Washington: Donald Trump not conceding defeat in the US election is “an embarrassment” and that “will not help the President’s legacy,” President-elect Joe Biden has said, asserting that his transition plans have remained unaffected and he has started talking to world leaders.
Trump has declined to concede the closely-fought November 3 presidential race to Democrat Biden and is mounting legal fights in several states, but there has been no evidence of voter irregularities or widespread fraud in the election — billed as one of the most divisive and bitter in recent American history.
The president-elect was asked by a reporter on Tuesday what he thought of President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge defeat.
“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden said in his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware.
“The only thing that, how can I say this tactfully, I think it will not help the president’s legacy,” 77-year-old Biden said.
The Trump administration’s refusal to initiate the transition process “does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do,” Biden said.
“We don’t see anything that’s slowing us down, quite frankly,” he said.
“At the end of the day, you know, it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20,” he added, referring to inauguration day.
“Between now and then my hope and expectation is that the American people do know and do understand that there has been a transition. Even among Republicans…who voted for the president, I understand the sense of loss. I get that, he said.
Biden hoped that those who voted for him and those for Trump would come together.
“I think they’re ready to unite and I believe we can pull the country out of this bitter politics that we’ve seen for the last five, six and seven years, he said.
The President-elect said that he has already begun the transition. We are well underway. The ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognise our win does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do, he said, noting that a day earlier he has announced his COVID-19 advisory board.
“We are moving along in a consistent manner, putting together our administration in the White House and reviewing who we’re going to pick for the cabinet positions…and nothing is going to stop that.
“I’m confident that the fact that they are 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 January 20th, he asserted.
Referring to the congratulatory calls that he has had so far with six world leaders, he said that the response has been very fulsome, energetic, and they are all looking forward to being able to work with him.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those he spoke to on Tuesday.
Referring to those calls, Biden said: “I’m letting them know that America is back. We’re going to be back in the game.”
“I feel good about the ability to…I said when we announced that the next president is going to inherit a divided country and a world in disarray.
“The reception and welcome we’ve gotten around the world from our allies and our friends has been real and I have a number of other calls to return and so I feel confident that we’re going to be able to put the American back in a place of respect that it had before, he said.
Responding to a question, Biden said that access to classified information is useful, but he is not in a position to make any decisions on those issues anyway.
“As I said, one president at a time and he will be president until January 20th. It would be nice to have it, but it’s not critical. We are just going to proceed the way we have. We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we have won, which we have, and so there’s nothing really changing, he said.
The refusal of the General Services Administration, under Trump-appointed administrator Emily W. Murphy, to take the legally necessary step of declaring Biden the President-elect has so far blocked his team from receiving USD 6.3 million in funds Congress appropriated for transition efforts, CNN reported.
It has also prevented Biden’s transition team from accessing federal agencies, and Biden from receiving the president’s daily intelligence briefing, the report said.
“We’re just going to proceed the way we have. We’re going to be doing exactly what we’d be doing if he’d conceded and said we won — which we have. So there’s nothing really changing,” Biden said.
He also shot down the possibility of legal action to force the beginning of the transition process. “I don’t see the need for legal action,” the President-elect said.