WILMINGTON, Del. (KYW Newsradio) -- President-elect Joe Biden says he has not ruled out legal action to force Donald Trump's administration to begin the presidential transition process. Trump appears to be ramping up efforts to overturn the results of this month’s election, which Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, won.
In addition to asking courts to throw out ballots in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, President Trump’s meeting with Michigan state legislators, scheduled for Friday, has raised concerns that he may be trying to go through with another idea he has floated publicly: convincing Republican state legislatures to appoint their own electors who would be free to ignore the will of the voters.
At a news conference in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday, Biden said he does not think the president intends to undermine the electoral process, but Trump's refusal to acknowledge the results is damaging.
“What the president’s doing now is going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history," Biden said. "It’s just not even within the norm at all."
Biden said he could not explain the president’s behavior.
“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks,” he said. “I’m confident that he knows he hasn’t won and is not going to be able to win and we’re going to be sworn in on Jan. 20. Far be it from me to question his motive. It’s just outrageous what he’s doing.”
He lamented the “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.”
Biden said polls show the vast majority of Americans accept the election results, and he’s not concerned the president’s tactics might work. However, Biden says Trump is risking American lives if his administration doesn’t co-operate with his transition team on COVID-19 strategies.
“If nothing fundamentally changes between now and February, we are likely to lose another 150,000 lives. So, it’s real,” he said. “And there is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan, because on Day One, it’s going to take us time. If we don’t have access to all this data, it’s going to put us behind by a matter of a month or more. And that’s lives.”
The president-elect spoke after he and vice president-elect Harris held a video conference with a bipartisan group of governors about how to work together to tackle the virus. Again dispelling a White House claim, Biden emphatically said it would not include a national economic shutdown.
He also said he has chosen a Treasury secretary, who would please all factions of his party, and he will announce the choice in the next week.