly and privately, and eventually Trump settles on his preferred approach.



The divides were clearer than ever Sunday morning. As the Trump campaign blasted out a trio of text messages imploring the president’s supporters to financially assist his efforts to “fight back,” and Trump retweeted unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud on Twitter, some of his top allies began publicly congratulating Biden as the incoming commander in chief. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose effusive praise for the president has often separated him from other world leaders, said in a tweet on Sunday he was “look[ing] forward to working with” Biden “to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel.”

Hours after Netanyahu’s tweet, the president reiterated his grievances on Twitter, accusing the media of predetermining the election outcome.

“Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!” he wrote at 2 p.m. from his golf club, where a contingent of MAGA demonstrators had sprouted up with flags and homemade signs endorsing the president’s baseless claims of a “rigged” election.

“Election fraud kills American democracy,” read one sign outside the Sterling, Va., country club.



“We want Trump!” chanted other supporters.

But in television appearances over the weekend, some prominent White House allies seemed less convinced of the president’s theories on election fraud and skeptical that his campaign’s legal push to challenge the outcome would yield the desired results.

“Friendship doesn’t mean that you’re blind,” said former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime friend of the president who said the window is closing for Trump to provide evidence of widespread voter fraud to justify his refusal to concede.

“It was so important early on to say to the president, ‘If your basis for not conceding is that there was voter fraud, then show us,’” Christie told ABC’s “This Week.” “Because if you can’t show us, we can’t do this. We can’t back you blindly without evidence.”

On Fox News, guests who have long endorsed Trump’s tactics and defended his administration expressed doubt about the protracted legal battle he has vowed to pursue. Thus far, Trump campaign lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia have had little impact, with election lawyers saying the suits have minimal merit and a vanishing chance of succeeding.

Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who served as a Republican witness during Trump’s impeachment, said on Fox News that the president’s team was “hunting elephants with derringers” as they search for instances of mass voter fraud or misconduct at ballot-counting locations.

“We need something a little more high-caliber if you’re going to take down an election result or determination. So we’re waiting for that evidence to come forward,” Turley said.

Former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, a consistent pro-Trump voice on the conservative news channel, recognized Biden as president-elect and said he hoped the incoming Democratic leader could “bring people together.” Some Trump aides who spent the weeks leading up to Election Day breathlessly defending their boss avoided TV appearances altogether, citing concerns about Hatch Act restrictions that preclude government officials from participating in certain partisan activities — a barrier that hadn’t seemed to matter before Nov. 3.

The sudden absence of one top Trump ally was particularly confounding to aides inside the president’s campaign who’ve subscribed to his claims of a “stolen” election.

“Where the hell is Mike Pence?” a senior Trump campaign official wrote in a text message Sunday afternoon, noting the vice president has been missing-in-action save for a single tweet on Nov. 5 calling for “every legal vote” to be counted.

But as Pence maintained a low profile — spending time with Trump at White House but avoiding public appearances — and other allies of the president accepted defeat, Trump found support in other corners.

When staffers arrived at his campaign headquarters Sunday morning, for instance, they were confronted by dozens of printed-out Trump tweets and a faux newspaper front page encouraging them to disregard the outcome and continue fighting on the president’s behalf. “PRESIDENT GORE” read the front-page headline of a Washington Times edition from 2000 that was xeroxed and hung all over the Virginia office space.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh deleted a tweet flaunting the newspaper display after the Times noted the image — which came from a newspaper headline about President George W. Bush’s victory in 2000 — had been doctored.

Meanwhile, some Trump allies appearing on the Sunday show circuit echoed the president’s refusal to accept the election results. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed Biden will “have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros.”

“Frankly, I think this is a corrupt stolen election,” Gingrich said during a segment on Fox News.

Other Republicans cast the decision by several networks to call the race for Biden on Saturday morning as premature. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Americans will know who won “when all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished and allegations of fraud addressed,” while House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) asserted “the election is not final” until the president’s lawsuits have been resolved.


As of Sunday, however, Trump’s legal team was still struggling to mount a legal offensive backed by tangible evidence of voter fraud. And some of those closest to Trump, including Melania Trump and Kushner, have been suggesting he look for an eventual off ramp.

While they publicly support the president’s decision to pursue legal recourse, they have nudged him away from condemning the transition of power that must occur before Biden’s January inauguration and have mused about ways in which Trump could concede without explicitly acknowledging he lost.

Still, the president seemed far from ready to concede in any fashion Sunday afternoon. Upon returning to the White House following his round of golf, Trump tweeted a story from the far-right outlet Breitbart News about a team of investigators who were dispatched to a Georgia county over the weekend after officials discovered an alleged issue with the reporting of ballots.'

© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage - what if Trump doesn't leave?

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:07 am

https://youtu.be/ySt7pkqCQBw


https://youtu.be/_98infWoIT0





>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<>>>>>>>><><><>>>>>>>><>




"Trump in denial over election defeat as Biden gears up to fight Covid

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 3:22 AM EST, Mon November 09, 2020



(CNN)Even with President Donald Trump still refusing to concede the election, President-elect Joe Biden will launch an aggressive plan on Monday to control the pandemic that is escalating at an alarming rate and will define his administration as soon as he takes office.

Biden's announcement of a coronavirus task force is an acknowledgment of record new infection numbers in recent days that mean that the Covid-19 crisis will be far worse by the time he reaches the Oval Office in January. The initiative is a forceful statement of intent and makes clear that Biden will use an active transition period to mobilize against the staggering health and economic challenges he will face. And it indicates that he is already moving ahead with the business of assuming power after celebrating the achievement of his three-decades long quest for the presidency on Saturday.

His steps to set the tone of his administration come despite the unprecedented spectacle of a President who has lost the election declining to accept reality. Sources tell CNN that Trump campaign aides are considering their own aggressive strategy -- not to finally tackle the virus that has killed more than 237,000 Americans -- but for the President to possibly hold rallies to bolster his false claims that his second term has been stolen.





Trump shows no sign of responding to the worsening Covid-19 situation, which brought more than 100,000 new infections for five days in a row while Americans were fixated on the prolonged vote count from the election. Saturday, the day the election was called for Biden, saw the highest daily infection total so far with new 126,742 new cases.

Instead, the President remains locked in his manufactured reality in which he won the election, despite Biden passing the 270 electoral votes needed to reach the White House, while flinging false claims that his presidency is being stolen.

But there have been signs of discord in Trump's inner circle, after CNN reported that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, and first lady Melania Trump had advised him to accept the loss while his adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric Trump, are pressing him to continue a fight rooted in false claims of fraud. Kushner's position grew murkier as the day progressed, with sources close to the President later telling CNN's Jake Tapper that Kushner was among those pushing Trump to hold rallies.

Trump's intransigence and unsurprising defiance of democracy threaten to add a constitutional crisis and a disrupted transition of power to the country's problems as the Covid-19 crisis deepens and the economy languishes.

Many GOP leaders have declined to congratulate Biden, or even acknowledge his victory, showing Trump's still huge sway over their party. And the President's lying about the result could convince many of the 70 million people who voted for him that the election was indeed corrupt and so complicate Biden's hopes of uniting the country.

But in a significant intervention Sunday, the only living Republican ex-president, George W. Bush, weighed in after phoning Biden and said in a statement that the election was "fundamentally fair" and the "outcome is clear."

The President's obstinacy is approaching a critical moment, however, with his lawyers under pressure to file convincing legal cases and to produce genuine evidence of electoral fraud — even as Biden's lead across the electoral map leaves only a minuscule chance of changing the result.

Biden to face 'apex' of the pandemic

Trump's overwhelming concern for his own priorities, not surprising for anyone who watched his presidency, is still remarkable given the rapid worsening of the pandemic.

Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University, said on CNN's "Newsroom" on Sunday that "by the time that the Biden-Harris administration takes over, this virus is going to have already run rampant through the communities across the United States."

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned Sunday that by the time the President-elect takes the oath of office on January 20, the country will be at the "apex" of the Covid-19 crisis and that the current administration — which has said the virus cannot be controlled — must act fast.

"We're past the election -- I think they need to focus on what we can be doing nationally," Gottlieb said on CBS's "Face the Nation."





In the run-up to the election, Trump's White House -- where coronavirus policy is run by Dr. Scott Atlas, who has scorned measures like mask wearing -- gave up briefing Americans about a virus the President falsely said was going away and has not conducted any public health messaging for months. Vice President Mike Pence, who spent most of the last few weeks on the campaign trail, will return to the White House Situation Room on Monday to lead a meeting of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force.

The inclusion of public health experts on Biden's coronavirus task force -- which is to be chaired by former surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy, former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith -- underscores how seriously the President-elect plans to take the pandemic that is now certain to dominate at least the first year of his term.

But the announcement will also reflect how, over the next 72 days, the new administration will be powerless to mitigate the course of the pandemic that will in many ways define Biden's presidency and how Trump's neglect will exacerbate the staggering challenges that Biden will face once inside the Oval Office.

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN that Biden's plans to take the virus more seriously represent a "good start" and that he welcomed some belated federal leadership on the pandemic after the Trump administration's mismanagement.

"The ship of state has had no captain," Reiner said.

Trump in no mood to concede

A day after Biden was projected to win the election, Trump went on as if nothing had happened, playing his second round of golf of the weekend, and continuing to tweet false claims that the election was rigged.

The President has still not made the traditional call to the President-elect. Pence, who has been silent since Saturday, is yet to make contact with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Several of Trump's most vehement supporters in Washington backed his unsubstantiated claims of fraud on Sunday.

"What we need in the presidential race is to make sure every legal vote is counted, every recount is completed, and every legal challenge should be heard," said the top Republican in the US House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Newly reelected South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox "Sunday Morning Futures" that the President should not concede because the media should not get to call the winner of the race.



Inside Trump's loss: A culmination of self-destructive decisions

"If they did you'd never have a Republican president forever," Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said.

One of the President's friends, Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that he had spoken to the President this week and that "he is not interested in conceding at this time."

Trump's apparent intention to continue insisting he won the election may represent another occasion when he is putting his own needs above a normal definition of the duties of his office. In the likely event his legal strategy fails, it could offer him a face-saving way to insist that he didn't lose the election. It would also allow him to foment anger among his political base that he could use to remain a kingmaker in Republican politics after he leaves office.

But unless the President and his legal team can come up with evidence of vast fraud, which they have failed to do so far, it may take some combination of family members and senior Republicans to convince him it is over.

After CNN reported that the first lady believed it was time for the President to concede, she tweeted in support of her husband's position.

"The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal -- not illegal -- vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency," she tweeted.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the GOP's defeated 2012 presidential nominee and a frequent Trump critic, called on Americans to unite behind Biden, said that he had seen no evidence of widespread fraud and predicted that Trump would eventually accept the inevitable once all legal remedies had been exhausted.

"You're not going to change the nature of President Trump in these last days, apparently, of his presidency. He is who he is. And he has a relatively relaxed relationship with the truth," Romney said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"Don't expect him to go quietly in the night. That's not how he operates."



© 2020 Cable News Network. A Warner Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - public sentiment

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:08 pm

https://youtu.be/MS8C5BHoZHQ



Bad public sentiment overcomes prejudice that spells conspiratorial none sense, showing that either way: one man's truth is anothers' conspiracy


If black lives don't matter, then is it real to say, they should? Is this even a real question to be raised in these times?

Can the hearts of man reveal prejudice , in one firm or another, that can be cured by some elixir ? Or, is there a sustained difference between de--facto and de-jure behavior models?

The proof is in the pudding , here, where the fraction. of those behind bars and those that are not are inversely proportional to any basis that equivocate economic factors involved to crime: meaning -the lack of adequate defense relegates the indifensible through. materially supply adequate defense, inducing voulnerability and increasing conviction rates of the inmoscemt.

These factors enter into the fact that overall sentiment should not be comprimised, and for the furtherance of justice the right has to realize that it ( justice ) needs to be realized.



>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ????????



MEET THE PRESS

In appeasing Trump, the GOP toys with a constitutional crisis
First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.

Image: Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 4. Jon Cherry / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a combined 77,000 votes; he got 306 electoral votes; and he received a concession speech by Hillary Clinton and a White House meeting with Barack Obama 48 hours after the election.

In 2020, Joe Biden won those same three states by a combined 214,000 votes (and counting); he’s on track for an identical 306 electoral votes; and Trump, his administration and GOP leaders are still refusing to recognize the outcome.


While it’s easy to dismiss this refusal as the last gasp of Trumpism — Republicans trying to appease the president one last time before he exits the White House — it also feels close to a country stumbling into a constitutional crisis.


Consider:

The top Trump appointee at the General Services Administration has yet to recognize the incoming Biden administration, denying it transition funding and personnel access.
Attorney General William Barr issued a memo to federal prosecutors to investigate “substantial allegations” of voter fraud before the election results are certified – which led to the Justice Department’s head election-crimes prosecutor to resign in protest.
GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – both likely headed to runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5 – called for their state’s Republican secretary of state to resign for election “failures” and “mismanagement,” but didn’t cite any specifics.
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognized the Republican Party’s victories, but not Biden’s.
So far, only four Republican senators — Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Ben Sasse — have congratulated Biden and recognized the election results.

That’s it.

Trump lost, but most Republicans are still acting like they’re afraid of him.


The uncalled presidential states as of publication time
Arizona: Biden is ahead by 14,746 votes, 49.4 percent to 49.0 percent (98% in).
Georgia: Biden is ahead by 12,337 votes, 49.5 percent to 49.3 percent (99% in).
North Carolina: Trump is ahead by 74,855 votes, 50.0 percent to 48.7 percent (98% in).
Alaska: Trump is ahead by 54,598 votes, 62.2 percent to 33.6 percent (61% in).
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
4,632,113: Joe Biden’s lead in the popular vote at the time of publication

10,196,710: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 141,225 more than yesterday morning.)

240,162: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 713 more than yesterday morning.)

158.16 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

59,275: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus

70 percent: The share of Republicans who say the election was not free and fair.

56: The number of days until the January 5 Senate runoffs.

71: The number of days until Inauguration Day.

Biden to speak on Obamacare as Supreme Court hears oral arguments
The U.S. Supreme Court today hears arguments in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

And at 2:00 p.m. ET, President-elect Biden will deliver remarks on the health care law.

Georgia Runoff Watch by Ben Kamisar
Today in Runoff Watch, Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler want the Georgia Secretary of State to resign, but not for any explicit reason.

The two released a joint statement Monday afternoon arguing that “Georgians are outraged” because the “management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state.”

But missing in the heated statement was any explicit accusation of any wrongdoing by Sec. Brad Raffensperger, outside of the broad claim he “failed to deliver honest and transparent elections.”

It’s a bold way to kick off the runoff (runoffs?) to come in their Senate elections, as President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in the state continues to grow, and hours after the state’s lieutenant governor told CNN he’s seen “no credible examples” of voter fraud in the state yet.

Raffensperger responded in a letter of his own, in which he said he would not resign and that the “process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law.”

He added that it’s “unlikely” there was enough illegal voting to change the outcome of the presidential race, and he offered some advice to the senators: “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”

All options are on the table
Biden transition officials are looking at their legal options when it comes to having the General Services Administration prepare an ascertainment letter to officially begin the Biden presidential transition.

The GSA has withheld the letter that would allow the Biden team to have access to classified information, background investigations, appropriated funds to help with transition and access to federal agencies.

"We believe that it's been very, very clear that we are the winners in this election. They have every right to be afforded access to all government services or anything else that would come traditionally as part of the transition process,” one Biden official told NBC’s Mike Memoli.

Asked what recourse the Biden team has at this point, the official said: "At this point there's a number of levers on the table, and all options are certainly available. It's a changing situation and certainly rather fluid. But we do have a number of options on the table that we can, we can pursue.”

Pressed if that included legal actions, the official said: "Legal action is certainly a possibility. But there are other options as well that we are considering."

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
Trump aides are worried behind the scenes that the president is damaging the party and his legacy.

Some lawyers at the firms representing Trump’s campaign are starting to get uncomfortable with his demands.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that Republicans brought in the attempt to overturn Obamacare.

Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump’s firing of Pentagon chief Mark Esper is raising questions about the country’s national security in Trump’s waning days as president.

Trump is planning a new leadership PAC.

Susan Collins is congratulating Biden. She doesn’t have much company.








© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Pompeo

Postby Meno_ » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:18 pm

Biden begins transition plans as Trump refuses to concede

Biden begins transition plans as Trump refuses to concede What you need to know
President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with transition plans, and called President Trump's refusal to concede "an embarrassment."
Trump still hasn't publicly accepted that he lost the 2020 presidential election and vowed to challenge the results.

3:48 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
State Department officials shocked and confused by Pompeo's remarks on transition



State Department officials and diplomats are shocked, confused and outraged after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to recognize Joe Biden’s presidential election victory and said “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” when asked if State Department will cooperate with the Biden transition.
“I am sick,” said one US diplomat overseas. “How dare he undermine our work.”

“How can he be serious?” said another US diplomat. “This is actually incredibly scary.”

One State Department official said they had been watching the news conference until Pompeo "joked about the transition" and then they "flipped it off in disgust."

"For someone who created a code of ethos and a West Point graduate, he's stooping to the lowest of the low," they said, adding that Pompeo is "sinking his legacy, even with all the work and diplomacy of his term."
US diplomats have received no guidance from the State Department as to how to discuss the election results, and Pompeo did not answer a question about the matter during Tuesday’s news conference.

Diplomats are angry and confused about whether Pompeo was suggesting that they should be telling their counterparts that Trump will somehow get a second term, which they know is virtually impossible. Pompeo did not answer directly about whether he believed there was widespread voter fraud – there is no evidence to support such beliefs.

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement Tuesday that Pompeo “shouldn’t play along with baseless and dangerous attacks on the legitimacy of last week’s election.”

“In fact, all Administration officials should drop their false claims about electoral fraud and GSA should release the funding and support necessary for a smooth transition that protects our national security,” Chairman Eliot Engel said. “The State Department should now begin preparing for President-elect Biden’s transition.”

CNN has asked the State Department for clarity on Pompeo’s remarks.

3:55 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
White House is advising agencies to prepare a budget as Trump refuses to concede loss



The White House’s Office and Management and Budget is continuing to advise agencies to prepare the budget proposal as if nothing is changing, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The person said the team is “going forward assuming a win” when it comes to budget preparation, despite the major networks calling the race for President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump has refused to admit defeat even though his claims contesting the election results haven't held up in court.

Another person says while there hasn't been a formal memo spelling this out, the message to agencies is to proceed as normal.

The President’s budget, which normally comes out in February, is more of a political document than a policy proposal, since Congress determines how money is spent.

It amounts to a yearly signal of the White House's priorities in the coming months.

3:55 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
Biden-Harris transition team announces agency review teams tasked with evaluating government agencies


U.S. President-elect Joe Biden listens as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addresses the press on the Affordable Care Act on November 10. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
The Biden- Harris transition team has released their full list of the members of their agency review teams — the teams tasked with reviewing operations at the federal agencies across the government. They reiterated that their transition is "continuing full steam ahead."

“Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, urgent calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad," Sen. Ted Kaufman, the co-chair for the Biden-Harris transition, said in a news release.
"The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One,” he continued.

3:24 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
Biden: "I don't see a need for legal action" over transition

President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 10. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
President-elect Joe Biden said he does "not see a need for legal action" as he continues to move ahead with his transition and President Trump is yet to publicly concede.

"No, I don't see a need for legal action. Quite frankly, I think the legal action is, you're seeing it play out. The actions he's taking. And so far there is no evidence of any of the assertions made by the President or Secretary of State Pompeo," Biden said.
Biden laid out how he plans to proceed, regardless of how Trump responds. The President-elect noted that there is "one president at a time" and Trump will "be president until Jan. 20."

"We're just going to proceed the way we have. We're gonna do exactly what we'd be doing if he had conceded, and said, 'we've won,' which we have, and so there's nothing really changing," Biden said.

Remember: Major new organizations, including CNN, projected Biden will win the presidential election on Saturday. President Trump has launched a series of legal challenges to the results and has not yet conceded to Biden — yet concession is a custom, not something required under the law.
There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud despite Trump's claims.
Watch the moment:
##Biden#

3:25 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
Biden: Trump's refusal to concede is "an embarrassment"


Asked about President Trump's refusal to concede the election, President-elect Joe Biden said, "I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly."

Biden said the he believes in the end, there will be a transition of power.

"I think at the end of the day, it's all going to come to fruition on Jan. 20, and between now and then, my hope and expectation is that the American people do know and do understand that there has been a transition."
In a follow-up question, Biden was asked about Republicans who won't acknowledge that he won.

He responded, "They will. They will."

Watch President-elect Joe Biden:
3:24 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden says he hasn't yet spoken to Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell since the election but expects to do so in the "not too distant in the future."

Asked about comments made by McConnell earlier today suggesting he may not recognize the outcome of this election until the electoral college meets next month, Biden responded that he felt President Trump is intimidating members of his party.


"I think that the whole Republican party has been put in a position with a few notable exceptions of being mildly intimidated by the sitting President."
Watch the moment:
3:27 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
Biden: Trump's refusal to concede "is not of much consequence in our planning"
President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act from Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, November 10. CNN/Pool
President-elect Joe Biden dismissed Trump's refusal "to acknowledge we won," saying Trump's lack of concession would not affect his transition plans.


"First of all, we are already beginning our transition. We're well underway," Biden said at a news conference.
Biden said he's beginning to review who might serve in his cabinet and putting together the rest of his administration.

"And so I'm confident that the fact that they're not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we're able to do between now and Jan. 20," Biden said.

While CNN and other networks on Saturday projected Biden would win the presidency, Trump has vowed to challenge 2020 election results and has yet to publicly concede.
Watch the moment:
3:01 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
Biden says health care "doesn't need to be a partisan issue"
President-elect Joe Biden called the case heard this morning by the Supreme Court — which could overturn Obamacare — "the latest attempt by far right ideologues" to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Biden said, "The goal of the outgoing administration is clear" — that "the entire ACA thus must fall."

He continued: "Now I'm not naive about the fact that health care is an issue that has divided Americans in the past, but the truth is the American people are more united on this issue today than they are divided."


"This doesn't need to be a partisan issue. It's a human issue. It affects every single American family," Biden added.

Harris: Every vote for Biden was "a statement that health care in America should be a right"
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris used a portion of her remarks on the Affordable Care Act to reiterate that Joe Biden "won the election decisively" and that the Biden-Harris administration will not allow that the health care law be overturned.

"Now, I know we all know that we just had an election in America. An election where health care was very much on the ballot. Our country had a clear choice in this election. Each and every vote for Joe Biden was a statement that health care in America should be a right and not a privilege. Each and every vote for Joe Biden was a vote to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act. Not to tear it away in the midst of a global pandemic," Harris said.
Harris added that Biden "won the election decisively, with more votes than have ever been cast in American history."

"It amounts to 75 million voices and counting calling on the Supreme Court to see this case for what it is. A blatant attempt to overturn the will of the people. And the President-Elect and I cannot let that happen," Harris added.

Remember: President Trump has not yet conceded to Biden despite major news organizations, including CNN, projecting Biden will win the presidential election.

© 2020 Cable News Network. A Warner Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - The Big Wait

Postby Meno_ » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:44 am

"President Donald Trump met with his top election advisors on Wednesday as his chances for reversing an apparent win by President-elect Joe Biden in the race for the White House looked increasingly daunting.

NBC News reported that Trump met with his son-in-law and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior campaign advisor Jason Miller to discuss a path forward for the Republican incumbent.


Trump held a similar meeting on Tuesday that was more focused on the status of multiple legal challenges his campaign has launched in an attempt to invalidate ballots cast for Biden in six battleground states.

Wednesday's meeting came as NBC News reported that there is growing expectation among Trump's advisors that he will never concede that he lost to Biden, even when ballots are certified in coming weeks around the country.

"Do not expect him to concede," a top aide told NBC. It is more likely, the aide said, that "he'll say something like, 'We can't trust the results, but I'm not contesting them.'"

Biden, a Democratic former vice president, has 77.4 million votes in the popular vote tally, compared with 72.26 million ballots cast for Trump, a margin of 50.8% to 47.4%, with 96% of the expected national vote counted so far.

But the Electoral College vote, not the popular vote, determines who wins the White House. Every state, with the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska, award all of their electoral votes, which are equal to their number of congressional districts plus two, to the winner of their popular election votes.


NBC News has projected that Biden will win at least 279 Electoral College votes, which is nine more than the minimum a candidate needs to clinch a win for the presidency.

Trump is projected as of now to win 217 electoral votes.


Three states have yet to be projected by NBC News: Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina, which together have 47 electoral votes.

Trump is currently leading in the popular vote tally of one of those states, North Carolina, but trails Biden in the other two states by .4 percentage points or less.

Georgia's secretary of state on Wednesday announced a statewide hand recount of all ballots.

To retain the presidency, Trump would need to reverse at least one of Biden's projected victories in Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, even if he managed to win all three of the remaining states whose results have yet to be projected.

Election analysts and legal observers say his chances of winning a recount or of invalidating enough ballots by proving fraud or some other irregularity to deny Biden a victory in even a single state, much less multiple states, are slim at best.

Biden's legal advisor Bob Bauer has called the Trump campaign's legal challenges to ballots "theatrics."

A White House official told NBC News, "It's not wrong for the Biden team to call it theater."

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, on Wednesday said it is "very, highly unlikely" that Trump will win enough of the fewer than 45,000 ballots outstanding in Arizona to overcome Biden's lead there.

Brnovich, whose wife was appointed to the federal judiciary by Trump, also said during a Fox Business interview that his office had not found any evidence of ballot fraud.

In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Fox 5 Atlanta on Tuesday, "We have not found any widespread voter fraud."

"I understand half of the people will be happy, half of the people will be sad, but I want 100% of the people to understand that the process was fair and accurately counted," Raffensperger said.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, in a CNN interview Wednesday said that the only known case of voter fraud "in Pennsylvania in this cycle, is a registered Republican in Luzerne County, [who] tried to vote for Trump with his dead mother's ballot."

"And at some point, we all have to collectively accept that yelling 'voter fraud' when there is no evidence whatsoever of it is yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater," Fetterman said. "It is harming the democratic franchise of our country and the peaceful transition of power, and we cannot accept that."

In Michigan, state Attorney General Dana Nessel also disputed claims of fraud by the Trump campaign.

"The November elections in Michigan ran as smoothly as ever," Nessel, a Democrat, said Wednesday.

"Irregularities occur in every election, but there are multiple layers of protection to ensure that these irregularities are caught and rectified."

"Most of these are simple human error, not crimes," she said.



¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿????????¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿



What's this?



"President Trump isn’t really trying to overturn the election. He’s simply running one more scam before he leaves office that would enable him to enrich himself."


Really? How assumptions of US values are plumeting, even if the above is mere hyperbola!
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Re: Trump enters the stage - dictatorial military moves"" ?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:50 pm

"Lindsey Graham appears to issue veiled warning to Trump on US troop changes


Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 10 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images
Close Trump ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham, appeared to issue a veiled warning to President Trump regarding his US military posture. Graham's comments come just days after Trump fired Defense Sec. Mark Esper in a tweet, and other top Pentagon officials have left.
Knowledgable sources told CNN that Trump's changes may be in response to Esper and his team pushing back on a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan, that would be carried out before the required conditions on the ground were met, as well as other pending security issues. Esper was replaced by Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

"This is scary, it's very unsettling," one defense official told CNN. "These are dictator moves."
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Re: Trump enters the stage - dictatorial military moves"" ?

Postby obsrvr524 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:56 pm

Meno_ wrote:Knowledgable sources told CNN ~~~~

~~~"This is scary, it's very unsettling," one defense official told CNN. "These are dictator moves."

More anonymous sources used to spread gossip.

"There is no evidence"
Sound familiar?
              You have been observed.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - dictatorial military moves"" ?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:40 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:
Meno_ wrote:Knowledgable sources told CNN ~~~~

~~~"This is scary, it's very unsettling," one


defense official told CNN. "These are dictator


moves."



It does, however , remember the noteable " I spy You spy Sunday comics a way back?

It also noteable that a counter terrorism chief is replacing the secretary of defense. The counter force toward civil disobedience is a shift away from international-national security.

As far as policy is concerned, this shifts the stance made under the current administration to expectations of civil unrest.

Since I am non comitted, seeing green peace should have been the primary independent stance based on naturalistic principles, I d I not see this as a pertinant policy shift.

It is the optics that worry me.



"


L
'Dejected' Trump continues to waffle over waging baseless election fight

Updated 12:45 PM EST, Thu November 12, 2020

(CNN)How much longer President Donald Trump continues waging battle over an election he lost remained in question Thursday as more of his advisers voiced doubt his gambit to contest the results would succeed. One person who spoke to him called him "dejected" over the ordeal.

Trump himself was waffling by the hour and day between a pugilistic desire to keep fighting and a more resigned attitude that his efforts will ultimately fail, people who spoke to him said.

None said they believed a full-blown concession was imminent, or likely to ever materialize. Some people close to the situation pointed to November 20 -- the certification deadline in Georgia, where a hand recount has been ordered -- as a potential end-date. Others said the unpredictable President could chose to pull the plug sooner.


But surveyed by CNN, nearly everyone close to Trump said they believed it was only a matter of time before he finds some way to acknowledge he will not be president come January 20 -- and said he was likely to pin blame on his baseless claims of a rigged election.

Just in the last day, Trump's informal campaign adviser, a religious ally, a Republican governor and conservative media personalities have all come out to say the election was won by Biden and that Trump should begin moving on.

Inside the White House, the current period has taken on the feeling of interregnum, as staffers feel obliged to continue their work and even celebrate Trump's perceived victory while the President largely discontinues his own official tasks.

As Trump was in the White House residence last week, watching his path to a second term slip from grasp, his staffers were holding a premature celebration next door. The White House Office of Presidential Personnel, the unit responsible for administration hiring that has of late become a loyalty enforcer under Trump, threw a victory party in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, sources told CNN, where staffers enjoyed drinks and clinked glasses to a second term.

The ill-timed celebration was another reminder of how the Trump administration is operating as if a second term is in the offing, even as many officials say they are just waiting on the President to publicly accept reality. Budgets are being drawn and staff told to stay put, even though nearly everyone knows the gig will end eventually.

"It could be days. It could be weeks," one presidential adviser said.

An internal debate continues to rage over the wisdom of continuing with the legal challenges and requests for recounts in several states. One adviser said Trump could be seen as losing twice as his attempts at challenging the results fail one by one.

Since last week, Trump has been advised on numerous occasions that it's highly unlikely he will prevail in the courts, but he has plowed ahead anyway. Two advisers cautioned Trump could change his mind about the court cases, which may lead to a sudden move to bow out.

But others pointed to the decision in Georgia to conduct a full recount of votes, the results of which won't be known until late next week, suggesting that is a potential deadline for Trump to finally acknowledge his loss.

A top Senate GOP official said Thursday that Republican leadership has told senators they expect the current situation to drag on "no more than another week," though even Republican lawmakers close to Trump have acknowledged they have little insight into the President's strategy.

Dark stretch

Trump's stunning abdication of leadership comes as pandemic worsens
For Trump, the days since the election have been a dark stretch. While aides say he has thrown relatively few angry fits -- most people in the building were fully expecting them -- he has seemed downcast.

For days, he lamented the decision by Fox News to call Arizona for Biden, even as the move made less-and-less of a difference in the ultimate scheme of things. He has consulted with a wide array of outside advisers on how to proceed, offering little sign he is planning a graceful exit even as he has acknowledged the race is likely over.

His adult sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are encouraging him to continue waging battle, arguing his supporters want to see him keeping up the pressure and that he has little to lose. But others, including their sister Ivanka, have sent a more calibrated message, asking whether it was worth damaging his legacy and potentially his businesses to continue his refusal to concede.

None, however, have vigorously argued to Trump that he should concede.

The President went for three days without leaving the building before making the trip to his golf course in Virginia on Saturday, a tactfully arranged outing that brought him very briefly away from his television at the moment networks called the race for Biden. Instead of watching it play out live, Trump received a phone call from staff alerting him to the news, though he had been expecting it and the official word did not prompt an outsized reaction. Trump continued with his round of golf anyway.

In the days since, Trump has spent ample time in front of the TV watching coverage of Biden's transition, including his public remarks describing Trump's reluctance to concede an "embarrassment." He was thrilled when he saw Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mention a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration" during a news conference on Tuesday, one person who spoke to him said.

