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Nov. 9 highlights: President-elect introduces transition plan

Read the results and reactions after Biden's projected win.
Image: Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of red and blue ripples with white stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are beginning the first steps in their transition plan even as President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election.

Biden was projected to win the presidency on Saturday but Trump has continued to contest the outcome, promoting unfounded claims of voter fraud and corruption. Republicans in Congress have largely avoided the issue, though some in Trump's orbit have encouraged him to keep fighting and others have urged him to tone down his rhetoric.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from Nov. 10, 2020.

Check here for more on the presidential results.

Read the latest updates below:

DOJ's election crimes chief resigns after Barr directs prosecutors to probe voter fraud claims

The head of the branch of the Justice Department that prosecutes election crimes resigned Monday hours after Attorney General William Barr issued a memo to federal prosecutors to investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified.

Richard Pilger, who was director of the Election Crimes Branch of the DOJ, sent a memo to colleagues that suggested his resignation was linked to Barr’s memo, which was issued as the president’s legal team mount baseless legal challenges to the election results, alleging widespread voter fraud cost him the race.

“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications, and in accord with the best tradition of the John C. Keeney Award for Exceptional Integrity and Professionalism (my most cherished Departmental recognition), I must regretfully resign from my role as Director of the Election Crimes Branch,” Pilger’s letter said, according to a copy obtained by NBC News.

Barr on Monday issued a memo authorizing prosecutors "to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections."

That's a change of Justice Department policy, which had previously advised prosecutors that "overt investigative steps ordinarily should not be taken until the election in question has been concluded, its results certified, and all recounts and election contests concluded."

Read more here.

Governor's pitch to aid Trump appears to benefit her own campaign fund

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has enthusiastically taken up President Donald Trump's efforts to contest the results of the presidential election, asking for online donations to “help us bring it home for the president,” but it appears the donations are set to flow into her own reelection account.

The Republican governor, a close Trump ally, launched a fundraising campaign soon after the election was called for Biden on Saturday. The website soliciting donations has “Kristi Noem for Governor” in large letters at the top, but below that, the message is all about Trump, saying that he “needs our support while the far-left Dems declare a victory for Biden before all the votes are counted.” It urges donors to "Please help us bring it home for the president!”

The site allows contributors to check the amount of their donation and includes a box to cover a processing “so 100% of my donation goes to Kristi for Governor.”

Noem did not respond to a request for comment on how the money raised would be used. Her campaign committee chairman, Steve Kirby, said he had no comment on how the funds would be used.

It's unlikely that much, if any, of the money will end up going to Trump, said Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, a campaign finance watchdog. Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer, pointed out that the governor can give a maximum of $2,800 to Trump’s campaign under federal law. If she wanted more to flow to Trump, she could have directed donors to the president’s own donation site.

Read more here.

Barr authorizes DOJ to investigate 'substantial allegations' of voting irregularities before election is certified

Attorney General WIlliam Barr on Monday issued a memo authorizing prosecutors "to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections."

That's a change of Justice Department policy, which had previously advised prosecutors that "overt investigative steps ordinarily should not be taken until the election in question has been concluded, its results certified, and all recounts and election contests concluded."

Barr, who's come under fire by right-wing media for not bolstering the president's evidence-free claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, declared that guidance outdated. "Such a passive and delayed enforcement approach can result in situations in which election misconduct cannot realistically be rectified," he wrote.

Barr met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier Monday. A senior DOJ official said neither Trump, nor anyone at the White House, nor any lawmakers asked or directed Barr to issue the memo.

A DOJ official stressed that the memo from Barr does not allege that there are substantial irregularities in the election. It authorizes local U.S. attorneys to investigate if they learn “clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”

It adds that, "While serious allegations should be handled with great care, specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries. Nothing here should be taken as any indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election."

 

 

 

Biden to speak Tuesday on protecting Obamacare as Supreme Court hears case that could overturn law

President-elect Biden is expected to deliver remarks Tuesday about the risks of overturning the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments to decide the fate of the health care law. 

Biden will deliver remarks at 2 p.m. from Wilmington, Delaware, on the stakes for families across the country and his plan to expand access to health care. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to join Biden. 

Biden and other Democrats campaigned on protecting and expanding the landmark health care law, which was passed under the Obama administration.

Jamie Dimon, Jeff Bezos and other business leaders react to Biden, Harris victory

Business leaders from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon are reacting to former Vice President Joe Biden's electoral victory, hailing an end to the divisiveness and praising the character of the next commander-in-chief — while acknowledging the struggles ahead.

Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, chose to highlight what Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' win means for the U.S., saying "I'm thinking with joy about young people across the country watching the news today and thinking, 'Maybe I can lead this nation too.'"

The Business Roundtable also congratulated the incoming administration, saying, "Our country faces great challenges in the months ahead to defeat the pandemic and rebuild our economy. We will meet them only by working together.”

