President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE said Tuesday he is moving forward with his transition plans, despite President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE and GOP allies refusing to acknowledge the election results.
His remarks came on a day punctuated with congratulatory calls from heads of state and trading on Wall Street that has already factored in a Biden presidency and a divided Congress -- the latest signs that while most congressional Republicans are sticking with Trump’s claims of voter fraud, the rest of the world is moving on and preparing for the 46th president.
British Prime Minister congratulated Biden in a Tuesday phone call, during which the two leaders discussed trade and security.
Biden also spoke with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE, German Chancellor Angela Merkle and Micheál Martin, the Irish prime minister. On Monday, he spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election Photos of the Week: Gen. Lee statue, California drought, 9/11 MORE.
Most Senate Republicans, however, continue to withhold recognition of Biden as the winner of last week’s election.
Asked whether he had congratulated Biden, Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate facing 4 felony charges MORE (R-Wis.) responded: “Nothing to congratulate him about yet.
Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns MORE (R-Mo.) told reporters Tuesday that Trump “may not have been defeated.”
Biden appeared to take it all in stride, calmly telling reporters at a news conference Tuesday that he will move ahead as if Trump had already conceded.
“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.
Biden confidently predicted that Trump’s legal efforts would fail to change anything in key battleground states and that he would take the oath of office Jan. 20 as the next president.
Biden also said he doesn’t foresee his legal team needing to formally challenge any of Trump’s claims.
He noted that no evidence has emerged to back up Trump’s claims that the vote tallies were compromised by widespread fraud.
Biden added that he would move ahead even without having a General Services Administration letter of “ascertainment” to give his transition team access to government facilities and resources to prepare for Inauguration Day.
That same day, Vice President Pence briefed Senate Republicans at a lunch meeting where he spent only a few minutes of his presentation discussing the Trump campaign’s legal efforts in Pennsylvania and other states where it’s disputing the final count.
GOP lawmakers in the room didn't press Pence for details, as many of them don't really expect the lawsuits to change the results of the election.
Republicans who attended the meeting said Pence didn’t provide any evidence or specific information about fraud on a big enough scale to alter the results in any state.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Trump was trailing Biden by 48,000 votes in Pennsylvania, more than 20,000 in Wisconsin, 12,000 in Georgia and 14,000 in Arizona.
Republicans privately concede Biden's lead in most states is big enough that it's unlikely recounts will find enough miscounted votes to reverse the outcomes.
A Senate Republican official said Trump will get an automatic recount in Georgia since Biden is leading by less than a percentage point, 49.5 percent to 49.3 percent, according to a tally reported by The Associated Press.
Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) on Monday told WTAE in Pittsburgh, an ABC affiliate, that "it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. It's not 100 percent certain but it is quite likely. So I think a transition process ought to begin."
The stock markets are also counting on Biden being the next president and Republicans keeping control of the Senate.
Stocks soared Monday — the first trading day after the race was called on Saturday — on the expectation that Biden will normalize trade relations with China and other countries while Senate Republicans will block efforts to increase corporate tax rates.
Given the lack of any solid evidence of voter fraud or any real path for Trump to wage big comebacks in several states, GOP lawmakers are coming under increasing pressure to acknowledge the president lost the election.
“President Trump didn’t win the election. Every single one of my colleagues knows this. And he didn’t just lose, he lost by a pretty substantial margin,” Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State Tell our troops: 'Your sacrifice wasn't in vain' Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K MORE (D-Conn.) said on the Senate floor.
Murphy warned that failure by fellow senators to recognize the election results “presents a real threat to this country,” noting that Republican candidates who lost by huge margins in California and Maryland are now contesting the lopsided results of their races.
GOP senators are defending Trump’s right to contest the vote counts in court but they’re stopping short of repeating his claims of fraud or predicting with any confidence he has a good chance of staying in office for a second term.
Biden on Tuesday didn’t seem ruffled by the lack of congratulatory messages from all but a small handful of Republicans, remarking, “I think that the whole Republican Party has been put in the position, with few notable exceptions, of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president. But there’s only one president at a time.”
So far, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (Maine), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (Utah), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee MORE (Alaska) and Ben SasseBen SassePresident of newly recognized union for adult performers boosts membership Romney blasts Biden over those left in Afghanistan: 'Bring them home' Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal MORE (Neb.) are the only members of the GOP conference to congratulate him on winning the election.
Romney on Tuesday said Trump has a right to his day in court but had yet to provide any evidence of widespread fraud.
“I haven’t heard yet evidence of wrongdoing that would suggest a change in the outcome of the election but there are a number of lawsuits which will be pursued and the president has every right to carry out those lawsuits and insist on recounts,” he said after attending Pence’s briefing.
So when Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race MORE told reporters at a briefing Tuesday “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” the remarks provoked an angry and disbelieving reaction on social media.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (N.Y.) loudly urged Pompeo at a news conference to “move on,” making little effort to hide his irritation.
“My reaction to that is to look at reality. Secretary Pompeo, Joe Biden has won, he’s won the election, now move on. Let’s bring this country together and get things done,” he said. “We don’t have time for these kinds of games.
Biden, however, didn’t appear rattled by Pompeo’s comments.
“There’s no evidence of any of the assertions made by the president or Secretary of State Pompeo,” he told reporters, flashing a smile and chuckling.
“Secretary of State Pompeo,” he then repeated, blinking a couple times as if it were a punchline.