But he has been dismayed to see foreign leaders, including those he considered friends such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, move swiftly toward congratulating Biden.

He has spent much of his days on the phone, describing his strong view the election had been stolen from him and his disbelief at losing to Biden. But throughout his conversations this week, Trump has appeared cognizant that his legal efforts aren't likely to reverse the results of the contest and that he will depart the White House in January.

Trump this week has lingered in the Oval Office for longer than he normally does. While the President typically finishes official business and heads to the residence for dinner around 6:30 p.m. ET, he has stayed in the West Wing past 7 p.m. every night this week.



Pence under the radar as Trump fights for power
Almost everyone around the President -- members of his family, senior staffers and outside advisers -- believe he will accept defeat and leave the White House in January even if he never publicly acknowledges Biden's win. In the meantime, staffers have advised him not to hold public press conferences and instead let his attorneys handle the public relations aspect of the legal fight.

Several of those people, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, said they expected Trump to tease a 2024 run when he does finally acknowledge the results. Those sources expect Trump to dismiss the 2020 race as fraudulent and while hinting that he's running again in four years.

Though Trump has said nothing publicly about a potential second term that would begin in 2025, it's a possibility that could create an uncomfortable scenario for those who currently surround him and politically support him — given the vice president, secretary of state, former UN ambassador and a slew of others are all said to be weighing their own presidential runs.

Another indication Trump may be considering a third run was his endorsement Wednesday of Ronna McDaniel, the current GOP national party chair who was expected to face a tough reelection.

"I am pleased to announce that I have given my full support and endorsement to Ronna McDaniel to continue heading the Republican National Committee (RNC). With 72 MILLION votes, we received more votes than any sitting President in U.S. history - and we will win!" Trump tweeted.

His public seal of approval for McDaniel caught several people in the White House and Republican Party off guard. Some of Trump's children had been privately complaining about McDaniel while discussing who might replace her as the chair. McDaniel was said to be discussing a gubernatorial run in Michigan with others, according to three sources.

One person close to the situation said Trump's endorsement of McDaniel could be a sign he intends to run again in 2024 and wants an ally placed within the party in the time being.

Slight shift

Karl Rove acknowledges presidential election 'won't be overturned'
For now, Trump has continued to meet privately with his political advisers at the White House, including McDaniel, who dialed into strategy meetings Wednesday. Though some have said the President is being briefed on the limited chance of success he has, others fear he's only being told what he wants to hear.

Plenty of those in Trump's circle have begun discounting the chances his legal efforts will be successful. Karl Rove -- who sources said advised the White House and Trump campaign leading up to the 2020 election -- wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that while the President is within his right to challenge the results, his efforts "are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden's column, and certainly they're not enough to change the final outcome."

Evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, a high-profile supporter of Trump's, said on Wednesday that Biden won the election. Ohio's Republican governor Mike DeWine said on CNN that "Joe Biden is the President-elect." Even Geraldo Rivera, the media personality who is a friend of the President's, wrote on Twitter that Trump should consider bowing out.

"You came so close," Rivera wrote. "Time coming soon to say goodbye with grace and dignity."

But others, particularly those in Congress, have remained mostly silent. One person familiar with the matter said senior Congressional Republicans are deeply wary of angering Trump as he mulls his participation in upcoming Senate runoff elections in Georgia, fearful a misstep could prompt the President to refuse to help Republicans in their races.

Inside the West Wing, several senior staffers have been absent this week after becoming infected with coronavirus -- including chief of staff Mark Meadows and the White House political director Brian Jack. Combined with Trump's light schedule -- he went for almost a week without an official event -- the building has taken on a purgatorial feeling, with staffers caught between a President refusing to accept loss and the reality they will be out of a job soon.

Despite an edict from the personnel office chief that anyone caught looking for new work would be fired, many staffers are nevertheless moving ahead with updating their resumes and reaching out to contacts looking for open positions. Senior officials inside the administration were also helping their staff look for new roles outside of the administration.

Trump himself has shown little concern for where his team will land.

Emerging for his first public event since last week, Trump stood in the rain on Wednesday during a Veterans' Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, eschewing an umbrella to stand before the Tomb of the Unknowns as the rain pounded down.

Later, he returned to the Oval Office for meetings about his legal strategy moving forward and another afternoon of television viewing.


© 2020 Cable News Network. A Warner Media Company. All Rights Reserved.



More anonymous sources used to spread gossip.

"There is no evidence"
Sound familiar?
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Re: Trump enters the stage - exit strategy for show canceled

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:07 am

"

The New York Times
Election Disinformation


Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios as He Ponders His Future
There is no grand strategy. President Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next.

Image
President Trump on Wednesday in the Oval Office. He has toggled between the White House residence and the Oval Office, watching television coverage about the final weeks of his presidency.
President Trump on Wednesday in the Oval Office. He has toggled between the White House residence and the Oval Office, watching television coverage about the final weeks of his presidency.

By Maggie Haberman
Nov. 12, 2020

Updated 8:17 p.m. ET
At a meeting on Wednesday at the White House, President Trump had something he wanted to discuss with his advisers, many of whom have told him his chances of succeeding at changing the results of the 2020 election are thin as a reed.

He then proceeded to press them on whether Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver him the electoral votes he needs to change the math and give him a second term, according to people briefed on the discussion.

It was not a detailed conversation, or really a serious one, the people briefed on it said. Nor was it reflective of any obsessive desire of Mr. Trump’s to remain in the White House.

“He knows it’s over,” one adviser said. But instead of conceding, they said, he is floating one improbable scenario after another for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future.



There is no grand strategy at play, according to interviews with a half-dozen advisers and people close to the president. Mr. Trump is simply trying to survive from one news cycle to the next, seeing how far he can push his case against his defeat and ensure the continued support of his Republican base.

By dominating the story of his exit from the White House, he hopes to keep his millions of supporters energized and engaged for whatever comes next.

The president has insisted to aides that he really defeated Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Nov. 3, but it is unclear whether he actually believes it. And instead of conducting discreet requests for recounts, Mr. Trump has made a series of spurious claims, seizing on conspiracies fanned on the internet.

The latest was on Thursday, when he falsely claimed on Twitter that Dominion voting machines switched hundreds of thousands of his votes to Mr. Biden, citing a report he had seen on the fringe network OANN, something even his supporters called ridiculous and a federal agency overseeing cybersecurity disavowed in a statement.



Advisers said his efforts were in keeping with one of his favorite pastimes: creating a controversy and watching to see how it plays out.

As a next step, Mr. Trump is talking seriously about announcing that he is planning to run again in 2024, aware that whether he actually does it or not, it will freeze an already-crowded field of possible Republican candidates. And, Republicans say, it will keep the wide support he showed even in defeat and could guarantee a lucrative book deal or speaking fees.

In the meantime, Mr. Trump has spent his days toggling between his White House residence and the Oval Office, watching television coverage about the final weeks of his presidency. His mood is often bleak, advisers say, though he is not raising his voice in anger, despite the impression left by his tweets, which are often in capital letters.

But the work of government has been reduced to something of a sideshow for the president. He has not made any public appearances except for a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day since an angry statement a week ago.



And he has not spoken about the coronavirus pandemic or mentioned it on Twitter despite the staggering growth in positive cases and the number of West Wing aides and outside advisers who have been diagnosed with the virus in the past week.

Several advisers have bluntly told Mr. Trump that the chances of changing the election’s outcome are almost nonexistent, including in a meeting with him on Saturday at the White House to which the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, dispatched aides, even as he has generally backed Mr. Trump’s desire to keep fighting.

Election 2020 ›
Transition: Latest Updates
1 hour ago

Cybersecurity officials say the election was ‘the most secure in American history.’
With Biden ahead by 14,000 votes, Georgia will begin recount on Friday.
Progressives are pressing Biden to limit corporate influence in his administration.
While most Republicans have declined to publicly oppose the president, more have become vocal that the time has come, amid the growing pandemic, to allow a transition to take place.

“Look, I’m worried about this virus. I’m not looking at what the merits of the case are,” said Gov. Mike DeWine, Republican of Ohio, about Mr. Trump’s lawsuits in an appearance on Thursday on CNN. “It would appear that Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States.”



Karl Rove, the architect of President George W. Bush’s presidency and an informal adviser to Mr. Trump, wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that “closing out this election will be a hard but necessary step toward restoring some unity and political equilibrium.”

He added that after Mr. Trump’s “days in court are over, the president should do his part to unite the country by leading a peaceful transition and letting grievances go.”


Mr. Trump is hoping to keep his supporters energized for whatever comes next.

A peaceful transition is not as much on Mr. Trump’s mind right now as settling scores both inside and outside the administration.



White House advisers have sent warnings to any government employees who might be looking for other jobs, have placed loyalists in the upper ranks of the Pentagon, and have been open to calls for intelligence officials to declassify documents related to the investigation into a possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign in 2016 and Russian officials.

And the president is considering firing the C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, although some administration officials said he may not go through with it.

The president has nursed a burning anger at Fox News for calling Arizona for Mr. Biden on election night, and has entertained suggestions from allies to start some kind of competing conservative-leaning news network, whether by trying to join forces with an existing property like OANN or Newsmax, or forming a digital network of his own, as Axios reported.

In a tweet on Thursday, Mr. Trump continued his attacks on his once loyal supporters, declaring that Fox News’s “daytime ratings have completely collapsed.”



“Weekend daytime even WORSE,” he added. “Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!”

Several Republicans expressed doubt on Thursday that Mr. Trump would ever be able to put together anything that could overtake Fox.

And allies acknowledge that he could not do both a presidential campaign and create a news network at the same time, and they questioned whether he would keep up his animus toward Fox if it were to offer him a lucrative contributor deal once he is out of office.

Some advisers had hoped that Mr. Trump would accept the state of the race by the end of this week, but a looming recount in Georgia may delay that. The president has told some advisers that if the race is certified for Mr. Biden, he will announce a 2024 campaign shortly afterward.



The president’s goal for now is to delay certification of the election results, a process that has begun in some states. But his approach to lawsuits aimed at delaying that certification has been as scattered as his own thinking about the future.

Advisers say there may be additional lawsuits filed, but it is not entirely clear when. It also is not clear who is leading the legal efforts.





Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, has been a source of enormous frustration for Trump advisers. Advisers have tried to tell Mr. Trump that the fraud Mr. Giuliani is offering hope of proving simply does not exist.



Mr. Trump is getting suggestions from an array of other lawyers, as well. They include Sidney Powell, the lawyer for his former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who was at the Trump campaign headquarters over the weekend.

Advisers have nudged the president to stop talking about “fraud” because that has legal implications that his team has not been able to back up. So Mr. Trump has taken to pronouncing the election “rigged,” one of his favorite words but one with dangerous implications in terms of how his own supporters view the election’s ultimate outcome.




© 2020 The New York Times Company



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The president's dangerous accusations are baseless. And by encouraging them, conservatives are injecting cyanide into the country's polity."
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Georgia "

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:22 pm

"Democracy Dies in Darkness
Election 2020
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Election 2020 live updates: Biden projected to win Georgia, Trump projected to win North Carolina

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By Colby Itkowitz
Politics reporter
November 13, 2020 at 3:12 PM EST
PLEASE NOTE
The Washington Post is providing this important election information free to all readers. Get election results and other major news delivered to your inbox by signing up for breaking news email alerts.

President-elect Joe Biden is projected to win Georgia, and President Trump is projected to win North Carolina in the final calls of the presidential race.

Edison Research projects that Biden will capture Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, flipping a state Republicans have won in presidential elections since 1996. Georgia is now conducting a statewide hand recount of presidential votes, but Biden’s current lead of 14,152 votes in Georgia is expected to withstand any recount changes.

Trump is projected to add N.C.’s 15 electoral votes to his total. Overall, Biden is projected to win 306 electoral votes, Trump is projected to win 232.

Trump will deliver an update on the effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine at 4 p.m., his first public remarks in more than a week. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris continued to meet with transition advisers to plan their administration even as Trump challenges the vote count in several states and refuses to concede.

A Michigan judge has rejected a GOP demand to delay certification of the vote count in Detroit. This is the latest in a string of defeats for President Trump and his allies, who have sought to un-do – or at least delay – Biden’s electoral victory with long-shot lawsuits claiming election irregularities.

Here’s what to know:
Election officials in Georgia have begun a recount to manually verify all of the nearly 5 million ballots cast in the presidential race in the state, where Biden narrowly leads.
Trump is mostly ignoring public presidential duties as he focuses on baseless claims that voter fraud cost him reelection.
Far-right protesters who back Trump’s refusal to concede plan to gather Saturday in D.C.; anti-fascist and anti-racist counterdemonstrators are expected as well.
November 13, 2020 at 3:12 PM EST
Georgia, last state to be called, goes to Biden
By Colby Itkowitz and Scott Clement
Georgia, the last state to be called in the 2020 presidential election, has been won by Biden, giving the president-elect another 16 electoral votes to expand his lead over Trump.

Trump’s apparent early lead in the state on election night eroded as mail-in ballots from more Democratic areas were counted. Georgia, which voted for Trump by five percentage points in 2016, was a major pickup for Democrats, who have hoped to one day flip the state.

Biden visited the state for the first time in the campaign a week before the election, seeing possibility there but never counting on it to deliver him the presidency.

Like other Sun Belt states, Georgia’s population has grown younger and more diverse, cutting into the long-held Republican advantage there. Much credit has gone to Democrat Stacey Abrams, who, after losing a race for governor in 2018, made it her mission to fight voter suppression and register new voters.

Although the race has been called for Biden, the political drama in the state is far from over. The narrow margin of victory triggered a hand recount of nearly 5 million ballots, which began Friday, but Biden’s current lead of 14,152 votes in Georgia is expected to withstand any recount changes.

A 2020 Fairvote study of 31 recounts across various states found on average recounts shifted the vote margin by 430 votes. The largest shift in the percentage-point margin was in Vermont’s 2006 auditor’s race, in which the recount shifted the vote margin 0.107 percentage points, a 239-vote swing. Biden’s current percentage-point advantage is more than twice that level, standing at 0.28 percentage points.

In the meanwhile, Georgia will become the center of the political universe, with both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in dual runoff elections on Jan. 5. The winners of those races will determine the balance of power in the Senate.

November 13, 2020 at 2:33 PM EST
Arizona GOP lawsuit criticized by office of state’s Republican attorney general
By Hannah Knowles
A new election lawsuit filed Thursday by the Arizona GOP is being criticized by the office of the state’s Republican attorney general as having no legal footing.

The suit takes issue with the hand-count auditing process for ballots in the state’s largest county, Maricopa, but seemed confused about how it worked. The suit said the audit in Maricopa was expected to start “any day now,” when in fact the county had already finished, with reported 100 percent accuracy.

Arizona’s hand-count audits check that machines worked correctly by examining ballots from two polling places or 2 percent of them, whichever is greater. They also look at either 1 percent of all early ballots cast or 5,000 early ballots, whichever is less. The hand counting is done by a bipartisan group appointed by county political parties.

The Arizona GOP wants the court to order Maricopa to sample “precincts,” the word used in state law. But Maricopa uses a “vote center” system, in which voters can choose whatever polling place they find most convenient, rather than their designated precinct. So it sampled vote centers for its audit, as the state’s election manual advises.

In a letter to Republican state legislative leaders, the chief deputy and chief of staff for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) wrote that there is no legal basis to insist on “precinct” auditing. “In those counties that use voting centers, the practical effect of a hand count audit based only on precincts could result in no ballots being counted because no ballots would have been cast using tabulating machines at precincts,” the letter states. “We do not believe the Legislature intended this result.”

Earlier this week in an interview with Fox Business, Brnovich rejected the idea of any scheme to steal the election and said there was no evidence “that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change.”

The Arizona Republican Party did not respond to questions Friday about its lawsuit.

November 13, 2020 at 2:25 PM EST
Trump adds 15 electoral college votes to his total with projected North Carolina win
By Paulina Firozi and David Weigel
President Trump is projected to win North Carolina, adding 15 electoral college votes to his total, according to Edison Research.

The state was one of the final battlegrounds to report final results, taking a relatively long time to tabulate votes in part because it allowed ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to be received through Nov. 12.

