Sixty percent of Americans say Joe Biden won the presidential election “fair and square” while 32 percent say he won because of voter fraud, as President Trump has claimed, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.
The poll, conducted between Thursday and Monday, also found a sharp partisan divide when it comes to confidence in the election process.
Sixty-one percent of Republicans say they are not confident in the election’s fairness and accuracy, while 90 percent of Democrats say they are confident. Among independents, 69 percent express confidence.
Trump files for recount in pair of Wisconsin counties
MADISON, Wis. — President Trump filed Wednesday for a recount of Wisconsin’s two largest Democratic counties, paying the required $3 million cost and alleging that they were the sites of the “worst irregularities” although no evidence of illegal activity has been presented.
The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties will begin Friday and must be done by Dec. 1. Democrat Joe Biden received 577,455 votes in those two counties compared with 213,157 for Trump. Biden won statewide by 20,608 votes, based on canvassed results submitted by the counties.
“The official canvass results reaffirmed Joe Biden’s clear and resounding win in Wisconsin after Wisconsin voters turned out to cast their ballots in record numbers,” said Biden campaign spokesman Nate Evans. “A cherry-picked and selective recounting of Milwaukee and Dane County will not change these results.’'
Milwaukee County is the state’s largest, home to the city of Milwaukee, and Black people make up about 27 percent of the population, more than any other county. Dane County is home to the liberal capital city of Madison and the flagship University of Wisconsin campus.
Calls grow for Trump to cooperate with Biden
With pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announcing it has completed its coronavirus vaccine trial and saying it will seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration “within days,” more conservative public figures are calling on President Trump to collaborate with the Biden transition team to ensure a swift and effective distribution.
“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade said Wednesday morning that “it’s in the country’s best interest if he starts coordinating on the virus and starts coordinating on security with the Biden team,” even if the president continues with his legal crusade to challenge the election results.
“We will be able to get this out as soon as two weeks, and we need to coordinate on the transportation and implementation, and we need to know how thorough the plan is so we don’t drop the ball,” Kilmeade said, signaling dissent from the president’s refusal to concede he lost the election even though Fox News has generally supported his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
Trump has refused to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory or to cooperate with his team on different matters, withholding intelligence briefings and blocking communication between transition appointees and federal officials, including those in charge of preparing the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
On Monday, Biden urged Trump to allow officials to work with his incoming administration on a response to the coronavirus pandemic that has seen a dramatic recent surge, arguing his lack of cooperation may cost American lives.
Smith grads urge GSA official to acknowledge Biden win
Graduates of Smith College, the elite women’s school in Northampton, are urging one of their own, Emily W. Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, to formally recognize President-elect Joe Biden.
Murphy has yet to issue the letter of ascertainment needed to allow Biden’s transition team to begin the transfer of power as President Trump continues to challenge the election results over what he baselessly claims is widespread fraud.
Murphy, who graduated from Smith in 1995, worked for the Republican National Committee before law school, and was appointed by Trump in 2017, goes against the modern stereotype of Smith as a hotbed of feminism and liberal politics. The school’s prominent alumnae include the feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan (though the Republican first ladies Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush are also Smith graduates).
In a statement, a spokesperson for Smith College said that while the school did not wish to influence the professional actions of any alumna, “We hope that a peaceful transition of power takes place in alignment with the core values of democracy.”
Murphy has declined to publicly state a reason for not issuing the ascertainment letter. On Wednesday, she declined to speak to a reporter and directed inquiries to her agency’s press office. A GSA spokeswoman said that the GSA administrator does not pick the winner of the election and that the administrator “ascertains the apparent successful candidate once a winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution.”
During a virtual roundtable with front-line health care workers Wednesday afternoon, Biden acknowledged that the Trump administration has been holding up the presidential transition process and warned that his team is “going to be behind by weeks or months” in putting together a pandemic plan unless it is granted access soon.
Biden pointed to the General Services Administration, the government agency, where Murphy is refusing to sign a letter allowing Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work.
“I am optimistic, but we should be further along. … The law says that the General Services Administration has a person who recognizes who the winner is, and then they have to have access to all the data and information that the government possesses to be prepared,” Biden said during Wednesday’s roundtable. “And it doesn’t require there to be an absolute winner. It says the ‘apparent winner.’”
Biden added that his transition team has been unable to get access to statistics on the federal stockpiles of personal protective equipment and ventilators, as well as to the planning that has been done so far on vaccine distribution.
“There’s a whole lot of things that we just don’t have available to us, which, unless it’s made available soon, we’re going to be behind by weeks or months being able to put together the whole initiative relating to the biggest promise we have, with two drug companies coming along and finding 95 percent effectiveness, efficiency in the vaccines, which has enormous promise,” Biden said. “So I just want to tell you that that’s the only slowdown right now that we have.”
New York Times and Washington Post
Trump’s special Twitter status will end with presidency
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that it will treat the president like any other user after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
That means Trump will be barred from making threats, harassing other users, or violating copyright — three things he’s occasionally done as president. Since Trump was a global leader, Twitter has either flagged certain of his tweets with a warning or disabled a video, but not suspended his account or forced him to delete the tweet.
“If an account is suddenly not a world leader any more, that particular policy goes away,” Dorsey said.
While Trump hasn’t been suspended from Twitter, his son Donald Jr. was briefly suspended from tweeting in July after sharing a video that claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a cure for the coronavirus.