GOP senator says Trump should cooperate on transition
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.), a respected voice in the Senate GOP conference, said “it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president” and that President Trump should allow the transition process to begin.
So far the General Services Administration (GSA) is withholding a letter of “ascertainment” that would facilitate Biden’s transition to the White House by giving his team access to government resources and secure facilities to handle classified information and discuss background checks.
“We’re on a path it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. It’s not 100% certain but it is quite likely. So I think a transition process ought to begin,” Toomey told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 in an interview Monday.
Toomey has announced he intends to retire from the Senate after he completes his term at the end of 2022 and plans to return to the private sector.
Last week he pushed back on Trump’s claims that election officials in the senator’s home state of Pennsylvania were engaged in voter fraud, calling the accusation “just not substantiated.”
“I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch. The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated,” Toomey told NBC’s “Today” after Trump claimed that election officials in Pennsylvania and other states are corrupt.
Trump specifically accused Pennsylvania election officials of being part of “a corrupt Democrat machine.”
Toomey argued Monday that there would be little lost by working with Biden’s transition team to facilitate the transfer of power.
“And you know, if it turns out that the unlikely scenario actually comes about and it turns out President Trump is determined to have won this election after all, then the transition, of course, becomes moot, and it expires and it evaporates,” Toomey said. “But I think that’s not the likely outcome, so I think it [the transition] should begin.”
Some Republicans argued Tuesday that Biden doesn’t need access to government resources or facilities to prepare for office, arguing that George W. Bush had to wait in 2000 during litigation over the Florida recount.
“I think the GSA addition to the process is relatively new. I know that George W. Bush 20 years ago didn’t get any money until late in December. There’s nothing that stops a transition effort from doing everything they need to do and if it turns out that the president-elect is the president-elect, eventually they’ll have that help,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
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