US election 2020 results live: Trump reaction to Biden President-elect | 12 November

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Biden wins US Presidential Elections: reactions and breaking news

Presidential Election 2020: Joe Biden elected 46th President of the US

Joe Biden: 290
Donald Trump: 217

- Biden projected to win Arizona

Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States, promising to be: "A President who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States."

- Amid repeated baseless GOP assertions that the election has been rigged by widespread voter fraud, top gov't officials confirm 2020 election "the most secure" in history.

- Biden names Ron Klain as his White House Chief of Staff, saying: "Ron Klain’s deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need."

- The Trump campaign have filed a lawsuit in Michigan hoping to prevent the battleground state from certifying its election results until all allegations are investigated.

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State said on Wednesday there was no sign yet of widespread fraud in his state's vote count

- Trump campaign bombards supporters with requests for donations to pay off debts for failing election lawsuits.

- AP calls Trump victories in Alaska and North Carolina.

- President-elect Biden gives his thoughts on Trump's refusal to concede: "I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly... It will not help the President's legacy."

- Attorney General William Barr has called on federal prosecutors to examine allegations of vote fraud before the final results are certified. To date, there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim.

- Leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia on Thursday reaffirmed plans to form close ties with the president-elect.

China "respects American people's choice"

China congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on winning the U.S. presidential election, ending days of speculation about when Beijing would formally acknowledge the victory.

“We have been following the reaction on this U.S. presidential election from both within the United States and from the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a briefing in Beijing on Friday. “We respect the American people’s choice and extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.”

China’s acknowledgment came after multiple television networks projected Biden would defeat Donald Trump in Arizona, one of the battleground states where the president has looked to overturn the election. China was one of the few countries that had so far withheld comment, as Trump contested the results.

Most secure election ever

President Trump and some of his supporters at Fox News are clinging onto stories to support the election fraud argument.

They appear to not want to let the evidence get in the way.

"Too many people are grieving the devastating loss of a loved one due to covid—many of whom were forced to die alone.

It shouldn’t have to be that way. On day one, Joe Biden and I will act to get this virus under control and save American lives."

Kamala Harris, Vice President-Elect of the United States

US Supreme Court's Alito raises concerns over individual liberty amid covid-19

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito raised concerns on Thursday night over individual liberty, including religious liberty, in the United States with reference to restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak.

'It pains me to say this,' Alito said, 'but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.' Alito's remarks came at an address to the conservative Federalist Society via Zoom for its annual conference.

'The covid crisis has served as sort of a constitutional stress test,' Alito said, adding that there have not previously been such 'severe, extensive and prolonged' restrictions as seen in most of 2020 due to the pandemic.

Alito said that it was hard to imagine before covid-19 that places of worship like churches would be empty on occasions such as Easter. He added that he was not trying to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, but said the outbreak had led to 'previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.'

Justice Alito's remarks come as the United States has lost over 240,000 lives from the disease, with more than 10.4 million Americans having been infected by the virus. 

WSJ front page

New state coronavirus restrictions and TikTok US reprieve make the headlines of Friday's Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Biden adds Arizona

President-elect Joe Biden cemented his electoral victory by capturing the battleground state of Arizona late on Thursday, but the transition to his administration remains in political stasis as President Donald Trump continues to refuse to accept defeat.

Biden was projected to win Arizona after more than a week of vote counting, Edison Research said, a call that Fox News made early angering Trump. He becomes only the second Democratic presidential candidate in seven decades to win the traditionally Republican state.

Biden's win in Arizona gives the Democrat 290 electoral votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner, more than the 270 needed to claim victory. Biden is also winning the popular vote by more than 5.3 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points.

NYT: Top officials say 2020 the most secure election in history

Top government security and election officials released a joint statement on Thursday definitively declaring that the presidential election last week “was the most secure in American history” and making clear that “there is no evidence” that any voting system was compromised in any way.

The statement, attributed to a high-ranking official at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — part of the Department of Homeland Security — along with several top elections officials, amounted to a strong rebuke of President Trump’s repeated baseless assertion that the election had been stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.

