Biden: Trump's refusal to concede is an 'embarrassment' to his presidency

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President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that Donald Trump is sullying his legacy by refusing to concede and instead dragging out the electoral process with legal challenges.

“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” Biden told reporters following a short speech timed to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in a case challenging the Affordable Care Act. “I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”

The Trump campaign is continuing to push for recounts in several states that went toward Biden and press lawsuits seeking to reverse the results in places like Pennsylvania as well. The president himself has not given up the fight, tweeting in all caps, “WE WILL WIN!” on Tuesday morning.

General Services Administration head Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has held off on making a formal “ascertainment” that would allow the Biden transition team to coordinate the transfer of power with various federal agencies and access millions of dollars in funding to carry out the effort.

A protracted delay in signing off on the declaration would compress the timeline for the transition effort and potentially slow down the early days of the Biden presidency.

Biden repeatedly downplayed the practical effect of the administration’s intransigence, saying it “does not change the dynamic at all and what we’re able to do.”

“The fact that they’re 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,” Biden said, referencing the date of the inauguration.

Despite Trump’s unwillingness to concede, Biden has begun fielding congratulatory phone calls from other world leaders, including top allies in Canada, France, Germany and the U.K.

“I know from my discussions with foreign leaders, thus far, that they are hopeful that the United States’ democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and enduring,” he said.

Biden said having access to classified documents like the President’s Daily Brief — a compendium of key national security threats and other global concerns — “would be useful, but it’s not necessary,” as he cannot direct official U.S. policy until he moves into the White House in January.

Biden also teased the possibility of naming some cabinet picks before Thanksgiving, and said he is hopeful that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not stymie his selections if Republicans maintain control of the chamber. A pair of Georgia Senate races are going to runoffs in January, and Democrats would need to win both to take control of the chamber after falling short in several other contests.

“I take McConnell at his word,” Biden said. “I understand he said that he will make it clear who he’s prepared to support, not support. That’s a negotiation that I’m sure we’ll have.”

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