Political News

Biden's incoming chief of staff says Trump 'failing to follow the law' by not letting transition begin

Posted November 19, 2020 6:15 p.m. EST

— Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Thursday that President Donald Trump and General Services Administrator Emily Murphy are failing to follow the law by refusing to allow the official transition process to move forward.

"What the President's doing, with his administrator of general services, is failing to do their job, failing to follow the law, so we can have what the American people want, which is an an orderly transition from the outgoing President to the incoming one," Klain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

The President has refused to concede the election, despite Biden's decisive victory. Trump has repeatedly made false claims about widespread voter fraud, and he and those in his administration have refused to cooperate in a transition of power.

Murphy has refused to formally start the presidential transition, blocking the Biden team from accessing millions of dollars in taxpayer funds and other resources. Biden's team has warned the delay has real-world consequences to national security and the coronavirus response.

"As a result of that non-ascertainment, our transition doesn't have access to national security information, the highest level of information. We don't have access to the agencies, we can't have meetings with experts on how to do this vaccine distribution. We can't work together to make that seamless transition," Klain said.

He continued, "And, of course, there won't be background checks for the nominees the President-elect will select, which will slow down the confirmation process, which adds to this problem of not having an orderly and seamless transition."

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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