Republican Arkansas governor: ‘I expect Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States’
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said on Sunday he “expect[s] Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States,” adding that it was “good” that President Trump seemingly acknowledged Biden’s win in a tweet that the president later walked back.
“I expect Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States,” Hutchinson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It was good actually to see President Trump tweet out that ‘he won.’ I think that’s a start of an acknowledgment.”
Trump tweeted Sunday morning that Biden “won,” baselessly attributing the victory to voter fraud. Trump walked back the tweet shortly after.
“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go,” the president said.
Hutchinson also echoed some Republican senators’ calls for Biden to begin receiving briefing materials during the transition period.
WATCH: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) says “I expect Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States.” #MTP@AsaHutchinson: “It was good actually to see President Trump tweet out … I think that’s a start of an acknowledgment.” pic.twitter.com/ErBIdItsgh
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 15, 2020
“It is very important that Joe Biden have access to the intelligence briefings to make sure that he is prepared,” he said. “During times of transition our enemies have an opportunity to take advantage of us, and we want to make sure that there is a smooth transition, particularly when it comes to the vaccine distribution [so that] everybody understands what we’re doing there and what the plan is for the future.”
Hutchinson was more definitive in acknowledging Biden’s win than he was last weekend, when media outlets first projected it. In a statement released last Saturday, Hutchinson said: “While we wait the outcome of various court challenges, it is important that we recognize the likelihood that former Vice President Biden and Sen. [Kamala] Harris [D-Calif.] have won over 270 electoral votes. Even though the media has declared a winner, the selection of a President is a constitutional process that has not yet concluded.”
On NBC, Hutchinson speculated Trump would continue to be a leading influence on the party, despite his loss.
“Clearly, President Trump will have a voice for a long time in the party,” he said. Anybody that can generate those kinds of crowds … will have an influence for some time to come.”