North Carolina was a reach state for Democrats. They didn’t need it to win the presidency, but believed there was an opportunity to wrest it away from Trump, who won the state in 2016 by 3.7 points. Barack Obama won the state in 2008, the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so in 32 years, but it’s otherwise leaned Republican.

Trump bested Biden in the state by just under 2 points.

November 13, 2020 at 1:51 PM EST
Trump to speak at 4 p.m., his first public remarks since last Thursday
By Colby Itkowitz
President Trump arrives in the White House briefing room Nov. 5. (Evan Vucci/AP)
The White House announced that Trump will deliver remarks at 4 p.m. regarding the development of a coronavirus vaccine, marking only his second time speaking publicly since the Nov. 3 election.

The president, who for four years was heard from almost daily, went dark after a news conference Nov. 5, the Thursday after the election, in which he decried the election results and baselessly claimed that they were corrupted.

Since then, he has been heard from only through tweets and through surrogates arguing that he was the rightful winner of the election.

It is unclear whether the president will take questions from the media after his remarks, as he typically has done after delivering coronavirus updates.

November 13, 2020 at 1:45 PM EST
Michigan judge rejects GOP demand to delay certification of vote count in Detroit
By David Fahrenthold
A Michigan judge on Friday rejected Republicans’ requests to delay the certification of election results in Detroit, saying he saw no convincing evidence of election fraud at a center for counting absentee ballots.

Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny said that the allegations of misconduct, made by GOP poll watchers and one Detroit election official, were “not credible.” Kenny said that the plaintiffs’ demand for an outside audit of the election in Michigan could delay the process so long that Michigan’s electors might not be selected in time to vote in the electoral college.

To grant the plaintiffs’ request, Kenny said, “would undermine faith in the Electoral System.”

Biden now leads in Michigan by about 148,000 votes.

Kenny’s ruling is the latest in defeats for Trump and his allies, who have sought to undo — or at least delay — President-elect Biden’s electoral victory with long-shot lawsuits claiming election fraud. In Michigan alone, this is the third time that a judge has rejected GOP demands to delay certification of the state’s result — or even to rerun the entire election.

The Michigan lawsuit at issue Friday was brought by two Republican poll watchers. It echoed the allegations made in other Michigan lawsuits: that workers counting absentee ballots in Detroit had broken rules to help Biden.

The plaintiffs submitted affidavits from witnesses — and one election worker — alleging that late-arriving ballots had been backdated to appear valid, and that some voters had a birth date in 1900.

Lawyers for the defense said these witnesses, armed with little knowledge of the vote-counting process, had been alarmed by normal procedures they did not understand. In his ruling, Kenny agreed, saying he’d been convinced by defense witnesses who were experts in administering elections.

November 13, 2020 at 1:29 PM EST
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene complains about having to wear a mask in Congress
By Colby Itkowitz
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), right, on Friday during an orientation for newly elected lawmakers on Capitol Hill. (Pool photo by Astrid Riecken/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter during her freshman orientation to Congress to lament Capitol Hill’s policy that everyone wear a mask.

“Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress. Masks, masks, masks.... I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive,” the representative-elect tweeted. “In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks. My body, my choice. #FreeYourFace.”

Greene, a far-right, Trump allegiant who has espoused baseless QAnon theories and promoted bigoted rhetoric, won her seat to Congress after beating the establishment GOP candidate in the primary. In her deep-red district, it was all but assured she would then win the general election.

Greene’s comments come as coronavirus cases are spiking in the United States. Many Trump campaign aides and Secret Service agents have been infected, as has the longest-serving House member, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), age 87.

Several Democrats pounced on Greene’s tweet as an example of the extremist beliefs within the Republican Party.

“The top House Republican said yesterday House Republicans would welcome their new QAnon Caucus into the fold, and sure enough, crazy attacks on science followed,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “Masks save lives. They protect the people around us. Refusing to wear masks is selfish and endangers others.”

Greene was seen around the Capitol wearing an American-flag mask but was also photographed without it.

November 13, 2020 at 1:24 PM EST
Trump campaign acknowledges its Arizona lawsuit will not make a difference in presidential race
By Hannah Knowles
The Trump campaign acknowledged Friday that its lawsuit in Arizona would not make a difference in the presidential race.

The suit had alleged “up to thousands” of allegedly mishandled ballots in Maricopa County would “prove determinative” in the presidential election. But its claims and goals were steadily watered down this week in court as county officials said fewer than 200 votes for president were at stake. Biden leads by close to 11,000 votes in Arizona.

The campaign maintained in a Friday filing that two down-ballot races “remain at issue”: a Board of Supervisors seat and a state Senate seat. But attorneys for the Arizona secretary of state, a defendant in the case, said that all claims were almost certainly moot, pending 3 p.m. local time Friday, when Maricopa County expects to finish counting all its ballots.

The suit also does not allege the fraud Trump and his allies have warned about throughout the country — something an attorney for the president’s campaign, Kory Langhofer, emphasized repeatedly at a hearing Thursday. His arguments cut a sharp contrast with the “Stop the steal” push that has rallied Trump supporters in Arizona.

“We’re not alleging that anyone was stealing the election,” Langhofer told the court Thursday, adding later, “The allegation here is that, in what appears to be a limited number of cases, there were good-faith errors in operating machines that should result in further review of certain ballots.”

The Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleges that poll workers pressed or told voters to press a button on a tabulating machine to cast their ballots even after those tabulators flagged an apparent “overvote,” in which the machine believed a voter marked two candidates in the same race. If the machine reads two votes in the same race, it will not count a vote for any candidate in that contest.

Maricopa County says it has identified about 950 total ballots with overvotes, roughly 190 of them with an overvote for the office of president.

The lawsuit originally sought to halt certification of election results until all affected ballots could be reviewed by hand. But on Thursday, plaintiffs said they wanted a review only if the final vote tallies showed it could make a difference.

The Trump campaign encountered skepticism and setbacks right off the bat Thursday, when Judge Daniel Kiley refused to admit some of its evidence, saying it was not trustworthy.

November 13, 2020 at 12:33 PM EST
Pelosi defiant about Democrats’ mandate as her majority dwindles
By Colby Itkowitz
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued to defend her caucus’s loss of seats, blaming it on Trump at the top of ticket making it harder for Democrats to win in red districts.

“We had a very deep victory two years ago,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a news conference Friday. “I don’t think that people quite understand, of the 40 seats that we won, 31 were in Trump districts. He wasn’t on the ballot. And right away we said: ‘He’s going to be on the ballot. That’s a steeper climb in these districts.’”

“We saved most of those seats,” she said. “So we’re very proud of that.”

Pelosi gave Trump credit for turning out voters in those districts and said she is already looking ahead to the midterms, when some of those ousted Democrats might run again.

“The fact is that President Trump, to his credit, turned out a big vote,” she said, “and in some of these districts, which people wondered how we won them before, they were so Trumpian.”

“A number of candidates have already said they’re going to run again. I’m not going to make any announcements for anybody, but a number of them have told me that they’re ready,” she said. “They loved being in Congress.”

Pelosi rejected the idea that her smaller majority undercuts her ability to get things done, pointing out that she soon will have an ally in the White House, giving her more power, not less.

She also remarked on Republicans adding more women to their ranks, saying she was excited to have more women in Congress and hoped they would find common ground on shared interests such as domestic-violence issues.

“So let’s say let’s be optimistic and let us see. But I congratulate and welcome each and every one of them,” Pelosi said, adding that the Democrats will have 90 women in their caucus next year compared with the Republicans’ record 35 women.

November 13, 2020 at 12:21 PM EST
Georgia begins its laborious hand recount
By Reis Thebault
MARIETTA, Ga. — Georgia on Friday morning began the laborious process of recounting by hand every one of the nearly 5 million ballots cast in the state’s presidential election.

It’s a monumental undertaking.

The state’s 159 counties are manually re-tallying the votes and auditing the results for any irregularities, though there is no evidence of widespread problems.

Trump and his allies have peddled unsubstantiated claims of fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, but Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has held firm that the election was fair and transparent. He said he expects the recount to confirm the state’s results, which have Biden ahead by more than 14,000 votes.

In Cobb County, a suburban enclave north of Atlanta, the audit began at 9 a.m. Friday in a sprawling park and event center. The process started with more than 50 election workers — a number that was expected to swell as the count wears on — at rows of tables in teams of two.

The pairs verify each ballot and determine who received the vote, while observers from both parties stroll through the aisles and watch. Each party is allowed the same number of official observers, but they must preregister with the county. Members of the public and media may also attend but are not permitted inside the cordoned-off recount area without county credentials.

In Cobb County on Friday morning, official, preregistered Democratic observers outnumbered Republicans. Kim Blackadar, a resident who voted for Trump and attended the audit, lamented that her party had thus far not sent as many official observers. “More eyeballs need to be present,” she said.

Janine Eveler, head of the county’s elections office, said the entire election there has been smooth. “We haven’t seen any anomalies in Cobb County,” Eveler said.

November 13, 2020 at 10:28 AM EST
Russia keeps mum on Biden victory, but says Moscow can work with ‘any president’
By Robyn Dixon
MOSCOW — Russia stuck to its increasingly awkward diplomatic stance Friday of failing to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden — deepening its outlier status after China sent a well-wishing message to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Putin would send a congratulatory telegram to “the person named the president-elect” when the official results are announced.

“If we understand correctly, the president-elect has not been named yet,” Peskov told reporters. He said Russia had not reached out to Biden in any way and declined to clarify whether Moscow planned to wait out every possible Republican court action.

He repeated Russian denials of interference in the 2016 or any other election, but added that Russia was willing to work with any American president.

“We will work with any president whom the Americans themselves will choose,” he said. “And, of course, a president who will want to, at least somehow, revive our bilateral relations would appeal to us more.”

The holding pattern on congratulating Biden underscored the Kremlin’s apparent concern that Biden will take a tougher line on Russia than Trump. It also contrasts sharply with the delight among Russian officials, including Peskov, after Trump’s election in 2016.

Peskov also had a dig at American democracy, echoing a line from Russian officials since Trump baselessly claimed giant fraud in the election.

He said there had been constant U.S. criticism in the past of Russia’s human rights record and elections.

“It is now even somewhat awkward to say,” Peskov said. “It seems that the Americans can hardly criticize anyone for that now.”

November 13, 2020 at 9:30 AM EST
Trump in interview with Washington Examiner says, ‘Never bet against me’
By Colby Itkowitz
President Trump on Nov. 5 at the White House. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Trump, in an interview with the Washington Examiner published Friday, laid out a fanciful vision for how he believes he can still win the election through a series of recounts and court challenges even though there is no evidence to suggest that’s possible.

Trump has kept a low profile this week and hasn’t really been heard from other than tweeting — a stark contrast to his typical daily appearances in front of the camera through news conferences, speeches and rallies.

In the interview conducted on Thursday, Trump told the Examiner’s Byron York that he would still win Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, the latter two through hand counts. It is improbable that a hand count would yield the thousands of votes Trump would need to overcome Biden’s leads in those states.

Trump also claimed erroneously that he would win back Michigan and Pennsylvania through challenging ballots through lawsuits. Biden has sizable leads over Trump in those states that would require courts to throw out close to 150,000 votes in Michigan and nearly 55,000 in Pennsylvania for Trump to win them.

He told York that he believed he would turn the election in his favor in two or three weeks. “Never bet against me,” he said.

November 13, 2020 at 8:59 AM EST
Law firm representing Trump campaign in Pennsylvania pulls out of case
By Jon Swaine
A law firm representing Trump in his attempt to challenge the election count in Pennsylvania has withdrawn from the case.

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur said in a court motion filed late Thursday that attorneys Ronald L. Hicks Jr. and Carolyn B. McGee would no longer be representing Trump’s campaign in the case.

“Plaintiffs and Porter Wright have reached a mutual agreement that Plaintiffs will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws,” the attorneys said in their motion.

The firm said Trump’s campaign was “in the process of retaining” other attorneys to represent it. Linda A. Kerns, a Philadelphia attorney who is representing Trump in a flurry of lawsuits in the state’s courts, will remain on the case.

Several law firms representing Trump in his efforts to undermine the result in battleground states have come under pressure to drop the president as a client.

Trump’s federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeks an emergency injunction preventing state authorities from certifying the state’s election results. It alleges that hundreds of thousands of votes cast in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are invalid because Trump’s campaign was unable to observe them being counted, which election officials deny.

Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar on Thursday asked the court to dismiss what she called Trump’s “desperate and unfounded attempt to interfere” with the election process.

“The voters of Pennsylvania have spoken,” attorneys for Boockvar said in a court filing.

November 13, 2020 at 7:55 AM EST
China congratulates Biden, Harris on victory
By Eva Dou
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2013. (Pool/Reuters)
SEOUL — China finally congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris on Friday for their U.S. election win, ending whispers over Beijing’s reticence.

Beijing’s salutations came just over 24 hours after Biden’s team said he had held phone calls with the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea — U.S. allies that have watched with varying degrees of concern as Beijing has expanded its regional influence. Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7.

The early overtures to China’s neighbors reflected Biden’s campaign promise of staying tough on China but seeking a united front instead of the Trump administration’s more unilateral approach. China’s government has been cautiously optimistic about calmer relations with Washington under a Biden administration, although officials have no illusions of a major thaw.

Read the full story

November 13, 2020 at 7:52 AM EST
Two senior Homeland Security officials forced out as White House firings widen
By Nick Miroff and Ellen Nakashima
The White House has forced out two top Department of Homeland Security officials as part of a widening purge of anyone suspected of lacking complete loyalty to President Trump, three people familiar with the removals said Thursday.

Valerie Boyd, the top official for international affairs at DHS, was asked for her resignation, as was Bryan Ware, a senior policy aide at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The requests came from the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office, whose 30-year-old director, John McEntee, has recently intensified efforts to purge appointees who have failed to demonstrate sufficient fealty to the president.

Boyd, in a resignation letter obtained by The Washington Post, wrote to DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf that she hopes government officials will “act with honor” during the transition to a new presidency.

Read the full story

November 13, 2020 at 7:45 AM EST
Biden finds support among some Republican lawmakers
By Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey, Matt Viser and Jon Swaine
President-elect Joe Biden began seeing more support, if indirectly, from Republicans on Thursday as senior GOP lawmakers called for him to receive classified briefings even as the Trump administration continued to bar a formal transition.

Trump officials prolonged that blockade even though in private top campaign aides were candidly telling President Trump that his prospects of winning reelection were an uphill battle, according to people close to the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. His campaign, meanwhile, was scrambling to form a coherent legal strategy.

The acknowledgments from Republicans came as Biden and his team continued to map out his transition, despite the lack of official certification from the General Services Administration that would unlock the resources and access to the federal government that Biden and his team will need to fully prepare for taking office on Jan. 20.

Read the full story


Updated November 12, 2020
Election 2020: Biden defeats Trump
Live updates: The latest developments.

Biden beats Trump: His victory is a repudiation of Trump, powered by legions of women and minority voters.

Kamala Harris makes history as first woman of color elected vice president.

Biden’s agenda: He plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies.

Victory speeches: Joe Biden transcript | Kamala Harris transcript

Show More
Colby Itkowitz
Colby Itkowitz is a national politics reporter for The Washington Post. She joined the Post in March 2014. Before coming to the Post, Colby was the D.C. correspondent for The (Allentown) Morning Call and transportation policy reporter at Congressional Quarterly.Follow
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Georgia "

Postby Meno_ » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:22 pm

"Democracy Dies in Darkness

Election 2020 live updates: Biden projected to win Georgia, Trump projected to win North Carolina


The Washington Post is providing this important election information free to all readers. Get election results and other major news delivered to your inbox by signing up for breaking news email alerts.

President-elect Joe Biden is projected to win Georgia, and President Trump is projected to win North Carolina in the final calls of the presidential race.

Edison Research projects that Biden will capture Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, flipping a state Republicans have won in presidential elections since 1996. Georgia is now conducting a statewide hand recount of presidential votes, but Biden’s current lead of 14,152 votes in Georgia is expected to withstand any recount changes.

Trump is projected to add N.C.’s 15 electoral votes to his total. Overall, Biden is projected to win 306 electoral votes, Trump is projected to win 232.

Trump will deliver an update on the effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine at 4 p.m., his first public remarks in more than a week. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris continued to meet with transition advisers to plan their administration even as Trump challenges the vote count in several states and refuses to concede.

