WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):
President Donald Trump has won North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes, staving off a hard-fought challenge by Democratic nominee Joe Biden and holding the battleground state for Republicans.
Trump’s victory in North Carolina brings him to 232 electoral votes. Biden, who was declared the winner of the election on Nov. 7, has 290 electoral votes and defeated Trump by flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Trump campaigned aggressively in North Carolina with in-person rallies at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, including gatherings in Fayetteville, Winston-Salem and Greenville in the weeks before the election.
He was scheduled to hold the Republican National Convention in the state but pulled out after a fight with the state’s Democratic governor over coronavirus restrictions.
The Associated Press has still not called the presidential race in Georgia, which is conducting a recount.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN’S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE:
President-elect Joe Biden is unlikely to get sweeping health care changes through a closely divided Congress, but there’s a menu of narrower actions he can choose from to make a tangible difference on affordability and coverage for millions of people.
— Top officials: Nov. 3 election most secure in US history
— In Georgia, Trump’s shadow looms over pair of Senate runoffs
— Denying Biden victory, Pompeo heads to Europe, Mideast
— Military voters fear they’re part of unsupported fraud claim
— A few cracks but no big GOP break with Trump on Biden’s win
President-elect Joe Biden has yet to speak with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the top Republicans who hasn’t urged President Donald Trump to concede last week’s election.
On a conference call with reporters Friday, Biden transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said Biden had spoken to some congressional Republicans but not to McConnell, despite the two knowing each other for years.
She says McConnell and Biden “have a long-standing relationship. Whenever they do engage, they won’t have to play a lot of catch-up.”
Psaki says Biden will have staffing announcements to make after spending a few days with his family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
She also says the transition has no interest in “having a food fight” with the General Services Administration, which has yet to recognize Biden’s win, preventing the formal transition period from beginning.
But Psaki says Biden’s team would like to get access to intelligence information that is currently being blocked “so that we can prepare to govern.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump is “not even at that point yet” when it comes to conceding to President-elect Joe Biden.
McEnany tells Fox Business News on Friday that Trump believes he will be president and have a second term.
When told it would look sad if he did not attend the inauguration on Jan. 20, McEnany said, “I think the president will attend his own inauguration. He would have to be there in fact.”
McEnany continued to raise unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and maintained that “when every legal vote is counted” Trump would win.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election despite her claims. Election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well, and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.
President Donald Trump is like a “heavyweight champion in the final round of fighting,” television commentator Geraldo Rivera says after chatting with Trump on the phone. But Rivera says Trump “knows he is behind. … His only hope is a knockout blow — a long shot.”
Rivera, who appears regularly on Fox News Channel, described the president as “a frustrated man” who is ”wounded but he’s still strong.” He adds: “I have no doubt that this man will rise to the occasion again and run in 2024.”
Trump has refused to concede the election and is pursuing legal challenges.
During the Friday phone call, Rivera said Trump said he was a “realist” and would do the “right thing” when he is satisfied that every legitimate vote was counted.
Rivera said Trump told him that after that, he would “follow the edict of the Constitution of the United States and surrender the office in the statutory and the constitutional time frame.”
Rivera said that while Trump expressed frustration about impeachment and “how everything he does and says is construed so evilly.”
The White House says President Donald Trump will make remarks Friday on Operation Warp Speed, the multi-agency effort to get a vaccine to the public quickly and safely.
Trump has avoided public gatherings since Election Day and has declined to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump received a briefing on Operation Warp Speed earlier Friday. The briefing occurred one day after the U.S. set a single-day record of more than 160,000 coronavirus cases.
Public health experts worry that Trump’s refusal to take aggressive action on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden team during the final two months of his presidency will only worsen the effects of the virus and hinder the nation’s ability to swiftly distribute a vaccine next year.