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Biden and Harris Will Receive First Intelligence Briefing on Monday

Washington (CNN)President-elect Joe Biden marks a milestone on his path to the White House Monday when he gets his first President’s Daily Brief — the intelligence community’s collection of secrets, intelligence, and analysis about long- and short-term threats US leaders need to know to run the country and keep it safe.

President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede the election, relented only last week on his initial refusal to allow Biden access to the nation’s most vital intelligence — a tradition based on US national security interests to ensure the election’s winner and their incoming team are as ready as possible to cope with global threats and challenges. In 2016, Trump received his first PDB, as it is known, a week after the election.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will get the same briefing on Monday with Biden, the transition team said Wednesday, ending the strange situation where she, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had access to more classified intelligence than the President-elect.

Read the source article at cnn.com

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Trump: ‘My Mind Will Not Change in Six Months’

“It’s not like you’re going to change my mind. In other words, my mind will not change in six months. There was tremendous cheating here,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” in his first television interview since Election Day.

Trump spent most of the 45-minute phone call with Bartiromo levying unproven and baseless allegations that letter carriers, Dominion Voting Systems, Republican officials and mail-in ballots were all to blame for his defeat to Biden nearly a month ago.

The president also questioned the court system, which has thus far rejected his legal team’s attempts to overturn the election, citing a lack of evidence, and he blasted the FBI for failing to more aggressively look into his unfounded claims.

Read the source article at The Hill

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Joe Biden Hires an All-Female Senior White House Press Team

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden will have an all-female senior communications team at his White House, reflecting his stated desire to build out a diverse White House team as well as what’s expected to be a return to a more traditional press operation.

Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield will serve as Biden’s White House communications director. Jen Psaki, a longtime Democratic spokeswoman, will be his press secretary.

Four of the seven top communications roles at the White House will be filled by women of color, and it’s the first time the entire senior White House communications team will be entirely female.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

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President-Elect Biden Lays Out His First 100 Days in Office

TOPLINE

President-Elect Joe Biden on Tuesday laid out his top priorities for his first 100 days in office while tempering expectations about just how much of his ambitious agenda can be accomplished with a likely Republican majority in the Senate.

KEY FACTS

Asked during an NBC Nightly News interview by host Lester Holt what he would try to accomplish in his first 100 days, Biden stated he would send an immigration bill to the Senate that “provides a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people.”

Biden also said he would roll back Trump’s actions and executive orders on the environment, which has included reversing more than 100 environmental rules including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

Read the source article at forbes.com

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Pennsylvania and Nevada Certify Biden Won Making Election Results Official

Key states continue to certify their election results Tuesday, blowing past attempts by President Donald Trump and allies to undermine or overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, announced Tuesday morning that the Pennsylvania Department of State had certified state election results and he had appointed Electoral College electors for President-elect Joe Biden, while Nevada did the same in the early afternoon. The moves finalized the results in a critical battleground that had been a target of Trump’s efforts to change or block results showing Biden winning.

In addition to launching a sprawling range of court cases in battleground states, Trump also invited Michigan state legislative leaders to the White House, as he pushed the prospect of GOP legislators in Biden states appointing their own pro-Trump electors. But that legally dubious plan has quickly faded as states including Georgia, Michigan and now Nevada and Pennsylvania follow their election results and the normal processes laid out in their election laws.

Read the source article at Politics, Policy, Political News

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Politics

Feinstein Stepping Down as Top Democrat on Judiciary Committee

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) announced Monday she is stepping down as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee after groups on the left such as NARAL Pro-Choice America criticized her handling of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing this fall.

Feinstein said she needs to focus on “two existential threats” facing California: wildfire and drought.

“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” she said in a statement.

Feinstein came under scathing criticism after she hugged Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at the end of Barrett’s confirmation hearing and praised his handling of it.

Read the source article at The Hill

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Politics

Trump Administration Officially Approves Biden Transition

After weeks of delay, the head of the General Services Administration informed President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that the official governmental transition process has been approved.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter that Biden, whom she referred to as “the apparent president-elect,” is now able to get access to millions of dollars in federal funds and other resources to begin his transition to power. In her letter, Murphy also denied that she had been under pressure from the White House to delay the process.

“I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right,” she said. “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.”

Read the source article at NBC News

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Biden Announces Historic Picks for Cabinet Posts

President-elect Joe Biden rolled out his first Cabinet nominations Monday afternoon, a history-making group of advisers who will help guide his administration’s foreign policy and national security agenda, including the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security and the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.

