With an unprecedented number of postal ballot papers, this year's election results took a little longer than usual. But if Americans expected election week, November turned into an election drama month in which President Trump made unprecedented efforts to undermine the election results and stall the transition process, even as states confirmed Biden's victory.
President Trump finally seemed to accept the election results on Monday, but not in so many words. It certainly wasn't a concession speech, but it was probably the closest thing.
"… In the best interests of our country, I recommend Emily and her team do what needs to be done in relation to the initial protocols and have told my team to do the same," Trump tweeted, appearing to be a new one Claim to contradict GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said the White House had not influenced her decision to block the transition. The General Services Administration (GSA) has a role in making the election results official and driving the transition at the federal level.
… fight and I think we will prevail! Even so, in the best interests of our country, I recommend Emily and her team to do what needs to be done regarding the initial protocols and have told my team to do the same.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
President-elect Biden's transitional work continued despite the roadblocks. The new chairman presented aspects of his plan to get COVID-19 under control and elaborated the names of the officials he would appoint. But when the head of the GSA refused to release $ 6.3 million in federal funds for the transition, Biden's hands were tied on a number of important issues. Murphy's extremely unusual refusal to acknowledge the election results also blocked the president-elect's ability to access secure government devices and obtain information from federal agencies, including those involved in the pandemic.
Aside from kicking off Biden's transition, Trump's words and the GSA's belated collaboration could help the nation move on in another important way. For weeks, election conspiracies have messed up the internet, inspiring a number of Trump supporters to denounce mainstream social networks, reminding users of the election results and tackling some forms of misinformation. These conspiracy theories were often promoted from above, and President Trump advocated unsubstantiated allegations of fraud involving postal ballot papers and voting machines when he refused to admit.
The president's online supporters may not be pulling out of the election quickly, but they are likely to follow suit – and for now at least it looks like Trump is signaling defeat.