The head of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, announced in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she would allow him and his team to begin the formal process of transitioning into the White House. But less than one day after that announcement was made, statements from President Donald Trump indicated he was not yet done raising questionable challenges to the 2020 presidential election results.
Biden was declared the winner of the election on November 7 by a number of media outlets citing election returns from several states, which demonstrated an insurmountable lead for Biden over Trump in both the Electoral College and popular vote totals. Despite widespread recognition of Biden’s win, Trump has waged challenges to the results on several fronts, engaging in lawsuits claiming dubious and unproven allegations of fraud while also seeking recounts in states with close election returns.
Murphy had faced sharp criticism over the past several weeks for her refusal to allow the transition process for a Biden administration to begin. Without a formal recognition of his win, the president-elect’s incoming administration was barred from having access to federal government resources that would allow for a smoother transition .
The head of the GSA made the formal announcement on Monday, recommending that the transition begin. “I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services,” Murphy wrote in her letter to Biden.
Murphy maintained that she was “never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official” to delay the transition process, and came to the decision “independently” to reach out to Biden. That contradicts somewhat what Trump wrote on Monday, however, where he said on Twitter that he was “recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols” for a transition, implying perhaps that his permission was needed before Murphy could proceed.
Later on Monday night, shortly after the decision from Murphy was announced, Biden’s transition website was up and running, with the URL of buildbackbetter.gov, a reference to the theme of his presidential campaign.
While the transition process has formally begun, Trump himself has not yet given up on continuing to contest the outcome of the race, and by Tuesday morning he was resuming his false and unsubstantiated claims of fraud.
Trump, for example, shared a poll on his Twitter account that demonstrated 79 percent of his supporters believed the election was “stolen” from him.
“They are 100% correct,” Trump tweeted out, “but we are fighting hard. Our big lawsuit, which spells out in great detail all of the ballot fraud and more, will soon be filled [sic]. RIGGED ELECTION!”
It’s unclear what new allegations of ballot fraud Trump is planning to share, and it’s unlikely that anything at this point will demonstrate any evidence of the malfeasance he claims exists. Most of Trump’s legal team’s claims of fraud have fallen flat before judges in both state and federal courtrooms, and the vast majority of the complaints have been dismissed as being baseless and without proof.
While the numbers Trump shared in his tweet were from a legitimate poll, they only focused on the views of his supporters, and not of Americans overall. Other polling data has shown that a majority of the electorate view the election as being fair and conducted without widespread fraud.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll from last week, for example, found that 55 percent of American voters felt the outcome was “legitimate and accurate.” Only 28 percent of those in the poll said the opposite.