A Michigan judge has rejected a GOP demand to delay certification of the vote count in Detroit. This is the latest in a string of defeats for President Trump and his allies, who have sought to un-do – or at least delay – Biden’s electoral victory with long-shot lawsuits claiming election irregularities.

Here’s what to know:
Election officials in Georgia have begun a recount to manually verify all of the nearly 5 million ballots cast in the presidential race in the state, where Biden narrowly leads.
Trump is mostly ignoring public presidential duties as he focuses on baseless claims that voter fraud cost him reelection.
Far-right protesters who back Trump’s refusal to concede plan to gather Saturday in D.C.; anti-fascist and anti-racist counterdemonstrators are expected as well.
November 13, 2020 at 3:12 PM EST
Georgia, last state to be called, goes to Biden
By Colby Itkowitz and Scott Clement
Georgia, the last state to be called in the 2020 presidential election, has been won by Biden, giving the president-elect another 16 electoral votes to expand his lead over Trump.

Trump’s apparent early lead in the state on election night eroded as mail-in ballots from more Democratic areas were counted. Georgia, which voted for Trump by five percentage points in 2016, was a major pickup for Democrats, who have hoped to one day flip the state.

Biden visited the state for the first time in the campaign a week before the election, seeing possibility there but never counting on it to deliver him the presidency.

Like other Sun Belt states, Georgia’s population has grown younger and more diverse, cutting into the long-held Republican advantage there. Much credit has gone to Democrat Stacey Abrams, who, after losing a race for governor in 2018, made it her mission to fight voter suppression and register new voters.

Although the race has been called for Biden, the political drama in the state is far from over. The narrow margin of victory triggered a hand recount of nearly 5 million ballots, which began Friday, but Biden’s current lead of 14,152 votes in Georgia is expected to withstand any recount changes.

A 2020 Fairvote study of 31 recounts across various states found on average recounts shifted the vote margin by 430 votes. The largest shift in the percentage-point margin was in Vermont’s 2006 auditor’s race, in which the recount shifted the vote margin 0.107 percentage points, a 239-vote swing. Biden’s current percentage-point advantage is more than twice that level, standing at 0.28 percentage points.

In the meanwhile, Georgia will become the center of the political universe, with both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in dual runoff elections on Jan. 5. The winners of those races will determine the balance of power in the Senate.

November 13, 2020 at 2:33 PM EST
Arizona GOP lawsuit criticized by office of state’s Republican attorney general
By Hannah Knowles
A new election lawsuit filed Thursday by the Arizona GOP is being criticized by the office of the state’s Republican attorney general as having no legal footing.

The suit takes issue with the hand-count auditing process for ballots in the state’s largest county, Maricopa, but seemed confused about how it worked. The suit said the audit in Maricopa was expected to start “any day now,” when in fact the county had already finished, with reported 100 percent accuracy.

Arizona’s hand-count audits check that machines worked correctly by examining ballots from two polling places or 2 percent of them, whichever is greater. They also look at either 1 percent of all early ballots cast or 5,000 early ballots, whichever is less. The hand counting is done by a bipartisan group appointed by county political parties.

The Arizona GOP wants the court to order Maricopa to sample “precincts,” the word used in state law. But Maricopa uses a “vote center” system, in which voters can choose whatever polling place they find most convenient, rather than their designated precinct. So it sampled vote centers for its audit, as the state’s election manual advises.

In a letter to Republican state legislative leaders, the chief deputy and chief of staff for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) wrote that there is no legal basis to insist on “precinct” auditing. “In those counties that use voting centers, the practical effect of a hand count audit based only on precincts could result in no ballots being counted because no ballots would have been cast using tabulating machines at precincts,” the letter states. “We do not believe the Legislature intended this result.”

Earlier this week in an interview with Fox Business, Brnovich rejected the idea of any scheme to steal the election and said there was no evidence “that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change.”

The Arizona Republican Party did not respond to questions Friday about its lawsuit.

November 13, 2020 at 2:25 PM EST
Trump adds 15 electoral college votes to his total with projected North Carolina win
By Paulina Firozi and David Weigel
President Trump is projected to win North Carolina, adding 15 electoral college votes to his total, according to Edison Research.

The state was one of the final battlegrounds to report final results, taking a relatively long time to tabulate votes in part because it allowed ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to be received through Nov. 12.

North Carolina was a reach state for Democrats. They didn’t need it to win the presidency, but believed there was an opportunity to wrest it away from Trump, who won the state in 2016 by 3.7 points. Barack Obama won the state in 2008, the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so in 32 years, but it’s otherwise leaned Republican.

Trump bested Biden in the state by just under 2 points.

November 13, 2020 at 1:51 PM EST
Trump to speak at 4 p.m., his first public remarks since last Thursday
By Colby Itkowitz
President Trump arrives in the White House briefing room Nov. 5. (Evan Vucci/AP)
The White House announced that Trump will deliver remarks at 4 p.m. regarding the development of a coronavirus vaccine, marking only his second time speaking publicly since the Nov. 3 election.

The president, who for four years was heard from almost daily, went dark after a news conference Nov. 5, the Thursday after the election, in which he decried the election results and baselessly claimed that they were corrupted.

Since then, he has been heard from only through tweets and through surrogates arguing that he was the rightful winner of the election.

It is unclear whether the president will take questions from the media after his remarks, as he typically has done after delivering coronavirus updates.

November 13, 2020 at 1:45 PM EST
Michigan judge rejects GOP demand to delay certification of vote count in Detroit
By David Fahrenthold
A Michigan judge on Friday rejected Republicans’ requests to delay the certification of election results in Detroit, saying he saw no convincing evidence of election fraud at a center for counting absentee ballots.

Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny said that the allegations of misconduct, made by GOP poll watchers and one Detroit election official, were “not credible.” Kenny said that the plaintiffs’ demand for an outside audit of the election in Michigan could delay the process so long that Michigan’s electors might not be selected in time to vote in the electoral college.

To grant the plaintiffs’ request, Kenny said, “would undermine faith in the Electoral System.”

Biden now leads in Michigan by about 148,000 votes.

Kenny’s ruling is the latest in defeats for Trump and his allies, who have sought to undo — or at least delay — President-elect Biden’s electoral victory with long-shot lawsuits claiming election fraud. In Michigan alone, this is the third time that a judge has rejected GOP demands to delay certification of the state’s result — or even to rerun the entire election.

The Michigan lawsuit at issue Friday was brought by two Republican poll watchers. It echoed the allegations made in other Michigan lawsuits: that workers counting absentee ballots in Detroit had broken rules to help Biden.

The plaintiffs submitted affidavits from witnesses — and one election worker — alleging that late-arriving ballots had been backdated to appear valid, and that some voters had a birth date in 1900.

Lawyers for the defense said these witnesses, armed with little knowledge of the vote-counting process, had been alarmed by normal procedures they did not understand. In his ruling, Kenny agreed, saying he’d been convinced by defense witnesses who were experts in administering elections.

November 13, 2020 at 1:29 PM EST
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene complains about having to wear a mask in Congress
By Colby Itkowitz
Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), right, on Friday during an orientation for newly elected lawmakers on Capitol Hill. (Pool photo by Astrid Riecken/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter during her freshman orientation to Congress to lament Capitol Hill’s policy that everyone wear a mask.

“Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress. Masks, masks, masks.... I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive,” the representative-elect tweeted. “In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks. My body, my choice. #FreeYourFace.”

Greene, a far-right, Trump allegiant who has espoused baseless QAnon theories and promoted bigoted rhetoric, won her seat to Congress after beating the establishment GOP candidate in the primary. In her deep-red district, it was all but assured she would then win the general election.

Greene’s comments come as coronavirus cases are spiking in the United States. Many Trump campaign aides and Secret Service agents have been infected, as has the longest-serving House member, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), age 87.

Several Democrats pounced on Greene’s tweet as an example of the extremist beliefs within the Republican Party.

“The top House Republican said yesterday House Republicans would welcome their new QAnon Caucus into the fold, and sure enough, crazy attacks on science followed,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “Masks save lives. They protect the people around us. Refusing to wear masks is selfish and endangers others.”

Greene was seen around the Capitol wearing an American-flag mask but was also photographed without it.

November 13, 2020 at 1:24 PM EST
Trump campaign acknowledges its Arizona lawsuit will not make a difference in presidential race
By Hannah Knowles
The Trump campaign acknowledged Friday that its lawsuit in Arizona would not make a difference in the presidential race.

The suit had alleged “up to thousands” of allegedly mishandled ballots in Maricopa County would “prove determinative” in the presidential election. But its claims and goals were steadily watered down this week in court as county officials said fewer than 200 votes for president were at stake. Biden leads by close to 11,000 votes in Arizona.

The campaign maintained in a Friday filing that two down-ballot races “remain at issue”: a Board of Supervisors seat and a state Senate seat. But attorneys for the Arizona secretary of state, a defendant in the case, said that all claims were almost certainly moot, pending 3 p.m. local time Friday, when Maricopa County expects to finish counting all its ballots.

The suit also does not allege the fraud Trump and his allies have warned about throughout the country — something an attorney for the president’s campaign, Kory Langhofer, emphasized repeatedly at a hearing Thursday. His arguments cut a sharp contrast with the “Stop the steal” push that has rallied Trump supporters in Arizona.

“We’re not alleging that anyone was stealing the election,” Langhofer told the court Thursday, adding later, “The allegation here is that, in what appears to be a limited number of cases, there were good-faith errors in operating machines that should result in further review of certain ballots.”

The Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleges that poll workers pressed or told voters to press a button on a tabulating machine to cast their ballots even after those tabulators flagged an apparent “overvote,” in which the machine believed a voter marked two candidates in the same race. If the machine reads two votes in the same race, it will not count a vote for any candidate in that contest.

Maricopa County says it has identified about 950 total ballots with overvotes, roughly 190 of them with an overvote for the office of president.

The lawsuit originally sought to halt certification of election results until all affected ballots could be reviewed by hand. But on Thursday, plaintiffs said they wanted a review only if the final vote tallies showed it could make a difference.

The Trump campaign encountered skepticism and setbacks right off the bat Thursday, when Judge Daniel Kiley refused to admit some of its evidence, saying it was not trustworthy.

November 13, 2020 at 12:33 PM EST
Pelosi defiant about Democrats’ mandate as her majority dwindles
By Colby Itkowitz
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued to defend her caucus’s loss of seats, blaming it on Trump at the top of ticket making it harder for Democrats to win in red districts.

“We had a very deep victory two years ago,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a news conference Friday. “I don’t think that people quite understand, of the 40 seats that we won, 31 were in Trump districts. He wasn’t on the ballot. And right away we said: ‘He’s going to be on the ballot. That’s a steeper climb in these districts.’”

“We saved most of those seats,” she said. “So we’re very proud of that.”

Pelosi gave Trump credit for turning out voters in those districts and said she is already looking ahead to the midterms, when some of those ousted Democrats might run again.

“The fact is that President Trump, to his credit, turned out a big vote,” she said, “and in some of these districts, which people wondered how we won them before, they were so Trumpian.”

“A number of candidates have already said they’re going to run again. I’m not going to make any announcements for anybody, but a number of them have told me that they’re ready,” she said. “They loved being in Congress.”

Pelosi rejected the idea that her smaller majority undercuts her ability to get things done, pointing out that she soon will have an ally in the White House, giving her more power, not less.

She also remarked on Republicans adding more women to their ranks, saying she was excited to have more women in Congress and hoped they would find common ground on shared interests such as domestic-violence issues.

“So let’s say let’s be optimistic and let us see. But I congratulate and welcome each and every one of them,” Pelosi said, adding that the Democrats will have 90 women in their caucus next year compared with the Republicans’ record 35 women.

November 13, 2020 at 12:21 PM EST
Georgia begins its laborious hand recount
By Reis Thebault
MARIETTA, Ga. — Georgia on Friday morning began the laborious process of recounting by hand every one of the nearly 5 million ballots cast in the state’s presidential election.

It’s a monumental undertaking.

The state’s 159 counties are manually re-tallying the votes and auditing the results for any irregularities, though there is no evidence of widespread problems.

Trump and his allies have peddled unsubstantiated claims of fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, but Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has held firm that the election was fair and transparent. He said he expects the recount to confirm the state’s results, which have Biden ahead by more than 14,000 votes.

In Cobb County, a suburban enclave north of Atlanta, the audit began at 9 a.m. Friday in a sprawling park and event center. The process started with more than 50 election workers — a number that was expected to swell as the count wears on — at rows of tables in teams of two.

The pairs verify each ballot and determine who received the vote, while observers from both parties stroll through the aisles and watch. Each party is allowed the same number of official observers, but they must preregister with the county. Members of the public and media may also attend but are not permitted inside the cordoned-off recount area without county credentials.

In Cobb County on Friday morning, official, preregistered Democratic observers outnumbered Republicans. Kim Blackadar, a resident who voted for Trump and attended the audit, lamented that her party had thus far not sent as many official observers. “More eyeballs need to be present,” she said.

Janine Eveler, head of the county’s elections office, said the entire election there has been smooth. “We haven’t seen any anomalies in Cobb County,” Eveler said.

November 13, 2020 at 10:28 AM EST
Russia keeps mum on Biden victory, but says Moscow can work with ‘any president’
By Robyn Dixon
MOSCOW — Russia stuck to its increasingly awkward diplomatic stance Friday of failing to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden — deepening its outlier status after China sent a well-wishing message to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Putin would send a congratulatory telegram to “the person named the president-elect” when the official results are announced.

“If we understand correctly, the president-elect has not been named yet,” Peskov told reporters. He said Russia had not reached out to Biden in any way and declined to clarify whether Moscow planned to wait out every possible Republican court action.

He repeated Russian denials of interference in the 2016 or any other election, but added that Russia was willing to work with any American president.

“We will work with any president whom the Americans themselves will choose,” he said. “And, of course, a president who will want to, at least somehow, revive our bilateral relations would appeal to us more.”

The holding pattern on congratulating Biden underscored the Kremlin’s apparent concern that Biden will take a tougher line on Russia than Trump. It also contrasts sharply with the delight among Russian officials, including Peskov, after Trump’s election in 2016.

Peskov also had a dig at American democracy, echoing a line from Russian officials since Trump baselessly claimed giant fraud in the election.

He said there had been constant U.S. criticism in the past of Russia’s human rights record and elections.

“It is now even somewhat awkward to say,” Peskov said. “It seems that the Americans can hardly criticize anyone for that now.”

November 13, 2020 at 9:30 AM EST
Trump in interview with Washington Examiner says, ‘Never bet against me’

Trump, in an interview with the Washington Examiner published Friday, laid out a fanciful vision for how he believes he can still win the election through a series of recounts and court challenges even though there is no evidence to suggest that’s possible.

Trump has kept a low profile this week and hasn’t really been heard from other than tweeting — a stark contrast to his typical daily appearances in front of the camera through news conferences, speeches and rallies.

In the interview conducted on Thursday, Trump told the Examiner’s Byron York that he would still win Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, the latter two through hand counts. It is improbable that a hand count would yield the thousands of votes Trump would need to overcome Biden’s leads in those states.

Trump also claimed erroneously that he would win back Michigan and Pennsylvania through challenging ballots through lawsuits. Biden has sizable leads over Trump in those states that would require courts to throw out close to 150,000 votes in Michigan and nearly 55,000 in Pennsylvania for Trump to win them.

He told York that he believed he would turn the election in his favor in two or three weeks. “Never bet against me,” he said.

November 13, 2020 at 8:59 AM EST
Law firm representing Trump campaign in Pennsylvania pulls out of case
By

A law firm representing Trump in his attempt to challenge the election count in Pennsylvania has withdrawn from the case.

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur said in a court motion filed late Thursday that attorneys Ronald L. Hicks Jr. and Carolyn B. McGee would no longer be representing Trump’s campaign in the case.

“Plaintiffs and Porter Wright have reached a mutual agreement that Plaintiffs will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws,” the attorneys said in their motion.

The firm said Trump’s campaign was “in the process of retaining” other attorneys to represent it. Linda A. Kerns, a Philadelphia attorney who is representing Trump in a flurry of lawsuits in the state’s courts, will remain on the case.

Several law firms representing Trump in his efforts to undermine the result in battleground states have come under pressure to drop the president as a client.

