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President-elect Biden sets agenda for Day 1, while Trump remains defiant despite defeat

"No honeymoon": Biden can expect to face opposition on all sides when he gets to the White House.
Image: TOPSHOT-US-VOTE-BIDEN-HARRIS-POLITICS
President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks in Wilmington, Del., on Saturday, after being declared the winner of the U.S. presidential election.Andrew Harnik / Pool via AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We start the week with president-elect Joe Biden charting his course for the next administration while President Donald Trump refuses to concede and vows to continue legal efforts to contest the election results.

Here's what is happening this Monday morning.


From Covid-19 to climate, President-elect Joe Biden charts course for new administration

While the Trump campaign continues to vow legal challenges to the election, President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward and laid out the policy agenda for his administration Sunday.

Announcing their transition team on a new website, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris promised to be prepared on Day One in the White House to tackle four key priorities: Covid-19, economic recovery, racial inequality and climate change.

However, with the outcome of several Senate races still unknown, the potential for the chamber to remain in Republican hands could dampen Biden's dream agenda.

Senate Democrats are coming to terms with what a divided government under Biden could look like. While many are optimistically hoping for a new era of cooperation, many fear that the partisan politics practiced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will prevail.

News analysis: The good news for Biden is he beat Trump. The bad news is that to get anything done, he will now have to grapple with the fractious wings of his own party, as well as Senate Republicans, writes NBC News' political analyst Jonathan Allen.

Meantime, Biden is still hanging on to his slim lead in Arizona as votes continue to be tallied there. He's now up by nearly 17,000 votes in the state.


Trump campaign vows to continue fighting election results

President Donald Trump has vowed to press forward with a legal fight over the election results, pushing unfounded claims of voter fraud in response to the news that Biden had won the election.

While Trump has not made a public appearance since news organizations declared that Biden was the projected winner on Saturday, he released a statement within minutes of the announcement claiming that the "election is far from over."

Trump took to Twitter hours after the announcement to continue to make unfounded claims that rampant voter fraud occurred. Despite having repeated the claim for days now, the Trump campaign has failed to provide any sound evidence of voter fraud.

The Trump campaign has also been aggressively soliciting donations from supporters to help pay for court challenges to the election results, sending out nearly three dozen emails since Saturday with subject lines like "We need more resources."

Meantime, Republicans are still scrambling over how to respond to the election.

Former President George W. Bush on Sunday became the most prominent Republican so far to congratulate Biden on his victory.

Only a few currently elected Republicans, such as Senators Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have congratulated the former vice president on his win. Others have gone in the opposite direction, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who urged Trump on Sunday to "fight hard" and not to concede.

Trump is "going to keep on fighting until the very end," Romney, the only Republican senator who voted to convict the president during his impeachment hearing, said Sunday. "Don't expect him to go quietly into the night. That's not how he operates."

But Romney warned Trump on NBC News' "Meet the Press" to be "careful" about pushing rhetoric questioning the legitimacy of the election.

And former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump ally, suggested that it may soon be time to "move on" from the president's efforts to contest the election.

Christie told ABC's "This Week" that he has a message for 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."

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As Biden's victory is hailed, some prominent world leaders remain silent

In the wake of Biden being declared president-elect Saturday, congratulatory messages poured in from leaders around the world. But several have remained notably silent, including some of Trump's long-term allies.

Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, who is often referred to as "the Trump of the Tropics," has stayed mum about Biden's victory.

Likewise, before the election, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would work with any U.S. leader, but there has been no official comment from the Kremlin since the announcement of Biden's win.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday: "We consider it correct to wait for an official ruling on the election results," before commenting.

Turkish strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, an on-and-off ally of Trump's, also had not yet commented publicly.


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Quote of the day

"When you say that the election was corrupt or stolen or rigged, that's unfortunately rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world."

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, warning Trump on NBC News' "Meet the Press" to be "careful" as he continues to challenge the results of the election.


One fun thing

"Saturday Night Live" couldn't help itself after Biden's projected win was announced Saturday morning.

The long-running comedy show took delight in Trump's loss, with Jim Carrey's Biden calling the president a "loser" and making the "L" sign with his hand.

The cold open was a spoof of CNN coverage of "Election Night in America." Wolf Blitzer, played by Beck Bennett, said, "I know I’m supposed to be a neutral news anchor, but god damn it that feels good."

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If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — send me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra