Transition: Camp Trump puts sticks in the wheels of Team Biden

In the United States, transitions between two administrations can be chaotic. In a thick report delivered in June 2002, the very serious Government Accountability Office, which tracks abuses, errors and incongruities in the management of the federal government of the United States, establishes a harsh verdict on the attitude of Bill Clinton's teams just before the arrival at the White House of his successor, George W. Bush. This 220-page document bluntly catalogs the misdeeds of members of the Clinton administration: "Damage, theft, vandalism and hoaxes took place in the White House complex during the 2001 presidential transition," notes the GAO. Among the hanging tricks played by Camp Clinton: the "W" keys of dozens of keyboards have been torn off, drawers have been glued, cell phones and remote controls have disappeared, door handles have been taken apart. The report even details the insulting messages left by Camp Clinton, furious that Democrat Al Gore lost the election after a Supreme Court ruling on Florida: "Glory to the thief", "Bush fears" ... Total amount of this vandalism, scrupulously quantified by the GAO: more than 15,000 dollars.

There is no indication for the moment that Donald Trump's teams have started to engage in such a frenzy against the one who will be his successor, Democrat Joe Biden. But the outgoing president, who has still not acknowledged his defeat, seems determined not to make it easier for the one he never ceased to mock during the presidential campaign and about whom he let go, scornful: "You imagine , what if I lost against such a guy? " After a weekend spent golfing even as all of the American media reported defeat after Joe Biden's narrow but clear win in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump spent the evening retweeting messages from his most ardent supporters, especially among the ultra-Trumpist commentators of Fox News. All of them attack the legitimacy of the media which, including Fox News, declared Biden the winner. Everyone pretends to believe that the lawsuits initiated by lawyers for the Trump campaign could, as in Florida in 2000, turn the tide. However, while the Bush-Gore duel 20 years ago was played out by a few hundred votes in a single state, Joe Biden is accumulating tens of thousands of votes in advance in several states. But Trump and his allies claim that nothing is set in stone until the big voters, nominated by popular vote, meet on December 14 to elect the president.

The Trump administration still has not released the budget that would allow Biden's team to work

In the meantime, the Trump administration refuses to start the transition process. According to the Washington Post, General Service Administration (GSA) administrator Emily Murphy did not sign a letter that would have allowed Joe Biden's teams to get to work. Appointed by Donald Trump, she seems to have decided to break with past practice, which wanted the outgoing teams to quickly put in place the conditions for the transfer of powers, which will be fully effective on January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden is inaugurated. . The letter from the administrator has a symbolic stake - it confirms the victory by officially designating the "president-elect" - but above all practical, notes the "Post": the GSA releases a substantial budget for the teams of the president-elect (9, $ 9 million this year), provides access to computers, email addresses and offices in all government agencies. “Now that Joe Biden's victory has been independently announced, we wait for the GSA administrator to quickly appoint Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president-elect and vice-president-elect. America's national security and economic interests depend on the federal government's willingness to signal clearly and without delay that it will respect the will of the American people and initiate a peaceful and harmonious transition, ”said a spokesperson for the United States. campaign quoted by the "Post".

The apparent obstructionism of Donald Trump and his administration has been strongly criticized by their opponents. “A transition has never been delayed in this way after the results of a presidential election were announced (in 2000, the election remained uncertain). It is not a contested election. There are no credible allegations. There is no credible path [to victory] for Trump. It's all a joke to preserve his ego, "tweeted Jon Favreau, former Barack Obama" speechwriter "and progressive activist. “I have experienced two presidential transitions. At best, they're complicated. Denying minimal access in the heart of a pandemic that now kills 1000 Americans a day is not simply mean, it endangers national security and public health, ”denounced Brett McGurk, a former diplomat who served under Obama and Trump.

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