Trump’s federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeks an emergency injunction preventing state authorities from certifying the state’s election results. It alleges that hundreds of thousands of votes cast in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are invalid because Trump’s campaign was unable to observe them being counted, which election officials deny.

Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar on Thursday asked the court to dismiss what she called Trump’s “desperate and unfounded attempt to interfere” with the election process.

“The voters of Pennsylvania have spoken,” attorneys for Boockvar said in a court filing.

November 13, 2020 at 7:55 AM EST
China congratulates Biden, Harris on victory

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2013. (Pool/Reuters)

SEOUL — China finally congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris on Friday for their U.S. election win, ending whispers over Beijing’s reticence.

Beijing’s salutations came just over 24 hours after Biden’s team said he had held phone calls with the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea — U.S. allies that have watched with varying degrees of concern as Beijing has expanded its regional influence. Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7.

The early overtures to China’s neighbors reflected Biden’s campaign promise of staying tough on China but seeking a united front instead of the Trump administration’s more unilateral approach. China’s government has been cautiously optimistic about calmer relations with Washington under a Biden administration, although officials have no illusions of a major thaw.



November 13, 2020 at 7:52 AM EST
Two senior Homeland Security officials forced out as White House firings widen
By Nick Miroff and Ellen Nakashima
The White House has forced out two top Department of Homeland Security officials as part of a widening purge of anyone suspected of lacking complete loyalty to President Trump, three people familiar with the removals said Thursday.

Valerie Boyd, the top official for international affairs at DHS, was asked for her resignation, as was Bryan Ware, a senior policy aide at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The requests came from the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office, whose 30-year-old director, John McEntee, has recently intensified efforts to purge appointees who have failed to demonstrate sufficient fealty to the president.

Boyd, in a resignation letter obtained by The Washington Post, wrote to DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf that she hopes government officials will “act with honor” during the transition to a new presidency.


November 13, 2020 at 7:45 AM EST
Biden finds support among some Republican lawmaker
President-elect Joe Biden began seeing more support, if indirectly, from Republicans on Thursday as senior GOP lawmakers calle
d for him to receive classified briefings even as the Trump administration continued to bar a formal transition.

Trump officials prolonged that blockade even though in private top campaign aides were candidly telling President Trump that his prospects of winning reelection were an uphill battle, according to people close to the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. His campaign, meanwhile, was scrambling to form a coherent legal strategy.

The acknowledgments from Republicans came as Biden and his team continued to map out his transition, despite the lack of official certification from the General Services Administration that would unlock the resources and access to the federal government that Biden and his team will need to fully prepare for taking office on Jan. 20.




Updated November 12, 2020
Election 2020: Biden defeats Trump
Live updates: The latest developments.

Biden beats Trump: His victory is a repudiation of Trump, powered by legions of women and minority voters.

Kamala Harris makes history as first woman of color elected vice president.

Biden’s agenda: He plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies.


© 1996-2020 The Washington Post





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Legal stuff Legal stuff. Legal stuff




POLITICO

2020 ELECTIONS

‘Purely outlandish stuff’: Trump’s legal machine grinds to a halt
So many lawsuits have been filed in so many state and federal courts that no one has an exact number. The campaign has lost nearly all of the cases that have been decided so far.

Trump supporters protesting the election results gather at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich.
Trump supporters protesting the election results gather at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich. | AP Photo/David Goldman



11/13/2020 07:03 PM EST

A Michigan lawyer for Donald Trump’s campaign filed a case in the wrong court. Lawsuits in Arizona and Nevada were dropped. A Georgia challenge was quickly rejected for lack of evidence. His Pennsylvania legal team just threw in the towel.

The president’s legal machine — the one papering swing states with lawsuits and affidavits in support of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud — is slowly grinding to a halt after suffering a slew of legal defeats and setbacks.


In the effort to stop Joe Biden’s victory from being certified, so many lawsuits have been filed in so many state and federal courts that no one has an exact number. But one thing is certain: the Trump campaign has an almost perfect record, having won only one case and lost at least a dozen.

Along the way, Trump lawyers have abruptly dropped core claims, been admonished in court for lack of candor and even been forced to admit they had no evidence of fraud, while their client inaccurately rails to the contrary on Twitter.

The sole Trump campaign victory came Thursday night: a Pennsylvania ruling that the secretary of state overstepped her authority by giving citizens extra days to fix signature mismatches on their mail in ballots. The ruling concerns a relatively small number of voters that are not even included in the election results for the state, where Biden leads by 62,000 votes with more than 98 percent of estimated votes reported.

On Friday, in another Pennsylvania case, the Trump cause was torpedoed yet again: an appeals court upheld the state’s method of handling post-Election Day absentee ballots, which could add more votes to Biden’s total.


“They’re throwing the kitchen sink against the wall to see what sticks — a mixed metaphor that’s deserving of this legal strategy. And ‘legal strategy’ should be in quotes,” said Ben Ginsberg, a veteran Republican election law attorney who headed the famed Florida recount team that ultimately led to George W. Bush becoming president.

Members of the Allegheny County Return Board process the remaining absentee and mail-in Allegheny County ballots on the North Side in Pittsburgh. | Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

Ginsberg chuckled at one hapless Michigan lawyer who filed an election challenge Thursday evening in a federal claims court in Washington, D.C., the wrong venue, and bizarrely titled it, “Donald Trump v. USA,” as if the president was suing the nation.

“Why would anyone ever use that title?” Ginsberg wondered, speculating that Trump’s lawyers are trying to “appease their client” by filing the suits that have little prayer of succeeding because, “they don’t have instances of fraud or irregularities that are relevant.”

Another lawsuit in Michigan, filed by the conservative Great Lakes Justice Center on behalf of two Republican poll watchers, was rejected Friday by a state judge who found that the plaintiffs’ allegations of fraud were really an exercise in speculation fueled by unfamiliarity with the vote-counting process.


“Sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and to the City of Detroit. Plaintiffs’ interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible,” wrote Chief Judge Timothy Kenny. "It would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this Court to stop the certification process of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers."

Hours before, another Trump attorney dropped his star-crossed case in Arizona’s Maricopa County, where the campaign was pushing the so-called SharpieGate conspiracy theory, a bogus claim that ballots were spoiled because voters used a marker to bubble in their choice of candidates. During the hearing, Trump’s team abandoned mentioning the issue after elections officials made the case that it was an invalid argument.

Trump’s lawyer, Kory Langhofer, also admitted in court that some of the questionable affidavits in support of the suit were collected as part of an online evidence-gathering process that invited “spam.” He also used his business partner as a witness, called other witnesses who were unable to say they were disenfranchised and undercut Trump’s public messaging about fraud.

“This is not a fraud case,” Langhofer said in court. “It is not a stealing-the-election case.”

Similarly, in a Pennsylvania case, another Trump lawyer, Bob Goldstein, made it clear he was also not bringing a fraud claim because “accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step” that he wasn’t prepared to take.

Then, just before midnight Friday, Goldstein’s firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur dropped Trump’s campaign as a client, a rare move that underscores how fraught the quixotic case was for the firm’s reputation.

Barry Richard, a veteran election law attorney who also handled George W. Bush’s recount case in 2000, said the Trump campaign's legal strategy looks amateurish and disjointed.

“This is just purely outlandish stuff,” Richard said. “But we have an outlandish president. So I guess this makes sense.”


He said Trump’s campaign faces a huge challenge. To succeed, he said, the president would have to show that fraud or irregularities not only existed, but in such a large amount that the election needed to be invalidated in the select state.

In an earlier Pennsylvania case where Trump’s team tried to stop ballot-counting, the president’s lawyers were forced to admit that a “nonzero number of” Republican observers were allowed to witness ballot counting, contrary to false claims made outside the courtroom that no Republican observers were present. The judge reminded Trump’s lawyers they have a “duty of candor” in court.

Another recently filed Pennsylvania case argues that it will provide data-based “analytical evidence of illegal voting” at a future date. A newly filed Wisconsin case references “fraud” 31 times, but only to point out fraud in other places and races and provides no evidence of it happening in the state for this election.

In Montana, federal Judge Dana Christensen had harsher words for yet another team of Trump lawyers who were trying to stop mail-in voting in October when he called the claims widespread voter fraud “fiction.” And two days after the election in Michigan, federal Judge Cynthia Stephens rejected yet another lawsuit.

“Come on, now!” she admonished the lawyers at one point during a hearing. In her opinion, she referred to the campaign’s argument as “inadmissible hearsay within hearsay.”

The courts have been unsympathetic to the conspiracy theories and lack of evidence presented in Nevada, where judges all the way to the state supreme court have swiftly rejected Trump campaign arguments. A GOP-produced list of allegedly illegal voters in the state turned out to be legal voters who were soldiers, sailors and their spouses stationed elsewhere. A Nevada woman’s claim of voter fraud also proved so meritless that a federal judge rejected another Trump lawsuit.

On Friday, the Trump campaign dropped its ballot-counting lawsuit in Nevada.

In Georgia’s Chatham County, a lack of documentation of wrongdoing led a state court judge to say last week there was “no evidence” to support a Trump lawsuit challenging the counting and handling of mail-in ballots.

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Yet for all of this, Trump’s campaign and his supporters are continuing to push on with more lawsuits, leading veteran election law lawyers like Kenneth Gross to speculate that he’s using the lawsuits to raise money or process the grief of his loss.

“There are all these stages of grief — anger, denial, bargaining etc. — and it seems to me he’s experiencing all of them simultaneously instead of linearly, except for acceptance,” Gross said. “Keeping multiple balls in the air that we know are not going to land in a good place could be partially to assuage his psychological issues of getting over the loss of this and giving his fans some thin reed of hope. But they’re being misled.”

LEGAL

Another law firm bails out on Trump campaign
BY JOSH GERSTEIN

Gross said the lawsuits are so groundless that the lawyers are more likely to be sanctioned for pursuing them than to succeed in court.

J.C. Planas, a former Republican lawyer and lawmaker from Florida who used to represent GOP candidates in election-law cases, said he can only speculate that Trump is holding out hope that he can pressure Republican legislators in other states to appoint their own electors and ignore the will of voters.

“The strategy is to pull a Jedi mind trick on legislators in these states to appoint their own pro-Trump electors,” Planas said. “In one respect, he’s succeeded because something like 70 percent of Trumpers say the election wasn’t fair.”

Outside the court, where the rules of evidence don’t apply and there is no threat of judicial sanction, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani last week alleged wrongdoing and fraud and promised multiple lawsuits. Biden’s chief legal counsel, Bob Bauer, ribbed the Trump legal team for their spurious claims and even for Giuliani’s widely mocked press conference at a landscaping company in an industrial park on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

“It's one thing for Rudy Giuliani to go out into the parking lot, sandwiched between a sex shop and a crematorium, and make the claims he made,” Bauer said. “It's another thing to be a lawyer in a courtroom and have your claims tested.”

Despite the numerous setbacks in battleground states, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh insisted the campaign had a “methodical” approach that will result in victory.


“Over 72 million people now have voted for President Trump and those Americans deserve to know that this election was free, fair, safe and secure, and they deserve to know that every legal vote is counted and that every illegal vote is not counted,” Murtaugh said in a conference call about the lawsuits Thursday night. “You simply cannot ignore the very real evidence of irregularities.”








Trump has slowly reemerged in the press after days of public silence.
Law firms representing the president in his fight to challenge the election results have come under fire in recent days

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Re: Trump enters the stage -Beyond reason and credibility "

Postby Meno_ » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:31 am

"

The New York Times

Trump Loses String of Election Lawsuits, Leaving Few Vehicles to Fight His Defeat
The president’s efforts to use the courts to delay or block President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory were turned aside in cases in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona.




Nov. 13, 2020


President Trump suffered multiple legal setbacks in three key swing states on Friday, choking off many of his last-ditch efforts to use the courts to delay or block President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

In quick succession, Mr. Trump was handed defeats in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan, where a state judge in Detroit rejected an unusual Republican attempt to halt the certification of the vote in Wayne County pending an audit of the count.

The legal losses came as Mr. Biden was declared the victor in Georgia and a day after an agency in the president’s own Department of Homeland Security flatly contradicted him by declaring that the election “was the most secure in American history” and that “there is no evidence” any voting systems malfunctioned.

On Friday, 16 federal prosecutors who had been assigned to monitor the election also directly debunked claims of widespread fraud, saying in a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr that there was no evidence of substantial irregularities.



In his first public remarks of the week, Mr. Trump ignored the developments during an appearance in the Rose Garden. But he showed a momentary crack in his previously relentless insistence that he would eventually be proclaimed the winner of the campaign, saying at one point, “Whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration, I guess time will tell.”

Mr. Trump’s bad day at the bar began at dawn when news emerged that lawyers from the Ohio-based law firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had abruptly withdrawn from a federal lawsuit they had filed only days earlier on his behalf in Pennsylvania. The firm’s withdrawal followed internal tensions at the firm about its work for Mr. Trump and concerns by some lawyers that Porter Wright was being used to undercut the integrity of the electoral process.

Then, shortly after noon, a lawyer for the Trump campaign effectively dropped its so-called Sharpiegate lawsuit in Arizona. That lawsuit had claimed that some ballots cast for Mr. Trump were invalidated after voters in Maricopa County had used Sharpie pens, causing “ink bleeds.” The lawyer, Kory Langhofer, acknowledged that not enough presidential votes were at stake in the case to affect the outcome of the race.

The lawsuit, which stemmed from a viral rumor that falsely claimed Arizona’s voting machines were incapable of tabulating ballots filled out with Sharpies, was already on the rocks. At a hearing on Thursday, Mr. Langhofer told the court that the county’s vote count had been affected merely by “good-faith errors,” not by fraud, as Mr. Trump has been claiming for days.



“We are not saying anyone is trying to steal the election,” Mr. Langhofer said.

With victories in Arizona and Georgia, Mr. Biden has matched the 306 electoral votes that Mr. Trump racked up four years ago. Mr. Biden was declared the winner of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes on Thursday night after he finished more than 11,000 votes ahead of Mr. Trump. At the court hearing earlier that day, a Maricopa County elections official testified that only 191 presidential votes in the county might have been affected by Mr. Langhofer’s suit.

Around 2 p.m. Friday, the state court judge in Michigan, Timothy M. Kenny, dealt Mr. Trump another blow by denying an emergency motion filed by two Republican poll workers who had asked him to halt the certification of the vote in Wayne County — home to Detroit — pending an audit of the count. States have to certify the results of the election — confirming that the vote tabulation was accurate — in order to apportion their Electoral College votes.

Election 2020 ›

Election officials directly contradict Trump on voting system fraud.
With Biden ahead by 14,000 votes, Georgia will begin recount on Friday.
Progressives are pressing Biden to limit corporate influence in his administration.
The ruling by Judge Kenny meant that the formal completion of the vote in Wayne County — and the broader vote in Michigan — could continue on pace. Some legal scholars have suggested that delaying certification of the vote in key states is part of a last-ditch strategy by the Trump campaign to throw the election to Republican-led state legislatures.

At a hearing this week in Detroit, lawyers for the city had asked Judge Kenny not to delay certification out of concern about this gambit. In his ruling, the judge noted that the audit requested by the two Republican plaintiffs, Cheryl Costantino and Edward McCall, would have been “unwieldy” and forced the rest of Michigan to wait.



“It would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this court to stop the certification process,” Judge Kenny added.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Ms. Costantino and Mr. McCall had made wide-ranging claims of irregularities during the vote count at Detroit’s TCF Convention Center.

They charged that some poll workers in the heavily Democratic city were coaching voters to cast their ballots for Mr. Biden, that some Republican poll challengers were not given adequate access to monitor the vote count, and that loads of ballots were improperly brought into the convention center in the middle of the night.

Lawyers for Detroit and for the Michigan Democratic Party had argued in court papers that about 100 Republican poll challengers had in fact been let into the convention center, but that some were not allowed to return after leaving once the room filled up.



Judge Kenny wrote that while he took some of these accusations seriously, some were too general to be proved and others were “rife with speculation and guesswork.”

He dismissed an affidavit by one Republican poll observer charging that computers at the convention center had been improperly connected to the internet, noting that the observer’s credibility was suspect: Before the election, the observer had posted on Facebook that the Democrats were using the coronavirus crisis as “a cover for Election Day fraud.”

