Biden plays it cool as Trump refuses to concede

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Olympics, climate on the agenda for Biden meeting with Japanese PM Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' MORE is countering President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE’s efforts to question the legitimacy of the election by quietly and deliberately going about the business of transitioning into power.

Since media outlets declared him the winner over the weekend, Biden has installed transition teams for dozens of government agencies and outlined how he intends to tackle key policy priorities, beginning with COVID-19. The president-elect is taking calls from world leaders and expects to make announcements about his Cabinet in the next two weeks.

Trump is making the transition as difficult as possible.


The president’s campaign is flooding the states with legal challenges and making unsubstantiated claims about how the election was stolen through systemic fraud and corruption. Millions of Americans are convinced that Trump rightfully won the election, despite the fact that he trails by tens of thousands of votes in at least three states he’d need for an Electoral College victory.

The Trump administration has been dragging its feet on releasing federal funds to Biden’s transition team. Biden has still not received government national security briefings, as is customary for an incoming president.

But Biden’s team is content to ignore what they view as “noise” around Trump’s last-gasp effort to kick up dust around the outcome.

Biden’s legal team has declined to get involved in any of the Trump campaign’s court challenges seeking to overturn the results of the election. There are no plans at the moment to sue for access to government funds or briefings.

Instead, Biden and his team are waving away the additional hurdles, confident their transition plan is moving ahead with inexorable momentum toward his inauguration.

Former Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Trump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status MORE (D-Calif.) told The Hill that Biden’s been through this countless times before through his decades in the Senate and his time as vice president, making him uniquely prepared to move through the process despite the obstacles Trump has thrown up in front of him.


“What Trump is doing is delusional, but Joe is doing the right thing. It’s one foot in front of the other leading up to the minute he’ll be sworn in on Jan. 20,” said Boxer, who is now the co-chairwoman of Mercury Public Affairs.

Biden has so far struck a calm tone and taken an unworried posture toward the president’s allegations that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him and that it will be reversed by the courts.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Biden called the president’s rhetoric “an embarrassment” before detailing the ways in which his own transition to the White House was already “well underway.”

While some Republicans are standing by Trump, the Biden campaign is encouraged by signs of the president’s loosening grip.

Biden’s allies are pointing to remarks from Trump adviser Chris ChristieChris ChristieEnergy secretary: 'We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure' Christie: Biden lying about Georgia voting bill Experts take pro-vaccine message to right-wing skeptics MORE and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) telling the president to move on, as well as the shift toward accepting the results in some influential right-leaning media outlets, including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, and the New York Post.

They believe it’s only a matter of time before the dam breaks and a majority of elected Republicans begin to view Trump’s efforts as futile or disgraceful.

Biden was asked by reporters on Tuesday about the House and Senate leaders who have been slow to come around.

“They will,” Biden said.

That mindset is reflected in Biden’s passive legal approach, as his advisers see nothing to worry about in the long-shot court battles the Trump campaign is waging to overturn the results of the election.

Biden has said he does not anticipate intervening legally to force the hands of federal agencies who are indicating they will not cooperate with the transition until the General Services Administration (GSA) certifies Biden as the winner.

The president-elect would normally be getting the President’s Daily Brief of national security secrets at this point. And the GSA’s delay in certifying Biden as the winner has deprived the transition team of millions in federal dollars.

Biden says he’s not bothered about the President’s Daily Brief because he’s been getting his own intelligence briefings for months now. The transition team has worked around the GSA, tapping dozens of people to lead its agency review teams.


“At the end of the day, you can perhaps create obstacles to the smooth functioning of the process, but ... you can’t succeed in stopping the process,” said Bob Bauer, a lawyer for Biden’s campaign and transition.

Biden has so far spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanadian MP apologizes after being spotted nude on camera during virtual meeting It's time to declare a national climate emergency In-person classes canceled in Toronto amid uptick in variant cases MORE, French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronZelensky to meet with France, Germany on Russia tensions France urges citizens to leave Pakistan after threats It's time to declare a national climate emergency MORE, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On the Monday after the election was called in his favor, Biden announced a COVID-19 advisory board made up of scientists and public health experts to consult with state and local officials to map out the next steps to get the virus under control.

The next day, Biden gave speech in defense of the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court heard legal arguments challenging the law. Biden said he’d be working with lawmakers to fortify the ACA “as soon as humanly possible.”

The Biden transition network has grown to include 39 agency review teams whose job will be to evaluate operations at the federal government by meeting with former agency officials, think tanks, labor groups and trade associations.

Biden’s policy priorities in the weeks before he is inaugurated will center around COVID-19, an economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.

“There’s nothing to panic about,” said Boxer. “The only one panicking is being done by Trump, who is pacing around like he’s in a cage and doesn’t know where to go or what to do. Hopefully, he’ll come to grips with reality. Joe knows this, so there’s no need to mimic the president through this. … Just have patience.”