In the statement, officials listed the many ways in which they said elections officials in states with close contests would recheck their counts and add “security and resilience” to their processes.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement said.

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should, too,” officials added in their statement. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

Who is the future White House chief of staff Ron Klain?

Joe Biden has won the presidency and will officially take over in January, but preparations are already well under way to choose the Democrat's core team.

"Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014," Biden said in a statement.

Read the full story:

Zuckerberg defends not suspending Bannon Facebook

Steve Bannon was permanently suspended from Twitter and his YouTube channel cancelled last week following threats he made to behead top US government officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci.

 

Democrat wins seat in Congress, Republican refuses to concede

In Illinois, Democratic congresswoman Lauren Underwood has won reelection – but her Republican opponent, following in the footsteps of the president, has refused to concede.

The AP declared Underwood the winner earlier today. She’s leading her opponent by half a percentage point – with some mail-in ballots still outstanding.

But her opponent Jim Oberweis, the chairman of popular ice cream chain Oberweis Dairy, is not planning to concede, according to WBEZ:

When asked whether Oberweis was planning to concede, the GOP candidate’s campaign manager said “not at all” shortly after The Associated Press called the race for Underwood. Earlier in the week, spokesperson Travis Akin told WBEZ a recount was imminent.

In a written statement, Akin said the campaign is “committed to exploring all legal options,” and that the Associated Press’ call “does not change anything in this race from a legal standpoint,” saying there are still votes that have yet to be counted and certified.

Courtesy of The Guardian

McConnell rejects Dems wish for large stimulus

CNN report today that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday continued to reject the call from Democrats for a big coronavirus stimulus package, saying, "that's not a place I think we're willing to go" and reiterated his push for a bill that's "highly targeted at what the residual problems are."

McConnell said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, "I gather she and the Democratic leader in the Senate still are looking at something dramatically larger. That's not a place I think we're willing to go."

Pelosi said the priority must be addressing the pandemic, and called on Republicans to "stop this circus and get to work on what really matters to the American people -- their health and their economic security."

The criticism from Democrats comes as efforts to negotiate a new relief bill remain stuck as Democrats call for a large-scale, comprehensive approach to a new stimulus with Republicans calling for a targeted approach.

October statistics showed that 8 million Americans had fallen into poverty since May. This week 709,000 new jobless aid claims were made in the US.

Do recounts change election results?

The short answer is no. For the long answer, including what a recount is and how many times a presidential election has been affected by a recount, see the full Reuters story.

Arizona AG: Biden will win Arizona

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) defended the state’s election process on Wednesday against accusations of voter fraud and irregularities from the Trump campaign.

"It does appear that Joe Biden will win Arizona,” Brnovich said on Fox Business. “There is no evidence, there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results would change.”

The president maintains his baseless assault on the US election results...

...by peddling false claims about a company that makes hardware and software for ballot counting, Dominion Voting Systems.

Driven by false reporting from the far-right news organisation One America News Network, the narrative spun a swiftly corrected mistake into a mirage of widespread voter fraud.

Snopes' fact check on this circulating rumour confirms that a human error resulted in a temporary miscalculation in Antrim County, Michigan, but this issue was quickly remedied. The problem was not a technical glitch, but in fact human error.

Corey Lewandowski covid-19 positive

A Trump advisor who was working on bringing cases in states where the president is alleging voter fraud, has tested positive for coronavirus today.

Can Trump refuse to pass second stimulus bill?

The CARES Act provided $1,200 checks but Pelosi and Mnuchin have struggled to agree on a new bill and hopes of another round of payments are fading.

Read the full story:

709,000 seek US jobless aid as pandemic escalates

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to 709,000, a still-high level but the lowest figure since March and a further sign that the job market might be slowly healing.

Yet the improvement will be put at risk by the sharp resurgence in confirmed viral infections to an all-time high well above 120,000 a day. Cases are rising in 49 states, and deaths are increasing in 39. The nation has now recorded 240,000 virus-related deaths and 10.3 million confirmed infections.

