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.
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Read the latest updates below:
David Bossie tests positive for the coronavirus, sidelining him from legal push
David Bossie, who was recently tasked to head President Trump's re-election legal challenges, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News.
“Because he can’t be at the campaign headquarters and he can’t be in the Oval Office [due to his diagnosis] Dave’s no longer a part of the decision-making process,” one of the sources said.
Bossie, who heads the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, is apparently at home and feeling OK, the source said, noting that it's particularly problematic that Bossie is now “sidelined” from the legal push he was supposed to lead.
Bossie was most recently seen at a Trump campaign press conference in Phoenix, on Thursday.
Bloomberg News first reported that Bossie had contracted the virus.
30 former GOP members of Congress call on Trump to accept Biden's victory
Thirty former Republican members of Congress, many of whom previously endorsed Joe Biden, called on President Donald Trump on Monday to accept the results of the election and stop promoting baseless allegations of voter fraud.
"As former Republican members of Congress who swore an oath to the Constitution, we believe the statements by President Trump alleging fraud in the election are efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election and are unacceptable," the group wrote in an open letter.
"Every vote should be counted and the final outcome accepted by the participants because public confidence in the outcome of our elections is a bedrock of our democracy," the group added. "Going forward it is our hope the nation will, regardless of party or persuasion, recognize that President-elect Joe Biden has won this election."
The letter was sent to reporters by former Missouri Rep. Tom Coleman, who represented a Kansas City-area district for almost two decades, but supported Trump's impeachment and became one of many Republicans to endorse Biden.
Other signatories include former New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey, former Minnesota Sen. Dave Durenberger, former Oklahoma Rep. Mickey Edwards, who was a founding member of the conservative Heritage Foundation, and former Reps. Barbara Comstock of Virginia and Carlos Curbelo of Florida, who both lost re-election in the 2018 Democratic wave.
Georgia voting official says no indication of widespread voter fraud
Georgia’s statewide voting system implementation manager, Gabriel Sterling, said Monday that widespread voter fraud has not occurred in Georgia, adding that the state's change from red to blue was part of a trend.
President–elect Joe Biden’s lead was just over 10,000 votes, and many of the ballots had split ticketing, such as voting for Biden, as well as Republican Sen. David Perdue, Sterling in a briefing with reporters.
Sterling also dismissed a claim that more mail-in ballots came in from Gwinnett County than were sent to the county's residents, explaining it was merely a false impression created by the way the results were reported.
“Gwinnett is the one county in Georgia that has to use two languages, Spanish and English, and doing so essentially double the size or double the number of the pages on their balance ... ," he said. "In the reporting, it says ballots cast, it's really pages scanned, and we've already talked to Dominion about the fact that language needs to be changed," referring to the voting system's vendor.
Shortly after Sterling spoke, the two Georgia senators up for re-election, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, claimed without providing evidence that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had mismanaged the vote count and called for him to step down.
"There have been too many failures in Georgia elections this year and the most recent election has shined a national light on the problems," the senators said in a joint statement. "While blame certainly lies elsewhere as well, the buck ultimately stops with the Secretary of State."
Raffensperger responded with his own statement refusing to resign and defending the work of his office. “If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff," he wrote. “And both senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our president.”
In his briefing, Sterling repeatedly said the results coming out of Georgia should be trusted, adding that claims to the contrary should not be given credibility.
Notably absent from Trump's election battle: his vice president
WASHINGTON — As President Trump’s allies have rallied behind his cries of election fraud and publicly encouraged him to keep fighting, Vice President Mike Pence has been notably absent from the conversation, waiting until Monday to make his first public comments on the election results.
“Told @VP Team Today, 'it ain’t over til it’s over.. and this AIN’T over!' President @realDonaldTrump has never stopped fighting for us and we’re gonna Keep Fighting until every LEGAL vote is counted!” Pence tweeted Monday, more than 72 hours after news organizations called the race for President-elect Joe Biden.
Pence made his first public appearance since Election Day on Monday — briefly walking down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in view of the television cameras — after a meeting with his staff. He is also scheduled to hold the first coronavirus task force meeting since Oct. 20 on Monday afternoon. It is the only activity that has been on his public schedule in five days.
Behind the scenes, Pence was at the White House on Friday and has been making calls to donors to try to raise money for the legal fight, but aside from two retweets of Trump campaign solicitations for money for the legal fight, he had made no public comments about the election results until his tweet Monday.
Trump tweets that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been ‘terminated’
Trump announced Monday that he fired Mark Esper as his defense secretary and said that Christopher C. Miller would serve as acting secretary of the Defense Department.
"I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately," Trump tweeted.
He added, "Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service."
The ousting of Esper is Trump's first personnel move since losing the presidential election. Esper has been working with Congress recently to strip Confederate names from military bases, which Trump opposes.
Trump campaign officials tell staff: 'We are still in this fight'
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark held an all-staff meeting at their Virginia headquarters this morning, urging aides to stay focused on “the fight” ahead, according to two officials who attended.
