Conservatives spread false claim Biden invented 'office' of the president-elect

Several prominent right-wing activists and conservative pundits have been pushing the false claim that Joe BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE invented the "office" of the president-elect or that he is the first incoming president ever to use the title.  

The assertions come as President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE has refused to concede the election weeks after it was called for Biden. Health and national security experts have said the White House's refusal to begin the transition process could harm the incoming administration's ability to respond to major crises such as the coronavirus pandemic.

“They even created a fake office for Joe Biden, the Office of the President-Elect. Sounds nice, but it’s fake. It’s not real. For the record there is no such thing as the Office of the President-Elect,” said Benny Johnson, creative director of Turning Point USA and a host on the conservative network Newsmax. “How insecure. These people are about as confident as Brian Stelter on a Peloton. This is not the behavior of winners. This is the behavior of feeble thin-skinned tyrants, who can’t wait to have control over your life again.”


Johnson was fired from BuzzFeed News in 2014 over accusations of plagiarism and often posts misleading or hyperpartisan videos on social media supporting the president and criticizing the media or so-called political elites. 

While there is no government office for the president-elect, the term has for decades been used by the media, politicians and the general public to describe the winner of a presidential election before they take office. 

A fact check published on Nov. 13 found claims that Biden invented the term "president-elect" to be false. 


"Neither Trump nor Biden are trailblazers in their use of the term 'Office of the President-elect,' " FactCheck.org noted. 

Trump's own transition team used the title between his November 2016 election victory and the day he was inaugurated. 

Yet the president's allies in conservative media have suggested Biden is getting special treatment as they seek to cast doubt on the integrity of the election and dismiss the media's projection of Biden's victory as arbitrary. 

"As a former member of a real Presidential Transition Team, I assure you, there is no such thing in America as 'Office of President Elect,' " said Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP YouTube bans Sebastian Gorka's channel after repeated violations Lou Dobbs retweets supporters blasting decision to cancel show MORE, a former Trump administration staffer who now hosts a podcast. "Until the Electoral College votes in December it’s ALL TO PLAY FOR. They're lying." 

Terrence K. Williams, a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist with more than 1 million Twitter followers, also pushed the idea that Biden had invented the office and is not the legitimate winner. 

"He cannot claim something that has not officially been given to him," Williams said.  

Trump has repeatedly alleged without evidence that voter fraud led to a "rigged" election in Biden's favor. 

Biden has called it "embarrassing" for the country that Trump has not conceded and warned more Americans might die of the coronavirus as a result. 

Experts have warned that misinformation circulating among the president's supporters about voter fraud could have lasting consequences for the public's trust in government. 

Seventy percent of Republicans in a recent survey said they don't think Biden won a "free and fair" election, while 96 percent of Democrats said they had trust in the election process.