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Former officials, civic leaders launch seven-figure ad calling for smooth transition

Former officials, civic leaders launch seven-figure ad calling for smooth transition
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A group of more than 40 former elected officeholders, Cabinet secretaries and other officials is taking out a seven-figure ad buy urging a swift and orderly presidential transition as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE and his allies push ahead with an effort to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

The $2 million ad buy by the bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity highlights the bevy of crises facing the U.S. — the coronavirus pandemic, a turbulent economy and the threats posed by global adversaries — suggesting that a prolonged or chaotic transition period threatens to put the country at risk.

“Our adversaries aren’t waiting. The coronavirus isn’t waiting. The economy isn’t waiting. America shouldn’t have to wait either,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot. “The American people have spoken. The result is clear. It’s time to move forward and get to work.” 

The ad will air nationally in both English and Spanish on cable and broadcast networks, including ABC News, CBS News and NBC News. 

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More than two weeks after Election Day, Trump has continued to insist that he won the election, despite President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE’s nearly 6 million-vote lead and clear Electoral College victory. The president’s campaign and GOP allies have filed dozens of lawsuits across several states seeking to challenge the results of the election with little success.

Trump has also continued to repeat false claims of widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities in an effort to sow doubt in the election results.

Biden and his team, meanwhile, have marched forward with their transition efforts. The former vice president has named several senior members of his incoming White House staff and said on Thursday that he and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Biden pledges to work with mayors MORE had settled on a pick for Treasury secretary, though he did not say whom they had chosen.

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But the transition process has also been hampered by the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate. 

Biden is not currently receiving the classified briefings typically granted to presidents-elect, and his team has not been able to access federal resources to aid the transition because the Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration has so far declined to ascertain Biden’s victory in the presidential race.

The delayed transition has raised concerns among experts and officials who fear that it could leave the U.S. vulnerable to both international and domestic threats, while impeding progress on pressing issues like the coronavirus pandemic.

 “A smooth transition is essential for the United States to be able to address a host of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to the economy to threats from our foreign adversaries,” Michael Beckel, a spokesperson for the National Council on Election Integrity, said. “The new administration needs to be able to hit the ground running on day one.”