scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Biden says split Congress affects Cabinet picks

President-elect Joe Biden spoke at an event to introduce his nominations and appointments to foreign policy and national security positions.ANNA MONEYMAKER/NYT

Follow live updates from Globe staff and wire reports as Joe Biden has been projected as the winner of the election.

Click here for the latest updates.

Iran’s president hopes Biden unravels Trump’s Iran policies — 7:52 a.m.

Iran’s president reiterated his hope Wednesday that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden would return America’s Iran policy to where he left things as vice president four years ago, state TV reported, rejoining Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Hassan Rouhani said that if Iran and the U.S. could find a path back to “the situation on Jan 20, 2017,” President Donald Trump’s inauguration day, “it could be a huge solution for many issues and problems.”


Under Trump, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated, pushing the two sides to the brink of war earlier this year.

By Annie Karni and David E. Sanger, New York Times

President-elect Joe Biden formally introduced a national security team on Tuesday custom-designed to repudiate President Donald Trump’s nationalistic isolationism.

His nominee for secretary of state said in his remarks that Americans needed the “humility and confidence” to depend on allies. His choice to execute the nation’s immigration policy is a Cuban American whose parents were refugees from Castro. And his new intelligence chief warned Biden when she spoke that she would bring him news that would be politically “inconvenient or difficult.”

By Maggie Haberman, New York Times

President Donald Trump has told aides that he plans to issue a pardon to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The person said that while nothing is final until Trump does it, he has made it clear that it is one of a string of pardons he plans to issue before leaving office.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian diplomat during the presidential transition in late 2016. The move was reported earlier by Axios.

By Astead W. Herndon, New York Times

After years of close calls, red herrings, and electoral margins that grew closer and closer, Democrats won Georgia in this year’s presidential election for the first time since 1992.

The win broke the Republican lock on Southern states in the Electoral College, but it also vindicated Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat and former state House Minority Leader who has become synonymous with the party’s attempts to win statewide. Abrams, who has helped start organizations to register new voters and combat voter suppression, said the win was a personal relief — a political bounce back after she narrowly lost her race for governor in 2018.

In an interview with The New York Times, she outlined how she believes President-elect Joe Biden won and how liberal groups in other Southern states can replicate Georgia’s path. She also weighed in on the current divisions within the Democratic Party, and her future political plans.

By Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times

A group of Democratic senators urged YouTube to reverse its policy of allowing videos containing election outcome misinformation and pushed the company to adopt more aggressive steps to curb the spread of false content and manipulated media before critical runoff elections for Georgia’s two Senate seats in January.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive, four Democratic senators — Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Gary Peters of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — said they had “deep concern with the proliferation of misinformation” on the platform. The letter pointed to how one YouTube video with the baseless claim of voter fraud in Michigan had 5 million views.

By Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times

Town officials in Bedminster, New Jersey, have the plans for a possible Trump family future, or at least the blueprints: a major addition to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s “cottage” on the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club, four new pickleball courts, a relocated heliport, and a spa and yoga complex.

As Manhattan awaits word of the Trump family’s return, the first daughter and her husband appear to be making preparations elsewhere: a Garden State refuge behind guarded gates, perhaps, or Florida, where President Donald Trump is renovating his Mar-a-Lago estate.

But New York now seems inhospitable and nowhere in their plans.

The Associated Press

Some of Joe Biden’s former colleagues in the Senate who are hoping for a spot in his administration may be out of luck.

The president-elect indicated in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that he was less likely to choose a member of Congress for his Cabinet because of the slim margins in the Senate and House. Choosing a person in either chamber, “particularly a person of consequence,” he said, “is a really difficult decision that would have to be made.”

Biden announced his first Cabinet nominations on Tuesday, all Obama administration veterans. But he insisted in the interview that his should not be considered a “third Obama term” because “we face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration,” after President Donald Trump has pushed isolationist policies. In unveiling his national security team, Biden pledged that they would “restore America globally.”

The president-elect also expressed optimism about his transition now that the roadblocks put in place by the Trump administration have been removed. He says “it’s a slow start” but “I’m feeling good about the ability to be able to get up to speed” and expects “full cooperation” from the Trump administration on the transition.

Biden will deliver a Thanksgiving address in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday before traveling to his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he’ll spend the holiday with family.

By Bloomberg

President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that his staff had spoken to Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, one day after President Donald Trump’s administration agreed to participate in the presidential transition.

Biden said he had not spoken to Fauci himself yet, but he has widely praised Fauci’s efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus around the country. The incoming president had urged more cooperation amid spiking cases.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Dr. Fauci,” he said, adding “he’s been very, very helpful.”

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden says that the transition of power has “already begun” and that he feels his team is “going to not be so far behind the curve as we thought we might be in the past.”

He says: “There’s a lot of immediate discussion, and I must say, the outreach has been sincere. There has not been begrudging so far. And I don’t expect it to be. So yes it’s already begun.”

Biden made the comments in an interview set to air Tuesday night on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”

President Donald Trump continues to sow doubt about the outcome of the Nov. 3 election and has not formally conceded but increasingly his administration is preparing for the handover. The General Services Administration gave the green light for the transition to begin Monday evening.

Biden says the teams are already working on getting him access to the Presidential Daily Brief as well as planning a meeting between his staff and the Trump administration team overseeing the response to the coronavirus.

By The Associated Press

As President-elect Joe Biden started rolling out his administrative team, one voice has been notably silent: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Republicans will hold great sway in confirming or denying Biden’s Cabinet nominees, regardless of which party controls the narrowly split Senate after runoff elections. But key Republican senators, including the GOP leader, are keeping quiet, for now, choosing their battles ahead.

By Mark Leibovich, New York Times

This might have been the most anticipated White House turkey-pardoning ceremony ever.

For starters, President Donald Trump has been scarcely seen without golf clubs since Election Day. So, the annual ritual of sparing two turkeys offered a rare chance to glimpse the lame-duck leader in public.

“Thanksgiving is a very special day for turkeys,” Trump said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday afternoon. “Not a very good one, if you think about it.” Except for two fortunate feathered recipients of the president’s largesse.

It felt almost normal, refreshingly pro forma. With a zest for showmanship, Trump had always seemed in his element on these cornball occasions, no matter what other turmoil happened to be upending his presidency at the moment.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump has signed off on giving his successor access to the nation’s most secure secrets.

An administration official said Tuesday that Trump has allowed President-elect Joe Biden to receive the presidential daily brief, the highly classified briefing prepared by the nation’s intelligence community for the government’s most senior leaders.

The official said the logistics of when and where Biden will first receive the briefing were still being worked out.

The determination comes a day after the General Services Administration cleared the way for beginning formal transition planning to the Biden administration ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Trump continues to sow doubt about the outcome of the Nov. 3 election and has not formally conceded, but increasingly his administration is preparing for the handover.

By The Associated Press

County election workers across Georgia on Tuesday began a machine recount of the roughly 5 million votes cast in the presidential race in the state, just days after completing a hand tally that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s lead.

The recount was requested by President Donald Trump after certified results showed him losing the state to Democrat Joe Biden by 12,670 votes, or 0.25%. Under state law, the losing candidate can request a recount when the margin is less than 0.5%. Trump’s campaign on Saturday formally requested the recount.

Counties were allowed to begin the machine recount at 9 a.m. Tuesday and they have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 2 to wrap it up.

Some counties only planned to get as far as testing the equipment Tuesday, with the actual counting to begin Wednesday. With interruptions for the Thanksgiving holiday expected, the secretary of state’s office instructed counties to publicly post when they would be testing so political party monitors and interested members of the public can make plans to observe.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Former secretary of state John Kerry told President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday that he would do “all in my power to live up to your expectations,” as he was formally introduced following Biden’s Monday announcement that the former Massachusetts senator would join the new administration in a role focused on climate change.

Kerry outlined his views on combating climate change in brief remarks from Delaware, framing it as a challenge that must be overcome though collective action in a departure from President Trump’s “America First” approach.

Declaring “America is back,” President-elect Joe Biden introduced selections for his national security team Tuesday, his first substantive offering of how he’ll shift from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies by relying on foreign policy and national security experts from the Democratic establishment to serve as some of his most important advisers.

Biden’s Washington veterans all have ties to former President Barack Obama’s administration as the president-elect has sought to deliver a clear message about his desire to reestablish a more predictable engagement from the United States on the global stage.

By The Associated Press

The Nevada Supreme Court made Joe Biden’s win in the state official on Tuesday, approving the state’s final canvass of the Nov. 3 election.

The unanimous action by the seven nonpartisan justices sends to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak results that will deliver six electoral votes from the western U.S. battleground state to Biden.

The court action drew extra scrutiny amid legal efforts by the state GOP and Trump campaign to prevent sending vote-by-mail ballots to all 1.82 million active registered voters and then to stop the counting of the 1.4 million votes that were cast.

By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden has been certified as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, culminating three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges by President Donald Trump, state officials said Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania State Department “certified the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania for president and vice president of the United States,” Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, tweeted.

“As required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Wolf wrote.

The State Department said Wolf’s “certificate of ascertainment” has been sent to the national archivist in Washington. Pennsylvania’s electors, a mix of elected Democrats, party activists and other staunch Biden backers, will meet in the state Capitol on Dec. 14.

By The Associated Press

Milwaukee County could complete the recounting of its presidential election results as soon as Wednesday and no later than Friday, a county spokesman said Tuesday.

The recount got off to a slow start last week as elections officials addressed a myriad of complaints from President Donald Trump’s attorneys and observers. But as of Tuesday, the work was “very close to being back on schedule,” said Brian Rothgery, spokesman for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

The recount is about 36% complete in Dane County and only “slightly behind schedule,” said Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell.

Neither county planned to work on Thanksgiving. They must complete the recount by Dec. 1, the deadline for certifying the vote.

By Shannon Larson, Globe staff

After weeks of delay, the General Services Administration ascertained Monday that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the 2020 presidential election — at last enabling the transition of President Trump’s administration to formally begin and allowing Biden to access resources he had previously been unable to.

But Trump, despite saying in a tweet that he is directing his team to coordinate on the transition, is still refusing to concede and vowed to continue a legal fight that has virtually no chance of succeeding.

The recent development, along with a number of other newsworthy events revolving around the Trump administration of late, served as fodder for television hosts, with Jimmy Kimmel opening his own show by saying, “Thank you for joining us on, what is this, week three of our Election Night coverage?”

By The Associated Press

BERLIN — German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Tuesday he hopes a reset of U.S.-European relations under the Biden administration can end years in which Europe was mainly concerned with “damage control.”

Maas’ counterpart from Portugal, which will have taken over the European Union presidency when Joe Biden is inaugurated, said Europe wants to be treated as a “full and equal partner” rather than an enemy of the U.S.

Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump has been greeted with relief in Europe, where differences with the outgoing administration ranged from trade tensions to defense spending, relations with China and how to handle Iran’s nuclear program.

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally introduce his national security team to the nation, building out a team of Obama administration alumni that signals his shift away from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies and a return to U.S. engagement on the global stage.

The picks for national security and foreign-policy posts include former Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change. Kerry and several other people set to join the upcoming administration will be discussed by Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during a Tuesday afternoon event.

By Shannon Larson, Globe staff

In a series of tweets, Representative Ayanna Pressley shared her thoughts on President-elect Joe Biden’s emerging Cabinet on Monday night.

Biden tapped a number of Obama-era officials earlier in the day for top national security and economic roles. With a roster that includes multiple women and people of color — some of whom are breaking historic barriers in their posts — Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise to lead a team that reflects the diversity of America.

Pressley said in a tweet her ideal presidential administration is one “as diverse as the nation, clear about the task ahead, responsive to the people, and committed to bold policies that meet the scale of the crises we face.”

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The federal government is set to begin working with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team now that the head of the General Services Administration has “ascertained” that he is the apparent winner of this month’s presidential election.

Among other things, the ascertainment process gives the incoming president and his team access to officials at federal agencies and directs the Justice Department to work on security clearances for transition team members and Biden political appointees. It even gives his team access to official government website domains.

Here is why else the designation is important.

By The New York Times

Republicans have divided themselves into two camps as they struggle to cope with the reality that President Trump has, indeed, lost the election.

In the first group are the so-called “establishment” Republicans who are beyond the immediate reach or unafraid of the president’s political wrath, a category that includes business groups, national security leaders, wealthy Republican donors, ex-office holders now on the punditry circuit, state officials determined to abide by local norms and law, and a smattering of Republicans with independent streaks in relatively safe seats.

The second group, broadly speaking, consists of Republican elected officials inching slowly toward the inevitable acceptance of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as pending legal disputes continue to fail, in hopes their slow-rolling will confer a kind of herd immunity from any retaliation by Trump.

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped Obama-era officials for top national security and economic roles, signaling a stark shift from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies that disparaged international alliances and favored deregulation and tax cuts.

The picks include former Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change. Biden is also expected to choose Janet Yellen, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, as the first woman to become treasury secretary.

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler said Monday that she will return to public campaigning after she got a second straight negative coronavirus test.

The Georgia Republican is facing a Jan. 5 runoff in one of the state’s twin U.S. Senate races.

Loeffler took a rapid COVID-19 test Friday evening that came back positive, a day after she campaigned with Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who also faces a Jan. 5 runoff.

By The Associated Press

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Monday she will step down from her role as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving up the powerful spot after public criticism of her bipartisan outreach and her handling of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings.

Feinstein, 87, said in a statement that she would not seek the position in the next Congress. She did not say why, but said she would instead focus on wildfire and drought issues and the effects of climate change, which are important in her home state. She plans to continue to serve on the Judiciary, Appropriations and intelligence panels, but said she will not seek the role of top Democrat on any of those committees.

By The Associated Press

The General Services Administration has ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration.

An official said Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Biden’s victory Monday.

In a tweet, Trump said he directed his team to cooperate on the transition but vowed to keep up the fight.

By The New York Times

Concerned that President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results is hurting the country, more than 160 top American executives asked the administration on Monday to immediately acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration.

Even one of Trump’s stalwart supporters, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone, the private equity firm, said in a statement that “the outcome is very certain today and the country should move on.” While he did not sign a letter sent to the administration by the other executives, he said he was “now ready to help President-elect Biden and his team.”

The Associated Press

Michigan election officials on Monday took up the normally routine matter of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, meeting against the backdrop of President Donald Trump’s unprecedented campaign to subvert the results of the election.

Trump’s efforts to stave off the inevitable -- formal recognition of his defeat -- faced increasingly stiff resistance from the courts and fellow Republicans with just three weeks to go until the Electoral College meets to certify Biden’s victory. Time and again, Trump’s challenges and baseless allegations of widespread conspiracy and fraud have been met with rejection as states move forward with certifying their results.

By Bloomberg News

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security and the first woman to lead the intelligence community as he builds out his national security team, with formal announcements planned for Tuesday, his transition team said Monday.

Avril Haines is Biden’s pick to be Director of National Intelligence, charged with overseeing more than a dozen federal offices from the CIA to National Security Agency. If confirmed, she’d be the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence, a position that was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Biden also plans to name Alejandro Mayorkas, who led the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency in the Obama administration, to lead the Department of Homeland Security. That’ll make him the first Latino to run a department tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Former Massachusetts senator and secretary of state John Kerry will join the Biden administration as a National Security Council official focused on climate change, the Biden transition team said Monday as it announced a series of national security picks.

Kerry, who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Accord under the Obama administration, will serve as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. It will be the first time the National Security Council will include an official solely dedicated to climate change, according to a press release announcing Kerry’s appointment.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden has named two longtime Capitol Hill aides to his legislative affairs team.

Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff will serve as deputy directors of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Dodin has been working on the transition team already, leading its legislative engagement with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. She also serves as deputy chief of staff and floor director to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip in the Senate.

Goff served as floor director for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. She helped craft the House Democrats’ legislative agenda.

Dodin and Goff join Louisa Terrell, who was recently named the director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. About a dozen other senior White House staffers also have been announced by the president-elect.

The team will be tasked with turning Biden’s long list of campaign promises into legislative blueprints and ushering them through a closely divided House and Senate. The first and biggest concern is expected to be a major coronavirus aid and response package after Biden takes office in January.

By The Washington Post

As more Republicans joined a chorus urging President Donald Trump to concede the election and his legal team splintered over far-fetched conspiracy theories, Trump spent Sunday at his private golf course in Virginia.

Then, just before midnight, he took to Twitter to repeat more of the unfounded claims of mass voter fraud that have animated his weeks-long resistance to acknowledging defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump’s tweets, which included another false claim that he “won” the election, were quickly flagged by Twitter with disclaimers.

The Trump campaign’s allegations that massive voter fraud tilted the election to Biden have repeatedly been tossed out of the courts, including in a stinging rebuke on Saturday from a federal judge in Pennsylvania who rejected the campaign’s efforts to invalidate millions of votes there.

By The New York Times

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to name his first slate of Cabinet appointees, more Republicans are starting to push for the transition to officially begin and calling on their conservative colleagues to openly acknowledge his victory.

Chris Christie, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, called the conduct of President Donald Trump’s legal team, which has indulged in a web of conspiracy theories about voter fraud, “a national embarrassment,” given the blistering dismissals of their lawsuits in court and their failure to produce evidence of widespread improprieties.

“They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud,” Christie, a longtime Trump ally, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “Elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen.”

By The Associated Press

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday became the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory, saying she offered to share her nation’s expertise on dealing with the coronavirus.

Ardern said the tone of the 20-minute phone call was warm and that Biden spoke very favorably about how New Zealand was handling the pandemic.

“What has been really at the center of our response has been some fundamentals around testing, contact tracing, isolation,” Ardern said. “That’s over and above what we’ve done at our borders.”

New Zealand has been largely successful in eliminating the virus after imposing a strict lockdown in March and closing its borders. Only 25 people in the nation of 5 million have died from COVID-19.

Ardern said Biden wanted to pursue the discussion on New Zealand’s response further. But she cautioned that the nation’s model may not be able to be replicated everywhere.

“While New Zealand has a number of natural advantages that have assisted us in managing the virus, I do absolutely believe that international cooperation continues to be key to getting the virus under control,” Ardern said. “We are happy to work with any country to share our knowledge and data if its helpful.”

Ardern said she and Biden also discussed trade issues and climate change, and talked about the president-elect’s Irish heritage and his fond memories of visiting New Zealand a few years ago. She said she invited him to come visit again.

In a statement, Biden praised Ardern’s “extraordinary leadership” following a 2019 mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques, and as a working mother and role model.

By The Associated Press

On its way out the door, the Trump administration is enacting new rules, regulations and orders that it hopes will box in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration on numerous foreign policy matters and cement President Donald Trump’s “America First” legacy in international affairs.

Yet, the push may not work, as many of these decisions can be withdrawn or significantly amended by the incoming president when he takes office on Jan. 20.