As colder weather sets in and fear of the virus escalates, consumers may turn more cautious about traveling, shopping, dining out and visiting gyms, barber shops and retailers. Companies in many sectors could cut jobs or workers’ hours. In recent days, the virus’ resurgence has triggered tighter restrictions on businesses, mostly restaurants and bars, in a range of states, including Texas, New York, Maryland, and Oregon.

“The risk may be for more layoffs as coronavirus cases surge and some states impose restrictions on activity,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist at the forecasting firm Oxford Economics, speaking to the AP.

Last week’s count of new applications for unemployment benefits was down from 757,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The still-elevated figure shows that eight months after the pandemic flattened the economy, many employers are still slashing jobs.

Fauci urges: wear mask, it's not political

Dr Anthony Fauci bemoaned the politicisation of science in the US as the country experiences a surge in coronavirus infections.

“We’ve never seen the polarisation,” Fauci said, while speaking at a webinar hosted by the British think tank Chatham House. “It isn’t just an anti-science feeling. It’s almost an aggressive push against science.”

Fauci added, “Let the science and let the evidence guide you. Always stick with the science, stay away from politics.”

Earlier this week, president-elect Joe Biden strongly urged Americans to wear face masks, saying the decision should not be political.

“I implore you, wear a mask,” Biden said. “Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbour. A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.”

 

Biden conducts calls with foreign leaders

President-elect Joe Biden has today spoken to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the phone as he looks to rebuild America's relationship with traditional allies. All three expressed congratulations for his victory, ignoring Trump's claims of election fraud. 

Teauters report that Prime MInister Suga is confident about the opportunities to cooperate going forward: “President-elect Biden said that he looks forward to strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and working together on achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Suga said. 

This echoes the sentiment of a number of world leaders who had found Trump difficult to work with and his beaviour erratic. Biden has already confirmed that he intends to bring the US back into the Paris Agreement to help tackle climate change and will look to build stronger links to help with the global response to covid-19

On tuesday, when asked what he would be saying to other world leaders, PResident-elect BIden replied: "I'm letting them know that America is back. We're going to be back in the game,"

 

Another elected Republican dismisses Trump's claims

Ohio's Republican Governor Mike DeWine told CNN News that "we need to consider the former Vice President as the President-elect, Joe Biden is the President-elect". He becomes the latest GOP public figure to undermine Donald Trump's claims that he won the election. 

All 12 of the President's state lawsuits have now been dismissed by state courts but he continues to contest the result. Sources close to the White House suggest that Trump and his team are currently considering their next moves, while they continue to ask supporters to donate to their cause and pay for the upcoming legal battles. 

WH aide: Trump to battle on as a form of "theater"

NBC WHite House correspondent Peter Alexander has been told by an aide that President Trump is intending to fight the election result despite knowing that he stands no chance of overturning the result. The report claims that Trump believes his vehement base "deserve a fight", before he leaves office.  

These theatricalities could have serious repurcussions if his team continue to obstruct the work of incoming president, Joe Biden. Reports suggest that Trump's White House has refused to give Biden's transition team access to congratulatory messages from foreign leaders and the President-elect has not been receiving the intelligence briefings, as is usually the case. 

Biden and his covid-19 task force would consider lockdown restrictions

As the number of coronavirus cases rises some tighter restrictions may be needed to control the pandemic until Pfizer's vaccine is ready to be distributed.

Could Trump resign and seek a pardon?

It has happened before. When Richard Nixon was on the verge of being impeached in 1974 he jumped ship and issued his resignation, allowing his running mate Gerald Ford to pardon him. Having already survived an impeachment attempt, Donald Trump's position is not as precarious as Nixon's was but more could come to light after he leaves the White House. 

Realistically it may take a good deal of effort from his replacement, Joe Biden, for significant charges to be brought against Trump, which seems unlikely given his pledge to unite the country. Trump also has some outstanding cases in New York state that would not be covered by a presidency pardon, but it remains to be seen what will emerge once he leaves office in January. 

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's children pulled from school amid White House outbreak

A spokesman for Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School has revealed that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pulled their children out of the school shortly after an outbreak of covid-19 was reported in the White House.

