Trump’s Messaging Undermines Transition Even After He Orders It Can Proceed

President Donald Trump defended the General Services Administration (GSA) and its chief, Emily Murphy, saying it “has been terrific” despite the agency being at the center of controversy after Trump ordered his administration not to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory and Murphy declined to allow the transition to proceed.

Remember, the GSA has been terrific, and Emily Murphy has done a great job, but the GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be,” the president wrote, a mere day after he ordered the GSA to authorize the transition.

 

The GSA, which supports the functioning of federal agencies, does not have firm rules on how it determines the president-elect, but typically makes its decision after an election is called by reliable news outlets or the loser of the election concedes. Despite Biden being declared the winner after winning key swing states––and electoral math showing no path for Trump to win––the president has refused to concede that he lost the election.

Murphy made headlines in recent weeks for refusing to sign a letter of “ascertainment” confirming that President-elect Joe Biden won the election, a step that would allow Biden to meet with government officials and access the more than $6 million in federal funds allocated for the transition. Yesterday Murphy finally informed President-elect Biden that the transition can proceed.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy wrote. “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

Despite the acknowledgment of Biden’s victory, Trump yesterday posted a message indicating that his legal efforts to overturn the election results will continue, undermining the announcement even as his administration embarks on its final days in the White House.

“Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” the president wrote.