In recent weeks, the White House, State Department and other agencies have been working overtime to produce new policy pronouncements on Iran, Israel, China and elsewhere that aim to lock in Trump’s vision for the world. Some have attracted significant attention while others have flown largely under the radar.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden is likely to name his Cabinet picks in tranches, with groups of nominees focused on a specific top area, like the economy, national security or public health, being announced at once. Advisers to the president-elect’s transition have said they’ll make their first Cabinet announcements on Tuesday.

If Biden focuses on national security that day, Michèle Flournoy, a veteran of Pentagon policy jobs, is a top choice to lead the Defense Department. Jake Sullivan, a longtime adviser to Biden and Hillary Clinton, is also in the mix for a top job, including White House national security adviser.

For his part, Antony Blinken — expected to be nominated as secretary of state — recently participated in a national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and has weighed in publicly on notable foreign policy issues in Egypt and Ethiopia.

By The Associated Press

This swath of southeast Iowa isn’t supposed to be a nailbiter for Democrats.

For more than a decade, voters in the college town of Iowa City powered Democratic candidates to Congress. But that changed this month when conservatives who dominate the more rural parts of the district turned out in droves, eager to support President Donald Trump and other Republicans on the ballot.

Nearly three weeks after Election Day, a winner hasn’t been declared in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. That’s a sign of the unexpected strength Republicans demonstrated in House races across the country, taking down at least 10 Democratic incumbents and dashing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bold prediction of expanding her majority by double digits.

By The Washington Post

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to announce that he has selected Antony Blinken, one of his closest and longest-serving foreign-policy advisers, as secretary of state.

Biden is also planning to announce Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, giving a former career foreign service officer and African American woman one of the most high-profile diplomatic posts in government, according to three people familiar with the decision.

By The New York Times

The work of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers is not glamorous and rarely draws much attention. Its members handle matters like reviewing petition signatures and helping local clerks find voting machines.

But on Monday, the national spotlight will fall on one of the board’s normally mundane tasks: reviewing results from the presidential election that have been certified by Michigan’s 83 counties and giving a stamp of approval.

The winner is clear. Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in the state by more than 150,000 votes, according to the Michigan Bureau of Elections. But Trump and his Republican allies are trying to upend that reality by urging the board to refuse to certify the election results

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Perhaps Sidney Powell has gone too far for even Rudy Giuliani this time.

The Trump campaign’s legal team moved to distance itself Sunday from the firebrand conservative attorney after a tumultuous several days in which Powell made multiple incorrect statements about the voting process, unspooled unsupported and complex conspiracy theories and vowed to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit.

“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity,” Giuliani and another lawyer for Trump, Jenna Ellis, said in a statement.

By Tyler Pager, Jennifer Epstein, and Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg

President-elect Joe Biden intends to name his longtime adviser Antony Blinken as secretary of State, according to three people familiar with the matter, setting out to assemble his cabinet even before Donald Trump concedes defeat.

In addition, Jake Sullivan, formerly one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, is likely to be named Biden’s national security adviser, according to two people familiar with the matter. An announcement is expected Tuesday, the people said.

By David Weigel, The Washington Post

There have been dozens of lawsuits, some brought by the Trump campaign itself, some by political allies and some by zealous supporters. Some of their challenges overlap, too, with some complaints asking for subsets of ballots to be disqualified and some asking for county- or statewide disenfranchisement.

The Trump campaign would need to void more than 100,000 votes across at least three states to do what the president is asking and overturn the election, but the total number of votes being challenged is north of 5.2 million.

By Gal Tziperman Lotan, Globe Staff

Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said his employees found no significant voting issues in the state. But he declined to speak in detail about various legal challenges President Donald Trump is pursuing in other states.

“I can tell you it sure it looks like Joe Biden won the election,” Lelling said in an appearance on WCVB’s On The Record Sunday morning. “I think the president is entitled to his day in court, and that’s happening, and that’s the system working.″

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of his campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania.

The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday, a day after the judge issued a scathing order shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.

