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Nov. 13 highlights: Trump speaks, more press for Biden to get security briefings

The president and his administration continue to challenge the results.
Image: Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of red and blue ripples with white stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

It's been nearly a week since Joe Biden was projected to win the presidency and President Donald Trump has yet to concede.

While few Republican lawmakers have publicly congratulated Biden, some have begun to push the Trump administration to begin a key part of the transition process: giving Biden access to access to presidential-level intelligence briefings.

This live coverage has ended.

Stories we're watching:

Trump may accept results but never concede he lost, aides say

Republicans who have broken with Trump to congratulate Biden on his win

More people who attended Trump's election night party test positive for Covid

Full presidential election results

Is the outcome of the election really in doubt?

More than a week after Election Day, incumbent President Donald Trump is still promising his supporters a win and Republican lawyers are still pursuing claims of election improprieties in half a dozen states. But is the result of the election really in doubt?

Conversations with more than a dozen state election chiefs around the country and with election lawyers and experts indicate that recounts will likely not move states like Wisconsin and Georgia into Trump's column. Nor do they think that legal challenges — even if some succeed — will undo former Vice President Joe Biden's projected Electoral College victory.

Despite the number of lawsuits filed and the public rhetoric that has accompanied them, experts say, few have the evidentiary backing to survive in court. The state election officials, Republican and Democrat alike, told NBC News there is no evidence of fraud backing up Trump's claims in their states.

"Any amount of scrutiny is going to reveal this, that the process actually worked extraordinarily well," said Jocelyn Benson, Michigan's Democratic secretary of state, who points out that Biden is leading in Michigan by nearly 150,000 votes.

Read the story.

Beloved businesses are going bankrupt waiting for federal help. It will get worse

Last Friday, as Americans waited to learn who their next president would be, Debbe Andrews-Lewis of Lincoln, Nebraska, knew her life was about to change either way. At the end of the day, she would lose her boutique, The Funky Sister.

She had built it from scratch to honor her late husband's memory — they had always wanted to run a store together in retirement. She found quick success selling antiques and oddball items, which allowed her to expand the business and hire her daughter, who took her young son to work every day.

But then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, shuttering the store for two months last spring. When Andrews-Lewis reopened, a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program — part of the emergency relief bill passed by Congress in March and signed into law by President Donald Trump — covered only a brief stretch of her daughter's salary. She hoped for more help from Washington, but it never came. And with street traffic way down, more residents buying online and little sign of improvement on the horizon, it was no longer tenable to continue.

"When I looked at the lease, I just couldn't justify allotting another $100,000 for rent and utilities for three years," she said.

The election may be over, but the White House and Capitol Hill are no closer to terms on a new Covid-19 relief plan. And even if a deal is reached, it's far too late to help save as many as 100,000 small businesses that have been forced to close while waiting for more help, like The Funky Sister. Neighborhood shops around the country are in mortal danger every day Washington fails to act.

Read the story.

Mark Zuckerberg tells Facebook employees Biden will be next president

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged to employees on Thursday that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, a spokesman for the company confirmed to CNBC.

"I believe the outcome of the election is now clear and Joe Biden is going to be our next president," Zuckerberg said at a companywide meeting, according to BuzzFeed News.

"It’s important that people have confidence that the election was fundamentally fair, and that goes for the tens of millions of people that voted for Trump."

Zuckerberg's comments are his first recognizing the incoming Biden administration, even as President Donald Trump has claimed, without presenting any evidence, that there was widespread voting fraud.

Read the story.

Biden's talking to Republican officials, top aide Klain says

Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff, said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden has spoken to Republicans since he won the presidential race.

"Joe Biden has spoken to Republicans. He's spoken to some Republican senators, some Republican governors. I'm not going to go into the names," Klain said in an interview on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell."

Asked if GOP senators have called Biden or if the president-elect called them, Klain said it’s been a mix of both.

Klain, a longtime adviser to Biden who was announced as the next chief of staff on Wednesday, said that the president-elect has not yet spoken to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and suggested part of the reason why is that the GOP leader has thrown his support behind President Donald Trump's efforts to contest the election results.

Read the story.

With Trump defeated, Georgia Democrats aim to keep voters fired up for Senate control

Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff, right, and Raphael G. Warnock, left, arrive at a "Get Out the Vote" event in Jonesboro, Ga., on Oct. 27, 2020.Brynn Anderson / AP

ATLANTA — Democrats know this year's election was as much about President Donald Trump as anything else, but without him on the ballot, they are working to find other ways to keep voters engaged.

In Georgia, party officials, labor leaders and progressive activists are mounting an aggressive campaign to keep their base mobilized and register new voters ahead of a Dec. 7 deadline before voters here return to the ballot box on Jan. 5.

This historically conservative state could host two runoffs for Senate seats on Jan. 5. Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler will face Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock. The race between David Perdue, the other Republican incumbent, and Democrat Jon Ossoff remains too close to call, but if Perdue stays under the 50 percent mark, that race will also head to a runoff.

Democrats are doing what they can to stoke enthusiasm.

Read the story.

Trump discussing 2024 campaign announcement, if election certified for Biden

Trump has told some advisers that if the election is officially certified for Biden, which is expected, he will announce a 2024 White House bid shortly afterward, a person familiar with the discussions confirmed to NBC News.

The New York Times first reported the news. 

It's not clear, however, which exact date Trump is referring to when he said "certified."

In another story, The Times reported that governors "must send Congress a 'certificate of ascertainment' with their states' certified vote totals and the names of their electors before Dec. 14, when the Electoral College will convene." Election results that are certified by Dec. 8, the report said, are largely protected from challenges.

China congratulates President-elect Joe Biden on White House win — eventually

China extended its first congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden on Friday, issuing a terse statement that contrasted with a fulsome and swift message from the country's leader after President Donald Trump won four years ago.

"We respect the choice of the American people and we extend our congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris," said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, during a daily press briefing reported in state media.

China was one of the last major countries to officially acknowledge that Biden became president-elect on Saturday.

While Biden now counts with 290 electoral votes compared to Trump's 217, the president has yet to concede the election, baselessly claiming that voter fraud occurred.

"We understand the result of the U.S. election will be determined in accordance with U.S. laws and procedures," Wang said.

President Xi Jinping congratulated Trump on Nov. 9, 2016 — within a day of Trump being declared the winner.

Read the full story here. 

Meghan McCain on Biden's projected win (really more on Trump's projected loss) in Arizona

Biden wins Arizona, NBC News projects

President-elect Joe Biden has won Arizona, NBC News projects

The state's 11 Electoral College votes bring Biden's lead to 290-217 and put further pressure on President Donald Trump, who has yet to concede the election.

NBC News projected Biden the overall presidential winner on Saturday. Arizona hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since 1996. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton there.

The race was called on the ninth day of counting after Election Day. This leaves only North Carolina and Georgia as states that have not yet been called. They are both still rated by NBC News as "too close to call" and a hand recount is being conducted in Georgia.