Dec 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump team tangles tongue over transition

A person carries a USAID food supply bag in South Sudan.

A bag of USAID food aid is carried in South Sudan in October. Photo: Alissa Everett/Getty Images

Trump appointees are contorting themselves ever more greatly to show loyalty to the president, with one agency official today couching internal HR advice as if the election result were still in doubt.

Behind the scenes: On an internal Zoom call with staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development, senior agency official Tim Kaiser said one purpose was to discuss employee health care options "during an exit transition — if that were to take place."

  • "As we all know, nothing has been certified as of yet, so I just want to provide some encouragement for everyone out there," said Kaiser, the deputy White House liaison at USAID and one of Trump's point people within the agency.
  • A spokesperson declined to comment on an internal meeting.

Flashback: Officials at the White House itself have been caught up in the word games.

  • Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany implicitly conceded Joe Biden had beat her boss by saying on Fox News Sunday that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate if Republicans lose two upcoming Georgia special elections.
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