President Donald Trump on Monday, 23 November, said he is releasing the necessary government aid for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House, claiming that Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, should “do what needs to be done.”
In his tweet, Trump claimed that his long-overdue move was “in the best interest of the country.”
The GSA head, Emily Murphy, had refused since 3 November until now to provide the standard package of aid to Biden’s team, and declined allegations of working under political pressure. In a letter to Biden, she noted specifically that her refusal to provide administrative aid “was not made out of fear or favouritism.”
The letter, as reported by multiple news outlets, read, “please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. 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.”
Her decision soon followed after Donald Trump refused to concede amidst his calls for voter fraud and the various legal challenges aimed to overturn the results of the election.
‘A Needed Step to Begin Tackling the Challenges Facing Our Nation’
Joe Biden’s team lauded this decision, calling it a move “necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power” and a “needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation”, NDTV reported.
“Today's decision is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track. This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies,” Biden’s team said in a statement.
Yohannes Abraham, the executive director in Biden’s transition added that the transition would be quick, mentioning that in the coming days, “transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies.”
Donald Trump has also vowed to follow up on his contest of the election results, pledging that he would keep up “the good fight.”
(with inputs from NDTV and Outlook)