By The Associated Press

With no precedent to erase such a large margin, it’s widely expected that Trump’s eventual plan in Wisconsin is litigation over thousands of absentee ballots that he argues were improperly cast.

The atmosphere inside the convention hall where Milwaukee County’s recount is taking place has turned acrimonious and chaotic at times.

The county’s election commissioners — two Democrats and one Republican — have been in almost perpetual session to address a stream of Trump challenges that county clerk George Christenson said was slowing the recount to a crawl and putting the process far behind schedule.

By The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s latest coronavirus test came back negative, but her campaign said Sunday she will continue to quarantine at least until she gets another negative result.

The Georgia Republican is facing a Jan. 6 runoff in the state’s twin U.S. Senate races.

By Paul Kane, The Washington Post

Several prominent Republicans said this weekend that President Donald Trump’s legal arguments had run their course, calling on him to concede to Joe Biden or at least allow the presidential transition process to begin.

“The conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment,” former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Christie, a Trump confidant who helped run debate preparations, said the Republican Party needed to focus on trying to win Georgia’s two runoff elections Jan. 5 to secure the Senate majority, rather than continuing with the unsuccessful legal challenges of the election results.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven Republican legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden’s win.

“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn’t happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan’s coronavirus response.

By Bloomberg News

President-elect Joe Biden plans to announce his first cabinet picks on Tuesday, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday.

Klain, speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” didn’t specify which positions that Biden plans to fill first, or the people who will be nominated.

Biden said on Thursday that he’d already decided on a treasury secretary. “You’ll find it is someone who I think is, will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions,” he told reporters.

By Bloomberg News

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’s ready to work with any U.S. leader, but still isn’t ready to recognize the election victory of Joe Biden.

“We will work with anyone who has the confidence of the American people,” Putin said on Russian state TV Sunday. “But that confidence can only be given to a candidate whose victory has been recognized by the opposing party, or after the results are confirmed in a legitimate, legal way.”

The comments are some of the most detailed since the election from Putin, one of a dwindling number of leaders who haven’t recognized Biden as the next U.S. head of state. Russia, accused by U.S. intelligence agencies of intervening in 2016 to help get Trump elected, has been wary of Biden, fearing an increase in sanctions pressure and clashes over human rights.

Putin described the Kremlin’s decision not to congratulate Biden as “a formality” with no ulterior motives. When asked if the move could damage U.S.-Russia relations, he said: “there’s nothing to damage, they’re already ruined.”

By The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is quarantining after receiving mixed results from recent coronavirus tests.

A spokesperson for the Georgia senator’s campaign said in a statement Saturday night Loeffler took two rapid COVID tests on Friday morning which came back negative.

The statement says she received another test Friday evening and the results came back positive. Loeffler tested again Saturday morning and the results were inconclusive.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s legal team said Saturday that his campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race after results showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the state.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday certified the state’s election results, which had Biden beating Trump by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast, or 0.25%. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp then certified the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors.

By Peter Bailey-Wells, Globe Staff

Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a statement Saturday following the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by President Trump’s campaign to challenge the results in Toomey’s home state.

“Unsurprisingly, I have significant policy disagreements with the President-elect,” Toomey’s statement read. “However, as I have done throughout my career, I will seek to work across the aisle with him and his administration.”

Biden’s win in Pennsylvania was part of a projected 306-232 Electoral College victory for the former vice president.

Toomey concluded his statement by praising Trump and urging him to accept the results of the election.

“To help unify our country,” Toomey said. “President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”

By The Associated Press

Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, a federal judge ruled Saturday, dealing President Donald Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, turned down the request for an injunction by President Donald Trump’s campaign, spoiling the incumbent’s hopes of somehow overturning the results of the presidential contest.

Trump had argued that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated when Pennsylvania counties took different approaches to notifying voters before the election about technical problems with their submitted mail-in ballots.

