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Republican Arkansas governor: Trump beginning transition process more 'significant' than a concession

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonRepublican governor of Arkansas says 'Trump is dividing our party' Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Arkansas governor allows bill targeting critical race theory in state agencies to become law MORE (R) on Sunday credited President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE for beginning the transition process, calling it more important than conceding the election to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE.

“[Biden] is president-elect, we need to work on that transition. I applaud President Trump for initiating that transition,” Hutchinson said on “Fox News Sunday.” He added that “the worst thing that can happen” for the deployment of vaccines and continuity on the federal coronavirus response “is we do not have a smooth handoff.”

“We’re working with the transition, we expect [Biden] to be sworn in on January 20,” Hutchinson told guest host Bret Baier. “The words of President Trump are not quite as significant” as the transition process being underway, he added.

“I understand the legal reason why he should not [concede] because he has some appeals our going but… it’s President-elect Joe Biden,” Hutchinson said.

While Trump has refused to concede to Biden, continuing to make baseless claims of voter fraud and mounting legal challenges to the outcome of the election, he has authorized General Services Administration to begin the transition process.

As for the Trump campaign's legal challenges, Hutchinson on Sunday said, “the courts have not seen any evidence of such extensive fraud … scores of courts have looked at that.”

Hutchinson is one of a handful of Republican governors who urged Trump to allow the transition to begin while the administration was stonewalling the process earlier in November.

“It is very important that Joe Biden have access to the intelligence briefings to make sure that he is prepared,” Hutchinson told NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddKinzinger: 'I would love to move on' from Trump but he is the leader of the GOP Crenshaw: Republicans can't 'excommunicate' Trump Walensky: 'We're not counting on vaccine mandates at all' MORE in mid-November.

“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, the coronavirus, that everybody understands what we're doing there and what the plan is for the future,” he added.