In between the events in Arizona and Michigan, another court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, handed the president another defeat.

The court upheld Pennsylvania’s three-day extension for the deadline to accept mail-in ballots, against which the Trump campaign has vociferously fought. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had already issued a similar decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept Mr. Trump’s attempt to challenge it.



As the president was speaking in the Rose Garden, Marc E. Elias, a lawyer who has handled several election cases on behalf of the Democrats, wrote on Twitter: “Another Friday afternoon with more good news coming from the courts.”

That turned out to be two more victories in Pennsylvania.

In one, a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court denied the Trump campaign’s request to invalidate a batch of mail-in ballots. In the other, a Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court rejected the campaign’s appeal seeking to invalidate five more batches of mail-in ballots.

The total number of ballots at stake in the two decisions: 8,927.

Mr. Trump was not ready to give up. He posted on Twitter on Friday evening that he would win in Pennsylvania, making a baseless assertion about vote counting in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

With the legal fight not going well, the president put his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, in charge of his campaign lawsuits related to the outcome of the election, as well as all public communications related to them, four people familiar with the move said.



Mr. Trump has been trying every possible option to change the outcome and has been trying to get what he sees as “fighters” making his case, often conflating a media strategy with a legal one.

But the involvement of Mr. Giuliani, who held a widely mocked news conference last weekend in front of a landscaping company in Philadelphia in which he claimed widespread fraud, has vexed people on the campaign and in the White House.

The Trump campaign and its proxies still have some cases working their ways through the courts, including one in Federal District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich., that closely mirrors the Michigan state case that Judge Kenny ended on Friday.

A lawsuit seeking to delay certification of the vote in several counties in Wisconsin was filed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Green Bay. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Williamsport, Pa., will hear arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to halt the certification of the vote in several counties in that state.




Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios




© 2020 The New York Times Company





&&&&&& && &&&&& & &&&



The electoral college has slim chance of overturning election


"



The Electoral College is not going to give Trump a second term
Opinion by Robert Alexander
Updated 12:59 PM EST, Sat November 14, 2020

Editor's Note: (Robert Alexander is a professor of political science and founding director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy at Ohio Northern University. He is also the author of "Representation and the Electoral College." Follow him on Twitter: @onuprof. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN.)

(CNN)Four years ago in this space, I swatted down the idea that so-called "faithless electors" would deny Donald Trump the presidency when electors met to cast their votes for president and vice president in late December of that year. Instead, I predicted that while we would likely see a large number of faithless electors -- electors who vote contrary to expectations -- they would mostly be Democrats and they would have little effect upon Trump's chances for victory. We did indeed witness a record number of faithless votes. Most were indeed cast by Democrats and they did little to change the final outcome.


Spurred by these events, the Supreme Court decided this summer in Chiafalo v. Washington that states could bind electors to the will of the voters in their states. Although 33 states and the District of Columbia have some form of binding law, just 14 states (representing 121 electoral votes) have laws providing for the cancellation of a faithless vote if an elector breaks his or her pledge. This leaves 417 electors who could go rogue without any means to cancel their vote. Many are now wondering whether electors could provide a means for Donald Trump to win a second term.

Thanks to tweets and retweets from conservative radio host Mark Levin and President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., there are a number of scenarios that have Democrats concerned that the Electoral College could undo the results of the November 3 election. One scenario is that state legislatures could choose their own slate of electors, which could give Donald Trump the 270 electoral votes he would need to win a majority in the Electoral College. Another scenario is that "faithless electors" could flip from Biden to Trump, providing him those 270 electoral votes — and a second term.


Having studied the Electoral College for nearly two decades, I'm here to tell you that neither of these scenarios will happen.

First, it is true that state legislatures have the power to determine how electors are appointed and all states made those determinations in advance of the November election. As they have for nearly 150 years, all states chose to have electors selected directly by the voters in their respective states. This is what occurred on Election Day when over 150 million Americans voted for electors pledged to support Donald Trump or Joe Biden. State legislatures, then, have already done their job by choosing how electors would be selected. The voters then chose electors and it is now up to state executive officials to certify those votes. The Electoral Count Act of 1887 clearly indicates that states cannot change the rules after the election has been held. If in the future a state legislature would like to have the authority to directly select electors for their state, they are free to pass that legislation. However, I suspect no state would be willing to take that leap for 2024.

Second, although faithless electors have existed throughout our nation's history — including a record number in 2016 — the chances of Democratic electors bolting from the Biden campaign are virtually nonexistent. Having surveyed electors from each of the past five presidential elections, it is clear to me that they represent some of the most partisan individuals in American politics. They are chosen for their party loyalty, and in the case of Democratic electors the thought of a Trump presidency is a nonstarter. Throughout history, only one elector (in 1796) ever voted for the opponent of their party's ticket. And while I have found a surprising number of electors do consider casting rogue votes, few ultimately choose to do so.

Trump hangs over Obama&apos;s memoir like an onrushing train
Trump hangs over Obama's memoir like an onrushing train
The fact that this type of chicanery is possible at all creates needless uncertainty, intrigue, and questions of legitimacy. This is especially concerning in an election where a majority of Americans voted for the winning candidate — a candidate who is on pace to win the largest share of the national popular vote in three decades, save the elections of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Although proponents of the Electoral College claim that it helps bestow legitimacy on a winning candidate in close elections, we see the opposite in this case. The uncertainty created by talk of state legislatures seating their own electors as well as the prospect of faithless votes provides fertile ground for conspiracies from both the right and the left about what could happen when members of the Electoral College meet.

These backdoor Electoral College scenarios are not without precedent. In 1960, an effort was undertaken within the Electoral College to deny John F. Kennedy the presidency by throwing the contest not to his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon, but to Southern Democrat Harry Byrd. While there was interest in the plan, only Henry Irwin, a Republican from Oklahoma, cast a faithless vote for Byrd.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter won a very close contest over Gerald Ford. A change in just over 5,000 votes in Ohio and 3,000 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford with exactly 270 electoral votes. After the election, Ford's running mate, Bob Dole, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Ford-Dole campaign actively sought to influence Democrat electors to switch to their votes. "We were shopping -- not shopping, excuse me -- looking around for electors." He added that, "It just seems to me that the temptation is there for that elector in a very tight race to really negotiate quite a bunch."

My own research on electors finds that they are regularly lobbied to change their votes and many consider doing so. In 2008, I found that 83% of electors were contacted and urged to not vote for Barack Obama, in spite of the fact that nearly 10 million more people voted for him and he earned a commanding Electoral College victory over John McCain 365-173. These Electoral College lobbyists argued that Obama was ineligible to serve as president because they falsely claimed he was not born in the United States. These baseless "birther" accusations were frequently stoked by the likes of Donald Trump throughout Obama's presidency. Ultimately, no electors defected.

Just like after Watergate, post-Trump era requires reforms to hold presidents accountable
Just like after Watergate, post-Trump era requires reforms to hold presidents accountable
The current talk about the Electoral College salvaging the presidency for Trump is reminiscent of efforts to deny him the presidency just four years ago. While discussion today centers on claims of voter fraud, four years ago the focus was on Trump's character, his failure to win the national popular vote, and concerns over Russian interference in the election. There was a public campaign in the form of a petition signed by millions including Lady Gaga and Pink. Additionally, a skit airing on Saturday Night Live memorably called on electors to flip their votes. These efforts had some effect, as my research found that every single Republican elector responding to my survey was contacted to change their vote and 85% of Democrats were too.

There was yet another campaign that took place within the Electoral College to dump Trump. It was led by Bret Chiafalo and Michael Baca in 2016. The so-called "Hamilton elector" movement encouraged fellow electors to band together to select a Republican unity candidate. They drew upon Hamilton's vision of independent and wise electors who were to be those citizens "most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations." They argued that Trump was unfit for office and hoped that at least 37 Republican electors would join their cause to deny Trump a majority of Electoral College votes.

Although 20% of Republican electors responding to my 2016 survey considered casting rogue votes against Trump, just two decided to cast faithless votes -- both for fellow Republicans (John Kasich and Ron Paul).

I am sure that Democratic members of the 2020 Electoral College will face immense pressure to change their votes, but I suspect virtually all will remain steadfast and loyal to the Biden-Harris ticket. Still, Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.'s observation in 1949 about the potential harm of electors persists. He warned that electors "are like the appendix in the human body. While it does no good and ordinarily causes no trouble, it continually exposes the body to the danger of political peritonitis."


It is my hope that all states will minimize the danger and adopt appropriate binding laws to remove any doubt that electors could change the outcome when the country casts its ballots four years from now. Until then, we should take some comfort in the view of electors offered by Justice Robert Jackson in Ray v. Blair (1952): "They [electors] always voted at their party's call and never thought of thinking for themselves at all."

While I have found a surprising number of wavering electors in past elections, most all follow the will of the people in their states and I expect that is exactly what will occur this December.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote to Henry Cabot Lodge, instead of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. The quote is from 1949, not 1999.





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Re: Trump enters the stage - The 'rigging' goes on.....

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:20 am

"
POLITICO

2020 ELECTIONS

MAGA protesters cheer Trump motorcade drive-by
Hundreds of Trump loyalists converged on the nation’s capital to protest the election results and falsely assert the vote was stolen.


By ASSOCIATED PRESS

11/14/2020 01:19 PM EST

President Donald Trump delighted supporters gathered near the White House on Saturday with a slow motorcade drive-by through downtown Washington on the way to his Virginia golf club.

A week after the presidential race was called for Democrat Joe Biden, hundreds of Trump loyalists converged on the nation’s capital to protest the election results and falsely assert the vote was stolen.

Trump persists with his claims and complaints even though a broad coalition of top government and industry officials has declared that the Nov. 3 voting and the following count unfolded smoothly with no more than the usual minor hiccups — “the most secure in American history,” they said, repudiating his efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest.

The crowd cheered as Trump’s limousine neared and people lined both sides of the street. Some stood just a few feet away from Trump’s vehicle; others showed their enthusiasm by running along with the caravan.

They chanted “USA, USA” and “four more years,” and many carried American flags and signs to show their displeasure with the vote tally. After a slow drive around Freedom Plaza, where the pro-Trump rallies began, the motorcade headed to the president’s club.

The “Million MAGA March” was heavily promoted on social media, raising concerns that it could spark conflict with anti-Trump demonstrators, who have gathered near the White House in Black Lives Matter Plaza for weeks.


In preparation, police closed off wide swaths of downtown, where many stores and offices have been boarded up since Election Day. Chris Rodriguez, director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the police were experienced at keeping the peace.

“People who come to the District know that you can’t bring weapons to our city and that violence will not be tolerated,” Rodriguez said.

The issues that Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelops and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in key battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.

Trump’s campaign has also filed legal challenges complaining that their poll watchers were unable to scrutinize the voting process. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges, some within hours of their filing.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage - David parkman & violence in DC

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:38 am

David Parkman reports the brute fact that Trump's debts may top 1 billion, and he will be a financial mess when he leaves the White House, and all his golf courses are failing because he lost public respect for his brand. While all of his " apprantice money is gone.

There was a violent clash between pro Trump and their opposite counterpadts, leading to arrests.



"≡
TheHill

NEWS
November 15, 2020 - 12:01 AM EST

Violence erupts between counter-protestors, Trump supporters following DC rally



Supporters of President Trump and counter-demonstrators clashed Saturday night after what was mostly a peaceful day of demonstrations in support of Trump and protesting the election results.

Violent clashes between Trump supporters and counter-protestors that were caught on tape by The Washington Post showed members from both sides lunging at one another. Objects can be seen in the footage being thrown in the air, and people are punching one another.

Video caught by NBC4 reporter Shomari Stone shows several encounters between the two sides, including a Trump supporter getting pushed after he bumped up against a group of counter-protesters while holding a flag.

Another clip in Stone's video shows demonstrators jawing at one another while a police officer stands between them.




Separate footage from Stone shows counter-demonstrators clashing with the president's supporters outside White House when someone set off fireworks. The same video shows officers in masks pushing back a crowd trying to confront Trump supporters.

A group of people also gathered near Freedom Plaza chanting "U-S-A," according to footage from WUSA 9 reporter Kolbie Satterfield. A report from the media outlet noted that there were flash bangs as well as fire works that went off in the area as well.



Amid the tumult, DC Police made 20 arrests on Saturday, and two officers were injured, according to Satterfield.

Trump on Saturday night weighed in on the situation, accusing DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) of not doing her job.



"Radical Left ANTIFA SCUM was easily rebuffed today by the big D.C. MAGA Rally crowd, only to return at night, after 99% of the crowd had left, to assault elderly people and families," he tweeted.

"Police got there, but late. Mayor is not doing her job!"

The violence erupted after what had proven to be a mostly peaceful day of demonstrations in D.C.

A flood of Trump supporters made their way into the nation's capital to take part in what was billed under many names including the Million MAGA March and Stop the Steal DC, and started off at the Freedom Plaza around noon.

Women for America First, a group led by former Tea Party activist Amy Kremer organized the event at Freedom Plaza, where a mix of right-wing groups including the Proud Boys as well as a smattering of the president's supporters gathered.

Most demonstrators carried signs or wore shirts alleging that there was widespread voter fraud that negatively impacted the results for Trump.

Speakers at the event like Infowars host Alex Jones encouraged the crowd not to give up hope on the election results.

"It will be weeks, maybe months, but we will stick with this president, Donald J. Trump," Jones said.

The event came one week after President-elect Joe Biden was projected to win the 2020 election. The former vice president was also projected to win the states of Arizona and Georgia, two states that have gone red during presidential elections since the 1990s.

The president however has refused to concede the election, with his campaign mounting legal battles in multiple swing states throughout the country. Trump and his campaign have repeatedly alleged that the election was subject to widespread voter fraud, and have made claims that Democrats have tried to steal the election.

Despite Trump's claims about voter fraud, there is no substantial evidence to suggest that the election was subject to irregularities.

A coalition of state and federal election officials on Thursday released a statement saying that there was "no evidence" that any voting system was compromised or votes lost during the recent general election. They added that this was the most secure election in American history.

Saturday morning, the president drove by a crowd of protesters waving from the car window as the crowd cheered him on. Later in the day, the president offered encouragement to supporters by retweeting a scene of the protest and writing, "We will win!"




Thousands rally in DC to protest election results, show support for Trump
38 percent of Americans planning on having Thanksgiving dinner with 10 or more people
Thousands flock to DC for pro-Trump rally
Trump drives by supporters at DC march
Cindy McCain says late husband would have wanted country to 'move on' from election .....

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The contents of this site are ©2020 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Politically incorrect Occham

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:53 pm

Obama says he's 'troubled' GOP backs Trump refusal to concede

Donald Trump says Joe Biden 'won' election, then backtracks and says he won't concede

DAVID JACKSON | USA TODAY | 34 minutes ago


The admission on Twitter was quickly followed up with a tweet doubling down that he was not actually conceding.
USA TODAY, WOCHIT
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time Sunday that Joe Biden won the presidential election, even as he repeated false claims that Democrats "rigged" the balloting and again refused to concede the race.


"He won because the Election was Rigged," Trump tweeted early Sunday, referring to Biden. His assertion about election malfeasance was at odds with a finding from a national coalition of election security officials, which concluded that the Nov. 3 general election was "the most secure in American history."

"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," said a statement from the security group, which included the cybersecurity agency within Trump's own Department of Homeland Security, along with the National Association of State Election Directors.

Trump later tweeted of President-elect Biden: "he only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go."


Biden defeated Trump in a series of crucial battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan, achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidential race with room to spare.

He leads Trump in the popular vote by more than 5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points.

Will Trump remain the GOP kingmaker? Trump wants to run the Republican party even if he leaves office. Can he?


President Donald Trump waves to supporters from his motorcade as people gather for a march Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Washington.
JULIO CORTEZ, AP
Trump's campaign and its allies have filed lawsuits that aim to delay the certification of the results in some of the states that Biden won. But his team has offered no evidence of widespread fraud, and many of the lawsuits have been rejected by the courts.

Legal experts have said Trump's challenges are almost certain to fail.

Meanwhile, Trump has blocked federal resources for Biden's transition team and has refused to allow the president-elect access to high-level classified briefings. Incoming presidents typically have access to those assessments, so they can be prepared to deal with any national security threats on Day One.


Several GOP senators have urged Trump to allow the briefings.