The family claimed that the children were being offered a better level of support at their new school, but other parents at the school claim that the move came after a series of complaints that Trump and Kushner were not following the school's covid-19 safety regulations. The school's guidelines state:

Students and families are expected to adhere to any and all social distancing guidelines and mask requirements while not on campus to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as reducing the risk of exposing employees and/or MILTON’s students to COVID-19."

Trump administration blocks congratulatory messages from foreign leaders

The President has made clear that he does not accept the result of the 2020 election and his State Department have even go so far as to withhold messages from foreign leaders sent to President-elect Biden. State Department officials familiar with the messages have told CNN that dozens of incoming messages have not been passed on to Biden's team. 

This move is backed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent claims that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," when asked about plans for Biden's impending transition. 

Usually the State Department would allow the incoming president and his team to use department resources to begin the transition, but CNN have made clear that the Trump administration is preventing Biden and his team from having access.

European powers expect better relationship with President Elect Biden

Germany's foreign minister said relations with the United States will improve under U.S. President Elect Joe Biden, but there are still enough disagreements with European partners to suggest that not everything would be different.

Speaking at the Paris Peace Forum on Thursday, Heiko Maas added he hoped Washington would take a lead on arms control and weigh on Russia and China in contrast to the current administration.

His French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said he saw co-operation improving on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with climate control, but echoed Maas' comments that there were other complicated issues that would need to be dealt with quickly.

Upon hearing news of Biden's victory last weekend Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: "Welcome back America", adding, "Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their election!"

GOP Senator James Lankford will step in if Biden does not get intelligence briefings

Republican Senator for Oklahoma James Lankford has told a local radio station that he sees "nothing wrong" with President Elect Joe Biden being given access to presidential intelligence briefings, and added that he is willing to "step in" if the matter is not resolved by Friday. 

Lankford said: "There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that and if that's not occuring by Friday I will step in as well, and to be able to push and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election ... people can be ready for that actual task."

Biden has been dismissive of Trump's refusal to provide access to the briefings, which is standard practice for an incoming President. When asked about the matter two days ago, Biden said the documents would be "useful" but said his team could continue transition preparations without them.

Warren: Biden Chief of Staff has trust and experience

US Senator for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren has given her support to the new White House Chief of Staf, Ron Klain. Warren ran against Biden in the Democratic primaries and has a long history of working with both the President Elect and Klain. 

In a separate message, she added: "[Klain] is guided by his belief in public service and building opportunity for America’s working families."

Klain has previously served in this role under Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration and during Biden's Vice Presidency. He was also heavily involved in both Biden and Hillary Clinton's election campaigns. 

Markets contract after covid-19 vaccine boost

The news that Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine had achieved a 90% success rate on Monday was cause for celebration and brought a much-needed bump for the dollar. The aconomic consequences of covid-19 had seen global economies slip into recession but this was a first bright spot. 

New of Joe Biden's election, a President Elect who has pledged to take his pandemic response seriously, also saw markets rally but the dollar has now steadied as the initial flurry of excitement wears off. The vaccine seems unlikely to avert a grim winter in Europe and the United States as the pandemic's second wave intensifies. 

Biden has also made clear that he expects there to be a long road back to normality for the US, which saw over 100,000 new cases recorded for seven consecutive days last week. In a pre-election speech in Delaware he said: "This is a dark winter ahead"

Trump endorses Ronna McDaniel to continue as RNC chair

Donald Trump has publically thrown his support behind Ronna McDaniel to continue as the chair of the Republican National Committee, pointing to the 72 million votes that he received as proof of her value. While Trump continues to dispute the result of the 2020 election McDaniel has repeatedly supported the President, even using the same incendiary language. 

She told a press conference last week that "we are keeping up the fight against Democrat attacks on a fair election", against an attempt to "steal" the presidency. With Trump's standing in the GOP under threat the presence of a Republican chair who we speak up in support of his claims could be vital. 

For McDaniel's point of view, her focus will soon turn to the Georgia Senate run-off races to be held in January. The Republicans need to win at least one of the two vacant seats to retain control of the Senate and maintain a division of power in Congress. With that in mind, keeping GOP supporters active and engaged will be of huge importance over the next two months. 

