Biden begins transition plans as Trump refuses to concede

By Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:09 a.m. ET, November 20, 2020
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8:50 a.m. ET, November 17, 2020

Biden will receive briefing from diplomatic, intel and defense experts today

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security briefing today will feature a team of diplomatic, intelligence, and defense experts, a transition official said.

“They’ll discuss readiness at the relevant agencies as the president-elect prepares to lead on day one,” the official said.

The briefing comes as Biden has yet to receive classified intelligence briefings as President Trump has refused to concede the race and blocked his administration from taking any of the administrative steps typically taken in a transfer of power, including allowing the General Services Administration to declare that there is a president-elect — a move that triggers the transition process. 

Speaking Monday to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden pointed to the fact that Vice president-elect Kamala Harris continues to receive intelligence briefings in her role on the Senate Intelligence committee.

“The good news here is my colleague is still on the intelligence committee, so she gets the intelligence briefings. I don't anymore,” Biden said. “So that is, but there is a number of Republicans calling for that. I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to January 20.”

Biden's briefing Tuesday will not be an official US government national security briefing.

8:48 a.m. ET, November 17, 2020

Michigan appeals court shoots down elections fraud case again

From CNN's Jessica Schneider and Katelyn Polantz

A worker sorts through absentee ballots in Detroit on November 4.
A worker sorts through absentee ballots in Detroit on November 4. Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

A Michigan appeals court has again shot down an effort to push unfounded elections fraud claims, after a judge in the state decided there wasn’t any proof.

The judge denied another effort by two poll challengers trying to stop certification of the vote in Detroit. The challengers were appealing a decision from a state court judge in Wayne County on Friday.

Read more about the latest lawsuits here.

8:45 a.m. ET, November 17, 2020

Biden urges Congress to pass coronavirus package as stimulus talks remain stalled 

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package that includes funding to help state and local governments with payrolls for public workers like teachers and first responders.

"There's a reason why the federal government is able to run a deficit: because the states must, must, balance their budget. And they're in real trouble," Biden said in a speech yesterday in Delaware after a meeting with business and labor leaders.

He called on the Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate to pass a package similar to legislation the House approved months ago -- but that the Senate has refused to take up.

"We can deliver immediate relief, and it need be done quickly," Biden said, characterizing the economy as "teetering on the edge" headed into a "very dark winter" months before coronavirus vaccines could become widely available.

And in an implicit rebuke of President Donald Trump, who has frequently opposed financial help for Democratic-led states and cities, Biden said that "we're all American" and the need for bipartisan collaboration is "a mandate from the American people."

"They want us to cooperate," he said.

Read more here.