Trump has often frustrated executives with his rash implementation of tariffs and boycotts, some of which came without any internal review by government lawyers or his own staff.

Read the story here.

The quiet neighbor? Mexico has yet to congratulate Joe Biden on his win.

The country that shares the U.S. southern border is one of the few that has not recognized that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.

Latino lawmakers noticed.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro, a Democratic House member from Texas, and several other Latino lawmakers lashed out at Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for not acknowledging Joe Biden as president-elect.

López Obrador said Saturday that he would refrain from commenting on the U.S. elections until "all the legal matters have been resolved."

"This represents a stunning diplomatic failure by Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a time when the incoming Biden Administration is looking to usher in a new era of friendship and cooperation with Mexico," Castro tweeted Saturday in English and Spanish.

Read more here.

Georgia's Republican secretary of state rejects call for resignation by two GOP senators

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, sharply criticized two the state's two Republican senators on Monday after the lawmakers called on him to resign, citing his “failures,” without citing evidence, of his management of the election.

“The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me,” Raffensperger said in response to GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. “As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count.”

Perdue and Loeffler, whose races are headed to a runoff in January, claimed in a statement that there was “mismanagement” in the election and a lack of transparency from Raffensperger regarding the process for counting ballots, echoing unfounded claims from President Donald Trump who has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.

The state's 16 electoral votes have not allotted to either presidential candidate, but Biden is leading by a slim margin in the state with 99 percent of the expected vote in, according to NBC News.

Raffensperger pressed the senators to reform voting laws, noting that federal, not state laws, are responsible for some issues in administering elections. He also suggested they should focus on their runoffs.

“Now that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are concerned about elections, hopefully, they can fix these federal laws,” he said. “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”

Read more here.

Trump personnel director threatens to fire staffers looking for new jobs

A senior administration official confirmed to NBC News that presidential personnel director John McEntee, who formerly served as the president’s personal aide, has communicated to departments that they should terminate any political appointees looking for new work while President Trump refuses to concede and disputes the results of last week’s election.

CNN first reported the news.

Fox News abruptly cuts away from McEnany: 'I can't in good countenance continue showing you this'

Fox News host Neil Cavuto cut away from a Trump campaign press conference on Monday in which Kayleigh McEnany was discussing the election and the president’s continued refusal to concede even as media outlets have projected Biden as the winner.

McEnany, who serves as both the White House press secretary and a campaign adviser, falsely claimed that the Democrats have been trying to keep people from observing ballot counting, after which Cavuto abruptly cut in.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just think we have to be very clear: she's charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting, unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue showing you this,” Cavuto said. He added that if they provided evidence they would tune back into the conference.

Cavuto has a long history of pushing back against Trump, including some of his claims about Covid-19 treatments.

Meet the Bidens' first pets-elect: German shepherds 'Champ' and 'Major'

President-elect Joe Biden is facing the prospect of a divided Congress when he's sworn in in January — but he'll have some loyal friends in the White House.

After four years of no first pet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — the longest such stretch in well over a century — Biden and his wife, will move in with a pair of German shepherds, Champ and Major.

"I've had German shepherds since I was a kid and I've actually trained them and shown them in the past," Biden told ABC back in 2008.

The Bidens got Champ as a puppy in 2008, shortly before they moved into the vice president's official residence at the Naval Observatory. The name had emotional significance for the then-vice president-elect — his father would tell him "Get up, champ" when he was feeling down.

Biden used the pooch to raise kids' spirits while he was VP — he was known to give out little "Champ" plush pets to kids during his time in office.

Major will be the first shelter dog to enjoy life in the White House.

Read more here.

Trump aides fret about damage from refusal to accept loss

WASHINGTON — As President Trump continues to fight the presidential election results, numerous people close to him are expressing concern that he’s spiraling into rage and hurting his own legacy as well as the Republican Party.

Those concerns were exacerbated on Monday when Trump blindsided officials throughout the White House and at the Pentagon by firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper with a tweet, multiple people close to the president said. The hope, these people said, is that this week ends differently than the last, and that the president’s lawsuits challenging the election results in multiple states quickly run their course.

The moment is particularly perilous, even for a White House that’s powered through on chaos for nearly four years, with all the uncertainty unfolding against the backdrop of a new coronavirus outbreak among the president’s closest advisers — including his chief of staff and top lawyer on his campaign legal team.

“There needs to be a candid conversation with the president. There is no path to victory,” said one person close to Trump, who said the president “deserves his day in court” but added that continuing to cast doubt on the election results “destroys his legacy.”

Another Trump ally described the goal of the lawsuits and public statements alleging voter fraud as aimed at “branding Trump as something other than a loser.”

Most of those close to the president recognize these legal battles aren’t going to change the outcome, but few, if any, are telling him that.

Read more here.