Biden names Ron Klain as his new Chief of Staff

President Elect Biden has announced that Barack Obama's former "Ebola Czar" will be the Chief of Staff for his administration, illustrating Biden's focus on tackling the pandemic. Ron Klain oversaw the government's response to the ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed housands around the globe but only 11 people were treated in the United States, with two deaths.

The resurgent coronavirus, which has now killed nearly 240,000 Americans, will be the focus for Klain and he is expected to assume a leading role in crafting a covid-19 action plan. Biden said of his new appointment:

"His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”

Could Donald Trump Jr. run for president in 2024?

Though his father still hasn’t accepted defeat to Joe Biden, rumours have already started about Trump's offspring running for office in 2024.

The Gates Foundation adds another $70m of funding to fight covid-19

The Gates Foundation added another $70m of funding on Thursday to global efforts to develop and distribute vaccines and treatments against the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it hoped other international donors would also pledge more.

Oil demand unlikely to get vaccine boost until later in 2021, says IEA

Global oil demand is unlikely to get a significant boost from the roll-out of vaccines against COVID-19 until well into 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, a view that is likely to dampen oil price gains since vaccine progress was announced earlier this week.

"It is far too early to know how and when vaccines will allow normal life to resume. For now, our forecasts do not anticipate a significant impact in the first half of 2021," the IEA said in its monthly report.

"The poor outlook for demand and rising production in some countries ... suggest that the current fundamentals are too weak to offer firm support to prices."

covid

Covid-19 cases show no sign of let-up

The United States as a whole reported more than 1,450 covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, the highest single-day count since mid-August, driving the total death toll above 239,000, according to a Reuters tally.

 

DT

Trump prolongs legal challenges

Trump's efforts to overturn the election's results in key states have not kept Biden from making preparations to assume office on Jan. 20. The Democrat has spent much of the week huddling with advisers on staffing decisions.

The incumbent, meanwhile, has shown no sign that he will concede even as his unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud in key states have met with skepticism from judges and legal analysts.

Since the election was called for Biden by major news organizations on Saturday, Trump has maintained a minimal public schedule, preferring instead to air his grievances on Twitter, and has not addressed the climbing virus caseload nationwide.

Biden continues to focus on transition

Joe Biden will continue to lay the groundwork for his administration on Thursday against the backdrop of a resurgence of covid-19 cases across the United States, while President Donald Trump refuses to accept the election's outcome.

Biden named long-time adviser Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff on Wednesday, his first major appointment since winning the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Klain, who served as President Barack Obama's "Ebola Czar" in 2014 during an outbreak of that virus in West Africa, is expected to take a leading role in the Biden administration's response to the nationwide spike in coronavirus cases.

Biden

More leaders congratulate Biden

Biden clinched victory on Saturday after being called as winner in a series of battleground states, giving him more than the 270 electoral votes needed in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines who wins the presidency. Biden also was winning the national popular vote by more than 5 million votes with a few states still counting ballots.

More world leaders have recognized Biden's victory, with Australia, Japan and South Korea joining the list of allies congratulating Biden in phone calls. China and Russia, meanwhile, have held off.

 

How will the covid-19 task force distribute the vaccine to Americans in US?

Pfizer's successful coronavirus vaccine trial was a big step towards overcoming the pandemic but there is still much work to be done to ensure it gets to the most vulnerable and isolated Americans.

US coronavirus relief bill update

We take a look at the prospects of a covid-19 stimulus package both before President Donald Trump leaves office, and after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

$1,200 stimulus check: deadline to file claim with IRS if missing

For Americans who haven’t received a coronavirus stimulus check from the IRS the deadline to register for the one-time payment is fast approaching.

Biden elected, Trump still refuses to concede

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the US elections, with all the ongoing reaction, breaking news and regular updates of the fall-out from last weeks historic election. 

President Elect Joe Biden is getting to work on how he plans to govern a very divided United States with Donald Trump still yet to recognise or acknowledge defeat.

In his recent victory speech, Biden along with his vice president-elect Kamala Harris called for unity and cooperation and said he knew how Trump supporters felt.

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