Re-tweeting commentary from Fox News host Jesse Waters, Trump repeated false claims that Republican election observers not allowed to watch the vote count (they were). He again decried alleged media bias, and he revived a discredited claim that a company behind the vote tabulation in some states contributed to his loss to Biden.

More: Trump campaign's challenge of election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona push US toward 'loss of democracy'

MAGA supporters gather in DC: Tens of thousands rally in DC to support outgoing President Trump


Thousands of President Trump supporters joined together for the 'Million MAGA March'
USA TODAY
Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday that Trump's refusal to concede was harmful to the country.

"Every day that he delays ... ultimately is to the country's disadvantage," Bolton said on ABC's "This Week."


As recently as last week, some of Trump's top aides were continuing to insist that the president won a second term, despite the results.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany answered a question about whether Trump would attend Biden's inauguration by saying that Trump will attend "his own inauguration."

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo falsely claimed Trump won a second term, saying there would be a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

Biden's aides welcomed Trump's seeming acknowledgement Sunday of the president-elect's win, but added that they want him to authorize the transition.


“I accept it as a further confirmation of the reality that Joe Biden won the election," said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on NBC's "Meet The Press."

Trump aides said that he was mocking the idea of a Biden victory, and that he still expects to prevail after a series of lawsuits, recounts and election challenges.

"The president was referring to the mindset of the media," said Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman. "His goal remains to un-rig the election and continue exposing voting irregularities and unconstitutional election management by Democratic officials.”

© Copyright Gannett 2020



https://youtu.be/vCu0VJYMbiA





>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>>>>>:





The New York Times
The Presidential Transition

Trump, Trying to Cling to Power, Fans Unrest and Conspiracy Theories

The president’s refusal to concede has entered a more dangerous phase as he blocks his successor’s transition, withholding intelligence briefings, pandemic information and access to the government.

Image
President Trump waved to his supporters at a demonstration near the White House on Saturday. Pockets of violence broke out that night as they clashed with anti-Trump protesters.
President Trump waved to his supporters at a demonstration near the White House on Saturday. Pockets of violence broke out that night as they clashed with anti-Trump protesters.Credit...Kenny



Updated Nov. 16, 2020, 11:34 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s refusal to concede the election has entered a more dangerous phase as he stokes resistance and unrest among his supporters and spreads falsehoods aimed at undermining the integrity of the American voting system.

More than a week after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the winner, Mr. Trump continues to block his successor’s transition, withholding intelligence briefings, critical information about the coronavirus pandemic and access to the vast machinery of government that Mr. Biden will soon oversee.

Some former top advisers to Mr. Trump have said that his refusal to cooperate is reckless and unwise. John F. Kelly, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, called it “crazy” on Friday. John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser who wrote a scathing memoir about his time in the administration, said the refusal “harms the country.”

“Every day that he delays under the pretense that he’s simply asking for his legal remedies ultimately is to the country’s disadvantage,” Mr. Bolton said on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday morning.



The president’s attempt to cling to power played out against a backdrop of protests by Trump supporters and opponents late Saturday, with sporadic clashes near the White House. The police arrested 21 people as one protester was stabbed and four officers were injured. Rather than seek to calm tensions, Mr. Trump lashed out.

“ANTIFA SCUM ran for the hills,” he posted on Twitter on Saturday as he urged the police to move in aggressively. “DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!”

By Sunday morning, the president seemed to briefly acknowledge defeat, but he quickly reversed himself, declaring “I concede NOTHING!” He repeated lies about the vote-counting process, falsely insisting that Mr. Biden’s victory was the result of a “RIGGED ELECTION” orchestrated by the “Fake & Silent” news media.

Facing his final 66 days in office, Mr. Trump appears unwilling to break from the gut instincts that have guided his pursuit of the presidency and his exercise of authority in the past five-and-a-half years: a fierce determination to act only in his self-interest and a near-total refusal to accept blame or responsibility for his failures.



As the total number of coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 11 million and deaths neared 250,000, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, warned that 200,000 more people could die by spring if Americans did not more fully embrace public health measures, even with an effective vaccine.

“We are not going to turn it on and off, going from where we are to completely normal,” Dr. Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, challenging Mr. Trump’s claims that the virus would go away quickly once a vaccine was ready. “It’s going to be a gradual accrual of more normality as the weeks and the months go by, as we get well into 2021.”

Dr. Fauci said health officials had not begun working with Mr. Biden’s transition team. He also said the president had not attended a meeting of his coronavirus task force in “several months,” vanishing from participation in the panel.

But anyone hoping for a similarly quiet withdrawal from Mr. Trump as he leaves the presidency appears destined not to get it. He continues to deny facts and science in favor of baseless conspiracy theories and has moved aggressively to remove anyone he views as disloyal: a fact underscored by a purge of top officials at the Pentagon last week that was followed by an implicit rebuke by the military’s top general.



“We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a speech on Wednesday. “We take an oath to the Constitution.”




The president’s desperate language as he tries without success to preserve his position stood in stark contrast with the disciplined silence from Mr. Biden, who spent Sunday morning at church services and later met behind closed doors with his transition advisers. Ron Klain, who will be Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a concession tweet from the president was not necessary.

“Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president,” Mr. Klain said. “The American people did that.”



Before going to play golf at his club in Virginia for the second day in a row on Sunday, the president once again lashed out at the news media and Mr. Biden’s supporters, retweeting reports of a university professor who said that anyone who voted for the Democrat was “ignorant, anti-American and anti-Christian.” In his tweet, Mr. Trump called that “Progress!”

He also continued to attack the election results, calling a hand recount underway in Georgia, a state he narrowly lost, “a scam.” Despite the president’s assertions, the recount, which is being conducted at the direction of a Republican secretary of state, appeared to be going smoothly, as about 50 of Georgia’s 159 counties had completed their new counts.

As Mr. Trump arrived at the golf course, dueling signs showed the deep rift in the country that he has sought to exploit with false allegations of vote-counting fraud since Nov. 7, when Mr. Biden was declared the winner. The president’s supporters at the entrance waved “TRUMP 2020” and “KEEP AMERICA GREAT” messages while protesters held signs saying, “SURRENDER DONNIE.”

The nation’s divisions were on grim display in the capital on Saturday night, when pockets of violence broke out between people rallying on behalf of Mr. Trump’s desire to stay in office and anti-Trump demonstrators. After a day in which thousands of the president’s supporters gathered mostly peacefully in support of his false election assertions, the scene turned darker as night fell.



Counterprotesters, including some from a group calling themselves Refuse Fascism, confronted Trump supporters. One threw bottles and fireworks, a USA Today reporter said. People backing the president at one point ripped “Black Lives Matter” signs off a building before trampling them on the ground.

“You could feel the intensity,” said Damien Courtney, 24, a Trump supporter from Tennessee. “It was nerve-racking.”

The rally on Saturday also prompted Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, to wildly exaggerate the size of the pro-Trump crowd. In a tweet from her personal account, she claimed that “more than one MILLION marchers for President @realDonaldTrump descend on the swamp in support.” In fact, the authorities estimated it was far short of her claims, which echoed the falsehoods that Sean Spicer, the president’s first press secretary, told about the inaugural crowd four years ago.

Former President Barack Obama warned in an interview that aired Sunday night that Mr. Trump’s willingness to spread misinformation about the election was hurting the country’s ability to conduct the basic functions of democracy.



“It’s very hard for our democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts,” Mr. Obama said on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “Any of us who attain an elected office — whether it’s dogcatcher or president — are servants of the people. It’s a temporary job. We’re not above the rules. We’re not above the law. That’s the essence of our democracy.”

Mr. Obama said he worried that many parts of what he called a “deeply divided” nation believed Mr. Trump’s falsehoods.

“The power of that alternative worldview that’s presented in the media that those voters consume, it carries a lot of weight,” Mr. Obama said.

Inside the West Wing, most of Mr. Trump’s top advisers have privately told him what is clear to everyone except his most loyal supporters and the Republican politicians who fear his wrath: His re-election bid has failed, and Mr. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.



A few Republicans have acknowledged that publicly. On Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas joined their ranks, saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expected that Mr. Biden would be the next president and should have access to intelligence briefings.

But publicly, Mr. Trump’s aides and virtually all Republican lawmakers continued to stand by — or at least not challenge — his false assertions about the election.


The president’s supporters argued with counterprotesters near the White House

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, has taken over the president’s legal fight to overturn the election results. In interviews on Sunday with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News, Mr. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, another member of the president’s legal team, floated false conspiracy theories that there was a sweeping effort to switch votes using specific software.



“President Trump won by not just hundreds of thousands of votes, but by millions of votes, that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose,” Ms. Powell insisted. “We have so much evidence, I feel like it’s coming in through a fire hose.”

In fact, Mr. Biden leads in the popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, a total that has climbed as states have continued counting.

At another point, Ms. Powell claimed that the C.I.A. had ignored complaints about the software, “which makes me wonder how much the C.I.A. has used it for its own benefit in different places.” She then urged Mr. Trump to fire Gina Haspel, the agency’s director.

Asked by Ms. Bartiromo whether the president was conceding the race, Mr. Giuliani said: “No, no, no, far from it. What he’s saying is more, I guess you’d call it sarcastic.” He added that “obviously he’s contested it vigorously.”



The president’s tweets about whether Mr. Biden had won the election came as Mr. Trump continued to spread misinformation about the vote-counting process.

His first tweet on Sunday came at 7:47. Referring to Mr. Biden, the president said that “he won” and claimed again that “all of the mechanical ‘glitches’ that took place on election night were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes.” Twitter quickly labeled almost all of Mr. Trump’s posts on Sunday morning as “disputed.”

After a flurry of tweets and news reports about his “concession,” Mr. Trump insisted that he had been misunderstood.

At 9:16, he insisted: “RIGGED ELECTION. WE WILL WIN!”

The rapid flip-flop made clear that Mr. Trump was still refusing to abandon his false narrative about the vote being rigged and stolen that he has been spreading since Election Day, inflaming anger among his supporters about his defeat.



There was no indication that his tweet would immediately prompt the administrator of the General Services Administration to officially allow the Biden transition team to have access to the money and information they are due, which she has so far refused to do. Mr. Trump later retweeted a post by the administrator, Emily W. Murphy, on veteran-owned small businesses, adding, “Great job Emily!”














More in Politics

Credit...Chloe Cushman
When a Leader Just Won’t Go

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Trump's latest election lawsuit is dead on arrival, legal experts...
'100 percent dead': Court ruling could torpedo some lawsuits challenging Trump's loss
KEVIN MCCOY | USA TODAY | 2 hours ago


The admission on Twitter was quickly followed up with a tweet doubling down that he was not actually conceding.
USA TODAY, WOCHIT
A federal appeals court ruling may have torpedoed several federal lawsuits that seek to overturn President Donald Trump’s all-but-certified defeat by former Vice President Joe Biden.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Friday that Pennsylvania voters and a congressional candidate could not use certain constitutional arguments to back their claims that some voters were disadvantaged by changes to election rules spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. Postal System delays.

On Monday, Trump supporters who used similar constitutional arguments in federal lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin voluntarily dismissed their claims.

The dismissals came in advance of Tuesday's scheduled oral arguments in a federal lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania. On Sunday, attorneys for the campaign narrowed their legal arguments in that case to avoid running afoul of the appeals court ruling.


Although the revised complaint still argues 689,472 ballots were improperly processed and counted outside the view of Trump election watchers, it does not not seek legal relief specifically on that point.

Election workers count ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center on November 06, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Election workers count ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center on November 06, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
CHRIS MCGRATH, GETTY IMAGES
Some election law and constitutional law experts predict that case, too, is in trouble.

“Trump’s legal path to overturn the election results appears 100 percent dead,” Richard Hasen, an election and campaign law expert at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law wrote on his Election Law Blog on Monday.

Even if the Trump campaign succeeded in its slimmed-down arguments in the case to be argued Tuesday, "it does not involve enough ballots to call Pennsylvania’s election results into question,” Hasen said in an email to USA TODAY.

Biden led Trump by 67,353 votes in Pennsylvania as of Monday, according to Associated Press tallies.


The Trump campaign's lawsuit seeks to delay Pennsylvania from certifying its election results. It asks the court to bar certification of results that include absentee and mail ballots that it claims were improperly "cured" of mistakes made by voters, without adequate oversight by Trump campaign monitors. It couldn't be immediately determined how many ballots are in question.

From the beginning, legal experts said the case had no chance of success. Courts are reluctant to invalidate ballots cast by voters who relied on instructions from election boards, they said, and mail balloting is constitutional and common.

Analysis: Nine legal experts say Trump's lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania is dead on arrival

The Trump campaign’s arguments center on the Constitution’s equal protection clause, which requires “equal protection of the laws” for citizens. The pared-down complaint retains an argument based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore ruling that decided the 2000 presidential election.


Appeals court: Bush v. Gore ruling was limited to the 2000 election
The case that went before the appeals court was filed by Republican congressional candidate Jim Bognet and voters who alleged Pennsylvania's three-day extension for mail and absentee ballots improperly allowed county election boards to accept ballots "that would otherwise be unlawful."

What history has shown us about contested elections and peaceful transitions of power.
JUST THE FAQS, USA TODAY
An appeals court panel denied some of that suit's constitutional arguments. The court said it did not review the Bush v. Gore decision in evaluating plaintiffs' equal protection arguments because the Supreme Court said in that ruling it was “limited to the present circumstances” of that case.

“That is a bad sign” for the Pennsylvania case set for arguments on Tuesday, said Kermit Roosevelt, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in an email.

That case and others are among an explosion of election-related legal challenges that even before Election Day had topped the number of similar federal lawsuits filed during the three prior presidential elections, a USA TODAY analysis found.


Trump's election challenges haven't gone far
Trump’s efforts to challenge election results, partly based on allegations of ineligible votes and inadequate observer access to ballot counting, have largely failed. In Pennsylvania alone, Trump supporters have filed at least 15 legal challenges in an effort to reclaim the state’s 20 electoral votes, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Judges in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Nevada, however, have quickly dispatched some of them. A few have been appealed.

On Friday, Pennsylvania courts dismissed six Trump campaign lawsuits that argued nearly 9,000 absentee ballots should be disqualified for violations of state election code requirements.


With the U.S. Capitol in the background, supporters of President Donald Trump rally in Washington.
JULIO CORTEZ, AP
Rival appeal petitions were filed over the weekend in those cases.

The four federal lawsuits voluntarily dismissed by voter plaintiffs on Monday in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin were linked to the law firm of conservative attorney James Bopp Jr. He is a legal consultant for Trump’s 2020 presidential election campaign.


The cases focused on alleged violations of the equal protection clause, as well as constitutional directives on elections and presidential electors. Each of the cases challenged election officials' inclusion of "illegal presidential elector results in certain counties."

Trump campaign alleged "two-tiered voting system in Pennsylvania
The Trump campaign’s case set for arguments on Tuesday initially alleged that Pennsylvania used an “illegal, two-tiered voting system” — in-person and mail ballots. It argued that ballots cast in person were devalued because of the extended deadline and a lack of oversight for mail and absentee ballots.

But after Friday’s appeals court ruling in the other case, Trump campaign lawyers scrapped most of the references to a "two-tiered" voting system, as well as constitutional arguments based on issues other than the equal protection clause.

The amended complaint alleges that Pennsylvania election officials in areas with heavy Democratic Party enrollment improperly enabled mail voters who had made technical mistakes on their ballots to “cure” the errors. Election officials in other areas of the state followed the law by not providing such assistance, the lawsuit charged.


A Phila. city commissioner says the 'highest ethical standards' were followed during the election and subsequent canvassing. Omar Sabir says he understands the Trump campaign filing lawsuits but feels 'America really needs healing" going forward. (Nov. 10)
AP
When the ballots were being counted, election officials in Democratic-majority areas “intentionally denied the Trump Campaign access to unobstructed observation ... denying plaintiffs and the residents of Pennsylvania the equal protection of the law.”

Late Monday, the Trump campaign's lawyers in the case were granted permission by the court to withdraw. They were the second set of lawyers to depart.

The campaign is now being represented by the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, law firm of Marc Scaringi, whose biography on the firm's website says he once worked as a part-time radio talk show host.

The Trump campaign asked U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann to delay Tuesday's hearing. Brann denied the motion.


Originally Published 12 hours ago
Updated 2 hours ago
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