Donald Trump blocks smooth transition for Joe Biden and still refuses to concede

10 November 2020, 07:57 | Updated: 10 November 2020, 13:11

Donald Trump is continuing to refuse the election result while simultaneously blocking a transition of power
Donald Trump is continuing to refuse the election result while simultaneously blocking a transition of power. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Donald Trump has blocked a smooth transition of power to Joe Biden while continuing to claim election fraud and refusing to concede.

The presidential transition was thrown into turmoil on Monday after Mr Trump's administration blocked government cooperation with his rival's team and Attorney General William Barr authorised a Justice Department investigation into allegations of electoral fraud.

Some Republicans, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, backed the incumbent president's efforts to fight the election results with few in the party recognising Mr Biden's victory.

In another controversial move, the president also fired his defence secretary Mark Esper on Monday, a decision that most Republicans refused to condemn.

The latest developments, along with a number of tweets from the president last night, cast further doubt on whether the US would experience a smooth transition of power.

Mr Biden's victory should be formally confirmed by the Electoral College on 14 December and the Democrat will be inaugurated in late January.

Read more: Biden says masks 'aren't a political statement' and warns of 'dark winter'

Read more: Biden 'planning executive orders to undo Trump's policies' on first day

On Monday night, the president responded to a tweet by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp which read: "Georgia's election result will include legally cast ballots - and ONLY legally cast ballots. Period."

Mr Trump quoted the tweet, adding: "This is good news, it means I won!"

Later, he accused several American media outlets of "tampering" with the election by providing "inaccurate" polls prior to people casting their votes.

He wrote: "@FoxNews, @QuinnipiacPoll, ABC/WaPo (Washington Post), NBC/WSJ (Wall Street Journal) were so inaccurate with their polls on me, that it really is tampering with an Election. They were so far off in their polling, and in their attempt to suppress - that they should be called out for Election Interference.

"ABC/WaPo had me down 17 points in Wisconsin, the day before the election, and I WON! In Iowa, the polls had us 4 points down, and I won by 8.2%! Fox News and Quinnipiac were wrong on everything.

"The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more then voter and campaign finance suppression!"

Read more: Boris Johnson to push ahead with Brexit bill despite Biden warning

Read more: How Joe Biden spent his first day as President-elect

Shortly after the president then suggested the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was purposely announced after the election as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Democrats "didn't want (him) to get a vaccine win".

He said: "As I have long said, @Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before. Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives!

"If Joe Biden were President, you wouldn’t have the Vaccine for another four years, nor would the @US_FDA have ever approved it so quickly. The bureaucracy would have destroyed millions of lives!

"The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later – As I’ve said all along!"

He later quoted Texas congressman-elect Ronny Jackson on Twitter, saying: "Only because of President Trump, we are going to have a Vaccine by the end of the year.”