Despite that, the re-election campaign is expected to officially end Nov. 15, with most staffers losing health insurance and their paychecks, unless either of those things gets extended in the next week. That is prompting some anxiety and concern, particularly from lower-level staffers, who are unsure of whether they should be looking for a new job right now or not. Several have started to contact potential employers.
Stepien maintained to the troops: “We are still in this fight.” Clark told them: “Don’t mistake lack of motion for lack of progress.”
The campaign continues to seek donations for an “election defense fund.” Since Wednesday, they have sent dozens of emails and texts. The fine print points out, though, that some of that money can be put toward general election debt.
Ben Carson tests positive for Covid-19
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has tested positive for Covid-19, a department spokesperson confirmed to NBC News on Monday.
It's unclear when Carson, 69, tested positive and whether he has symptoms.
Carson’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, told NBC News that Carson “is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
In an email to staff, the department's chief of staff, Andrew Hughes, said Carson had tested positive and was "resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better. Anyone who was in contact with the secretary last week is being notified and all precautions are being taken.”
Carson, a retired physician, was among the more than a hundred people who attended Trump's election night party at the White House last Tuesday. Since then, Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and other White House aides have also tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus.
WHO chief warns of 'misguided nationalism' as he congratulates Biden
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, on Monday warned that "creeping tides of misguided nationalism" have eroded world unity as he congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his election win.
Speaking virtually during a speech at the health body’s World Health Assembly, Tedros promised to work “very closely” with the Biden administration.
“We need to reimagine leadership, built on mutual trust and mutual accountability – to end the pandemic and address the fundamental inequalities that lie at the root of so many of the world’s problems,” he said.
Tedros has been criticized by President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the WHO and cut off U.S. funding earlier this year, accusing it of failing to confront China, where the virus first emerged, over its initial response to the coronavirus outbreak.
With Harris as VP, South Asian women see an opening into politics
After Joe Biden was projected to have won the presidency Saturday morning, Kamala Harris is set to become the next vice president of the U.S., making her the first Asian American, the first Black person and the first woman to hold the office. For many South Asians across the country, it's a historic win that has the potential to open doors for others like them.
Harris' political journey — she was the first person of Indian origin elected attorney general of California and to the Senate —will have an important impact on all women, particularly South Asian women, said Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who was head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in the Obama administration.
"It is also an important beginning for my young sons and for children of color across our country, who have a role model in her and are watching the doors of America open wider for them," said Gupta, whose parents immigrated from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Ossoff challenges Perdue to three TV debates ahead of expected runoff election
The Democratic Senate nominee in Georgia, Jon Ossoff, on Monday challenged his GOP opponent, incumbent Sen. David Perdue, to three televised debates ahead of what appears likely be a runoff election on January 5.
"Georgians deserve nothing less," Ossoff said in a letter to Perdue. "I hope you will agree to give Georgians the debates they deserve."
NBC News says race between the two men is too close to call, with 98 percent of the votes reported and both candidates just below 50 percent of the vote. A runoff would take place in early January, along with the other Senate race in the state, between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock.
In an interview Monday morning on MSNBC's Hallie Jackson, Ossoff rejected the idea that Perdue backed out of the final general election debate against him to attend a Trump rally, saying the senator was "incapable of defending himself" because he has "no record to run on."
Ossoff said that in previous debates he asked Perdue about his record on health care, his stock trades, and why he "lied to the people of this state about the severity of this pandemic."
"He had no answers, and he decided that he was going to bow out and refuse to debate with just hours until voting started, rather than face me in an open forum," Ossoff said.
Reacting to NBC News reporting that Perdue is telling donors that he'll need $500 million to win the runoff, Ossoff said, "This is going to be a big fight." He added that he will be working closely with Warnock and Stacey Abrams to get out the vote.
Trump will lose special Twitter protections in January
President Trump will be subject to the same Twitter rules as any other user when President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20, the social media company confirmed this week.
Twitter places “public interest” notices on some rule-breaking tweets from “world leaders” that would otherwise be removed. Such tweets from political candidates and elected or government officials are instead hidden by a warning and Twitter takes actions to restrict their reach.
But the company said this treatment does not apply to former office holders.
“This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.
Putin congratulated Trump almost immediately in 2016. Not after Biden win.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate President Donald Trump on winning the 2016 U.S. election. Yet on Monday, days after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidency, Putin remained silent as other world leaders moved to congratulate the former vice president and his running mate Kamala Harris.
Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Monday, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained the silence in diplomatic terms: Russia does not believe it would be correct to congratulate a winner before an official ruling has been made, and noted that Trump is moving forward with legal challenges to the election results.
“The incumbent president has announced certain legal procedures, so this situation is different, and we consider it correct to wait for an official announcement,” Peskov said, adding that “the differences are quite obvious” between the 2016 election and the 2020 election. “There were no announcements of legal challenges.”
FIRST READ: Biden won by rerunning the 2016 map and campaign, just better
Now that the dust has settled after election week — we told you there was a good chance it could take days to count the votes in the key battleground states — we can answer how President-elect Joe Biden won.
He simply reran the 2016 map and campaign, but better.
1. Biden won the urban counties in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by larger margins than Hillary Clinton did.
