In Brief

US election: what happens now Donald Trump has conceded defeat?

President tells federal agency to ‘do what needs to be done’ to hand power to Joe Biden

Donald Trump has come as close as he may get to formally conceding defeat in the US election, telling the federal agency tasked with overseeing the transition of power to begin preparing Joe Biden for office.

Despite vowing to continue contesting the election, Trump said yesterday that the General Services Administration (GSA) should “do what needs to be done” to aid the president-elect. The GSA subsequently declared Biden the “apparent winner” of the contest for the White House.

“In the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily [Murphy, the GSA Administrator] and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same,” Trump tweeted.

There was no “mea culpa for all the bad blood” created by his refusal to concede earlier, but Trump has “bowed to public pressure” in acknowledging that he will leave the Oval Office, says Sky News.

Murphy, a Trump appointee, has “faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner”, The Telegraph reports. Her refusal to do so until now has prevented Biden’s team from “working with career agency officials on plans for his administration, including in critical national security and public health areas”.

The Democrat will now have access to federal funds and an official office to conduct his transition over the next two months. Biden’s transition website has also changed to a US government domain, marking the change.

The future US leader and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, will be given regular national security briefings going forward, having previously been locked out of classified information due to Trump’s refusal to recognise their victory.

The Democrat’s team has welcomed the release of government aid as a crucial element of “a smooth and peaceful transfer of power”.

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