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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."

Go deeper

Updated Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

8 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

9 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."