By Chris Strohm, Bloomberg

The Biden transition team is weighing attorney general contenders led by Lisa Monaco, who held key national security posts in the Obama administration, and Sally Yates, who gained fame when she was fired by President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The choice of either would help President-elect Joe Biden achieve his goal of having women represented at the highest levels of his administration.

By The Associated Press

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss.

A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments.

By Kayla Ruble and David A. Fahrenhold, The Washington Post

The heads of the Republican National Committee and Michigan Republican Party issued a joint statement Saturday calling for Michigan’s state canvassing board to delay certification of the results of the election, marking the latest attempt by party leaders to intervene in the state’s electoral process.

In the letter - signed by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who is from Michigan, and state GOP Chair Laura Cox - the officials ask the canvassing board to adjourn for 14 days and allow for a “full audit and investigation” before they convene to certify the state’s election results, a procedural step that is set to take place on Monday afternoon.

By The Associated Press

Almost six months after the death of George Floyd, criminal justice reform advocates are cheering the election of a handful of progressive prosecutors, the passage of ballot initiatives designed to ease mass incarceration and the decriminalization of drugs in several states.

Voters also sent Black Lives Matter activists to Congress, restored voting rights to former prisoners and scored other gains sought by the protests that filled American streets last summer. Leaders in the movement want to build on those successes in 2021.

By The New York Times

A coalition of Democrats, Native Americans and liberal activists is urging President-elect Joe Biden to nominate one of Congress’ first Native American women to head the Interior Department, putting an American Indian in control of vast swaths of the continent and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., as Interior secretary would have undeniable symbolic power. If confirmed, a Native American for the first time would oversee 500 million acres of public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and endangered species habitat, and control the federal agencies most responsible for the well-being of the nation’s 1.9 million Indigenous people.

By The New York Times

For more than a week, a plain-spoken former federal prosecutor named Sidney Powell made the rounds on right-wing talk radio and cable news, facing little pushback as she laid out a conspiracy theory that Venezuela, Cuba and other “communist” interests had used a secret algorithm to hack into voting machines and steal millions of votes from President Donald Trump.

She spoke mostly uninterrupted for nearly 20 minutes Monday on the “Rush Limbaugh Show,” the No. 1 program on talk radio. Hosts like Mark Levin, who has the fourth-largest talk radio audience, and Lou Dobbs of Fox Business praised her patriotism and courage.

So it came as most unwelcome news to the president’s defenders when Tucker Carlson, host of an 8 p.m. Fox News show and a confidant of Trump, dissected Powell’s claims as unreliable and unproven.

By The Associated Press

Russia didn’t have to lift a finger.

In the weeks before the US presidential election, federal authorities warned that Russia or other foreign countries might spread false information about the results to discredit the legitimacy of the outcome.

Turns out, the loudest megaphone for that message belonged not to Russia but to President Donald Trump, who has trumpeted a blizzard of thoroughly debunked claims to proclaim that he, not President-elect Joe Biden, was the rightful winner.

By Carl Hulse, New York Times

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive Vermont independent, has emerged as a contender for labor secretary in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, a prospect that would suit his ambitions of being a warrior for working Americans — and one that makes some Senate Republicans very uneasy.

The growing senatorial resistance to Sanders even before any formal action by the new administration reflects the formidable task Biden faces. Should Republicans hold on to their Senate majority next year, Biden would be the first president since George Bush in 1989 to enter office without his party controlling the chamber and managing the confirmation process. And that process has grown much more toxic, to the point where senators routinely engage in near-blanket opposition to the picks of a president from the opposite party — if they allow consideration at all.

By The Associated Press

Michigan’s elections agency on Friday recommended that the Nov. 3 results be certified next week by state canvassers, a decision that would bless Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump but likely not cool partisan strife over the vote.

The recommendation was posted online with the formal Monday meeting notice of the Board of State Canvassers. The guidance came at the end of a stormy week in which Trump summoned Republican state lawmakers to the White House on Friday in an extraordinary effort to try to set aside Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.