President-elect Joe Biden on Monday ratcheted up pressure on the Trump administration to engage in a transition of power, mincing no words on the dire consequences if his incoming team faces further delays in working with federal agencies.
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden said during a news conference in Wilmington, Del., following remarks on the economic impact of the coronavirus in which he warned of a “very dark winter” where “things are going to get much tougher before they get easier.”
He also pointed out the absurdity that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the vice president-elect, still has access to classified intelligence briefings because she is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But Biden himself is not able to get those briefings because Trump’s administration has yet to acknowledge that Biden won the election.
Biden generally refrained, however, from threatening Trump – “I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to Jan. 20,” he said at one point – and he said that the lack of cooperation so far was not yet significantly affecting his ability to build a team and chart a path.
“I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started,” he said.
Biden’s attempt to increase pressure on Trump to behave like previous presidents came on a day the man in the White House began with a declarative, if false, tweet: “I won the Election.”
Trump went on to criticize the Georgia recount being conducted by Republican officials; praise OAN, a competitor to Fox News, which angered him with a correct projection of Biden’s win in Arizona; suggest a challenge to Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, after he referred to Biden as the “president-elect”; and vent about Democrats and the news media.