2. He won the key big-city suburbs by bigger margins.
3. Biden won independents.
An early look at who might be in Biden's inner circle in the White House
President-elect Joe Biden is focused on building the team that will enter the White House with him on Inauguration Day, his “Day One staff,” as he looks to fill several thousand jobs in his administration, according to multiple people familiar with the process.
Biden plans to announce these positions likely later this week. Longtime Biden adviser Ron Klain is among those leading the effort to fill these roughly 200 positions in the White House and at some key government agencies, these people said. Once that’s complete, they said Biden will turn to building out his Cabinet.
The contenders for these “Day One” jobs range from Biden loyalists — some who have worked for him since his first run for office 50 years ago — to a group of relatively new aides who joined his 2020 campaign.
Here’s an initial look at some of those expected to play big roles.
U.S. election security agency debunks fraud claims
As unfounded conspiracy theories pile up to challenge the fact that Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, the country’s top election security agency is rapidly debunking them.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the federal agency that oversees the security and integrity of election infrastructure, maintains a “rumor control” blog to correct false claims about elections and voting, which has been particularly active in recent days.
The agency’s head, Chris Krebs, a Trump appointee, is personally actively debunking such claims, such as that officials gave Sharpie markers to some voters to invalidate their ballots (those ballots are still counted) or the “hammer and scorecard” conspiracy theory, which holds that a mythical computer system secretly changed votes across the country, inexplicably bypassing audits, the fact that states independently conduct elections, and that most votes were cast on paper ballots.
'No honeymoon': Biden surrounded on all sides when he gets to the White House
The Democratic Party has big plans — from defeating the coronavirus to expanding health care access to tackling climate change to expanding voting rights to overhauling criminal justice.
There will be tension between progressives who want to pursue an aggressive agenda and moderates who want to strike a note of unity and seek cooperation with Republicans after a bruising election.
"There's not going to be a honeymoon because there was no wedding," said Ezra Levin, the co-founder of the progressive group Indivisible. "This is a partnership. It's a partnership to save democracy. Nobody is under any illusions that the reforms we want to see are just automatically going to happen."
Biden applauds Pfizer vaccine news, warns safety measures must continue 'well into next year'
Biden on Monday applauded drug company Pfizer on the news that early analysis shows its vaccine candidate is more than 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19.
"Last night, my public health advisors were informed of this excellent news. I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope," the president-elect said in a statement.
Biden warned, however, that it will take "many more months" before there is widespread vaccination across the United States and that "for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine."
"Today's news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year," he said.
Trump team planning campaign-style recount rallies in coming weeks
Despite losing the presidential election to Biden, the Trump team is planning to hold campaign-style recount rallies in the coming weeks, a Trump campaign official said Sunday.
The rallies will focus on potential recounts in battleground states where Trump is projected to lose. It's unclear whether Trump himself will participate in all of these events as some may be led by members of his family or top surrogates. Timing and details about the rallies have not yet been finalized, the official said.
The campaign is preparing to redeploy staffers to Georgia who were based in other states and similar moves may take place in Arizona and Pennsylvania. The campaign announced Sunday that Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who did not make it into the Georgia runoff in the Senate race to unseat Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., will lead the presidential recount effort in his state.
NBC News projects that Arizona and Georgia are still too close to call, though Biden leads in both states. NBC projected over the weekend that Biden won both Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Biden-Harris transition team announces members of Covid-19 advisory board
The Biden-Harris transition team on Monday announced its appointments to their Covid-19 advisory board that will lead the new administration's response to the ongoing pandemic.
The board will be co-chaired by Dr. Vivek Murthy, who served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama; Dr. David Kessler, FDA commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale University.
The board members include:
- Dr. Luciana Borio
- Dr. Rick Bright
- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel
- Dr. Atul Gawande
- Dr. Celine Gounder
- Dr. Julie Morita
- Dr. Michael Osterholm
- Ms. Loyce Pace
- Dr. Robert Rodriguez
- Dr. Eric Goosby
Bright is an immunologist and virologist who was ousted from a key coronavirus response job during the Trump administration earlier this year. He filed a whistleblower complaint in May charging "an abuse of authority or gross mismanagement" at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Emanuel is an oncologist, and a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania where he serves as chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy. He served as a special adviser for health policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget for the first two years of the Obama administration.
Congress will have record number of LGBTQ lawmakers next session
A record number of LGBTQ lawmakers will be heading to Congress next session after an Election Day marked by historic firsts.
Jones told NBC News he is excited about serving alongside Torres.
"He's a tremendous candidate and a good friend," he said. "This is a chance for us to be the role model we looked for growing up — for queer youth and especially queer youth of color."
From Covid-19 to climate change, here's Biden's dream agenda
President-elect Joe Biden offered voters an agenda that tried to balance his moderate inclinations and the clamor among his progressive base to implement big change.
Joe Biden's transition team, which has already been working for months to prepare, will have his campaign plan to use as a starting point.
Read about Biden's dream agenda here.
Silence speaks volumes: As Biden is offered congratulations, these world leaders remain quiet
After Joe Biden was declared president-elect Saturday, congratulatory messages poured in from leaders around across the world. But several have remained notably silent, including some of President Donald 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.
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 about Biden's win.