Biden announced his plans to nominate a slate of close advisers and former Obama administration officials to fill key roles in his cabinet, including former Deputy Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of the department, along with former Deputy national security adviser and Deputy CIA Director Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Jake Sullivan, a longtime Biden aide who served as national security adviser to Biden as vice president, will take on the same title — but now to a President Biden.

Read the source article at abcnews.go.com

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Judge Esther Salas Speaks About Law for Protecting Public Officials

Federal judge Esther Salas has been motivated by the memory of her son to fight for a new state law to protect public officials after her only child was murdered by a gunman at her family’s home this summer.

Salas, 51, and her husband, Mark Anderl, had been celebrating the 20th birthday of their son, Daniel, when he was killed on July 19 by a gunman posing as a delivery driver. The man came to the front door of their New Jersey home, rang the doorbell and then shot Daniel to death. He also shot Salas’ husband three times.

That tragic day fueled Salas to push for “Daniel’s Law,” a new law signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 20 that makes it a crime to publish the personal information of New Jersey judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including their phone numbers and home addresses.

Read the source article at NBC News

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Biden Names Long-Time Confidant Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden will name Antony Blinken, a veteran foreign policy official and longtime confidant, as his secretary of state, according to a source familiar with the decision. 

Blinken, who held top-level national security and State Department positions during the Obama administration, has worked side-by-side with Biden on foreign policy issues for nearly two decades.

Biden has called Blinken a “superstar” and once said he could do “any job.” By choosing Blinken for one of the most coveted jobs in the Cabinet, Biden is aiming to install an alter-ego at the helm of the State Department. 

But the move may disappoint some who wanted Biden to nominate Susan Rice, another longtime foreign policy hand and a Black woman, to lead the State Department. Biden has pledged to appoint a diverse Cabinet and tapping Rice would have sent an early signal of his commitment to fulfilling that pledge.

Read the source article at USA TODAY

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Trump Campaign Appeals Dismissal of Pennsylvania Election Lawsuit

President Trump’s legal team has filed paperwork to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that struck down the campaign’s attempt to stop votes being certified in Pennsylvania.

Attorneys for the Trump campaign filed a notice of appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Sunday — a day before Pennsylvania’s 67 counties were set to certify their results and send them to state officials.

Judge Matthew Brann dismissed the campaign’s lawsuit Saturday.

The suit had sought to throw out millions of votes in the Keystone State, claiming election officials in heavily Democratic counties violated the equal protections clause under the Constitution by allowing voters to fix mail-in ballots that had problems — while mostly-Republican counties had not alerted voters about faulty ballots.

Read the source article at New York Post

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Women are Set to Take Key Roles in Biden Administration

President-elect Joe Biden is facing pressure to lean heavily on women as he fills out his Cabinet. So far, he seems intent on delivering.

Biden vowed to put an emphasis on diversity when building his team, and he has already picked women for a series of key positions.

Biden named Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his vice president, a historic choice that made her the first woman, the first Black and the first Indian American vice president-elect.

Biden also has named women to serve as his White House counsel and deputy chief of staff. 

Read the source article at The Hill

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Politics

Manual Recount in Georgia Confirms Biden’s Victory

A manual recount of 5 million ballots cast in Georgia showed Thursday that Joe Biden won the presidential election, validating initial results.

The recount found that Biden received 12,284 more votes than President Donald Trump.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger plans to certify the election by Friday, a deadline set by state law to finalize results.

The hand recount, which also functioned as an audit of the election, mostly aligned with initial machine counts. It also uncovered almost 6,000 ballots in four counties that had been overlooked in the initial tally, resulting in Trump closing his deficit to Biden by 1,400 votes.

Read the source article at AJC.com

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Trump Invites Michigan Lawmakers to the White House Amid Challenging Election

An official familiar with the plans confirmed that the president will meet with Michigan lawmakers Friday, but it was not immediately clear how many will attend and what Trump intends to say upon their arrival.

The meeting comes amid a full-court press by Trump and his legal team to subvert Michigan’s election results, which currently show him losing to Biden by more than 150,000 votes.

Read the source article at The Hill

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Politics

Voting Machine Company Reports Security Concerns After Voting Fraud Claims

In the past week, the president has tweeted or retweeted more than a dozen false claims about Dominion Voting Systems used across the country to his 89 million followers, calling the company “horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure,” despite no credible evidence to suggest its platforms were compromised in any way.

“We’ve been working around the clock to address issues with law enforcement and take every appropriate measure we can to ensure the safety of employees,” a Dominion spokesperson said.

Read the source article at abcnews.go.com