Chuck Grassley, the most senior Senate Republican, said he believed Joe Biden should receive classified briefings now that he is president-elect.
“I would think - especially on classified briefings - the answer is yes,” the Iowa Republican told CNN.
Presidents-elect usually have access to classified briefings during their transition, but Biden has not received them because Trump administration officials refuse to recognize his victory in the election.
Asked whether he believed Biden should have access to classified briefings, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said today, “He’s not president right now. Don’t know if he’ll be president January 20, but whoever is will get the information.”
Fact-check: Biden will be the president on January 20 because he has won more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
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Donald Trump’s attacks on the credibility of Joe Biden’s election win through meritless lawsuits could undermine Americans’ trust in voting and could pose an immediate threat to the security and safety of the country, experts have warned.
Trump’s campaign has unleashed a stream of lawsuits in states key to Biden’s electoral college win, none of which are expected to affect the outcome of the election.
The US attorney general, William Barr, has authorized the Department of Justice to investigate voting irregularities, in a highly unorthodox move, and Republican state representatives in Pennsylvania are calling for an audit of the election, though they have no evidence of fraud.
University of Southern California (USC) law professor Franita Tolson said she was concerned that these actions, which would not change the trajectory of the election, were meant to call into question the legitimacy of the result.
“What does that do to our democracy as we play out this process? What does it do to the belief in the system when 70 million people think the election was stolen,” Tolson said, referring to the popular vote total for Trump. “To me that’s the danger of this narrative, that’s the danger of this litigation.”
House speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the results of the presidential election proved Joe Biden had a “mandate” to pursue his agenda.
“What Joe Biden got in this election was a mandate,” Pelosi said during a press conference on Capitol Hill.
Republicans have contradicted that assertion, pointing to their gains in the House. Although more than a dozen races remain uncalled, Democrats are projected to have the slimmest House majority since World War II.
But Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer insisted Biden’s victory signaled the American people had embraced his proposals on responding to the coronavirus pandemic, including passing another massive relief bill.
“The Donald Trump approach was repudiated,” Schumer said. “The Joe Biden approach was embraced, and that’s why we think there’s a better chance to get a bill in the lame duck.”
Coronavirus relief negotiations between congressional Democrats and the White House remain stalled, so it is very unclear whether a relief bill can pass before Biden’s inauguration.
Criticizing her Republican colleagues, Pelosi said, “It’s like the house is burning down, and they refuse to throw water on it.”
Pelosi to Republicans: 'Stop the circus' and start working on coronavirus relief
House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer held a press conference on Capitol Hill, calling on Republican lawmakers to accept the results of the presidential election.
The Democratic speaker accused Republicans of being “engaged in an absurd circus right now refusing to accept reality.”
Pelosi emphasized the need to pass another coronavirus relief bill, saying, “Stop the circus and get to work on what really matters to the American people.”
Schumer put it even more plainly, telling reporters, “The election is over. It wasn’t close. President Trump lost.” The Senate leader added, “Senate Republicans, stop denying reality ... and start focusing on Covid.”
Schumer also argued Republicans were defending the president’s refusal to concede for “no other reason but fear of Donald Trump.”
Across the street from the British embassy, with its red telephone box and Winston Churchill statue, in Washington DC is the residence of the US-vice president. It has its own basketball court, on which Mike Pence reportedly installed a logo from the 1986 film Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman about small town Indiana sports.
Pence, a former governor of Indiana, and his wife, Karen, will be packing their bags and moving out of the residence in January to make way for America’s first female vice-president, Senator Kamala Harris of California, and her husband Doug Emhoff.
Said to have nurtured ambitions for the presidency since he was 16, Pence must now decide what to do with the rest of his life. Among the 61-year-old’s options: a return to his roots in conservative talk radio as a way to remain relevant in his party.
“I think he would want to stay involved in Republican politics and probably in a more conventional way than the president,” said Michael D’Antonio, co-author of The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence. “So he could be a broadcaster, and there’ll be lots of opportunity for that, but he would be nicer than Trump.
“When he was on the radio in Indiana, he called himself ‘Rush Limbaugh on decaf’. There is a lot of potential in that identity for him.”
Fauci says lockdown should not be necessary because of vaccines: 'Help is really on the way'
Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said he did not believe a national lockdown would be necessary because of the development of coronavirus vaccines.
Pfizer announced earlier this week that its vaccine was 90% effective, and Fauci said he expected a vaccine to be widely available to the American public by April or May.
When asked by ABC News’ Robin Roberts whether the country was headed toward a national lockdown, Fauci said he would like to “stay away from that” because “there is no appetite for locking down.”
Fauci added, “I believe that we can do it without a lockdown. I really do.”
Robins also asked Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, what he would say to those suffering “Covid fatigue.”
Fauci replied, “Help is really on the way. ... The cavalry is coming here. Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact.”
Fauci’s comments come as the country sets new records in coronavirus infections. According to Johns Hopkins University, the US confirmed 144,133 new cases yesterday, breaking the single-day record set the day before.
Kayleigh McEnany, the outgoing White House press secretary, raised many eyebrows this morning, when she tried to distance herself from her own job during a Fox News interview.
Although McEnany works for the White House, she has recently been speaking to the media in her “personal capacity” as an adviser to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
When Fox News asked her whether Joe Biden would soon receive access to intelligence briefings, McEnany replied, “That would be a question more for the White House.”
That answer is rather remarkable, considering McEnany is the top spokesperson for the White House. It should also be noted that McEnany has previously deflected questions at White House press briefings by referring them to the Trump campaign.
Political reporters immediately expressed outrage that McEnany, who makes a government salary of $183,000 a year, was refusing to speak for the White House, when that is the top requirement of her job.