Nov 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Trump's refusal to concede "an embarrassment"

A seemingly amused President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that President Trump's refusal to concede does not "change the dynamic" of his transition plans, but called it "an embarrassment" that "will not help the president’s legacy.”

Driving the news: Biden was asked by several reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, how he would work with Republicans in Congress who haven't acknowledged his victory and whether Trump's refusal makes it difficult to lead the country in a unified way through the transition period.

What they're saying: "I think it will not help the president's legacy. I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far, that they are hopeful that the democratic institutions of the United States are viewed strong and endure," Biden said after making remarks on the future of the Affordable Care Act.

  • "I think at the end of the day, it's all going to come to fruition on Jan. 20. And between now and then, my hope and expectation is the American people do know and do understand that there has been a transition," he added.

The backdrop: Earlier Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to say that Biden has won the election.

  • "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," Pompeo told reporters, before stressing that the legal process must play out.
  • On Monday, Biden's transition team warned that it could take "legal action" if the General Services Administration doesn't make an official determination that Biden has won the 2020 presidential election.

"I don’t see a need for legal action, quite frankly," Biden said when asked by a reporter if he would consider that. "So far there's no evidence of any of these assertions made by the president or Secretary of State Pompeo."

  • "We're 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'd won, which we have. So there's nothing really changing," Biden said.

The bottom line: "We are already beginning the transition," Biden stressed. "We're well underway. And the ability for the administration in any way, by failure to recognize our win, does not change the dynamic at all and what we're able to do."

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