Biden's transition moves ahead

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:01 p.m. ET, December 4, 2020
3 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:22 a.m. ET, December 4, 2020

Fauci on accepting Biden's offer to join his team: "Absolutely, I said yes right on the spot"

From CNN Health's Andrea Diaz

Speaking on NBC's Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he accepted President-elect Joe Biden's offer to serve as his chief medical adviser "right on the spot."

"Oh, absolutely, I said yes right on the spot," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump's coronavirus task force,

Additionally, when asked about Biden asking Americans to wear a mask for 100 days, Fauci said he believes this is a good idea. 

"I spoke to him about that, he just wants to get — and it's a good idea — uniform. He's saying, 'Hey folks, trust me, everybody for 100 days' that might be that after that we still are gonna need it, but he just wants everybody for a commitment for 100 days, and I discussed that with him, and I told him I thought that was a good idea," Fauci said. 

Biden told CNN yesterday in a wide-ranging interview that he has asked Fauci to be a chief medical adviser and to be a part of his Covid-19 response team when his administration begins next month.

8:42 a.m. ET, December 4, 2020

The key issues that may be part of Harris' vice presidential portfolio

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

From left: Hartina Flournoy, Rohini Kosoglu, and Nancy McEldowney.
From left: Hartina Flournoy, Rohini Kosoglu, and Nancy McEldowney. Harvard Kennedy School/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris continues to construct her key team of senior staffers who will accompany her to the White House, announcing Thursday the hiring of three top roles including chief of staff.

The staffers — all of whom are women and two of whom are people of color — highlight the incoming administration's commitment to diversity.

Harris tapped Hartina Flournoy, a Black woman, as her incoming chief of staff. She currently serves as chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton.

While no official policy designations have been set, sources say Harris wants to be a part of the administration's rebuilding of small and medium businesses stripped by the pandemic, in part because they disproportionately affect women and people of color.

The vice president-elect is also eyeing a role in the administration's education platform — as many children without proper access to broadband during the pandemic have fallen behind.

Harris has long focused on the welfare of children throughout her prosecutorial career, in the Senate and during her own presidential campaign. Her first major policy proposal last year during the campaign pledged to boost teacher pay.

Over time, she'll look to solidify her foreign policy and national security accolades, leaning on her four years of experience as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a source adds.

That is in addition to Harris' possible role in any criminal justice and climate justice reform, drawing on her years as California's attorney general and San Francisco district attorney.

The arsenal of key staff that Harris is surrounding herself with will be essential in securing the work that rounds out her record.

For her part, Flournoy has prior relationships with many top Biden advisers, having worked with them in her different capacities in Washington.

McEldowney, a veteran in the foreign policy arena, has deep ties to the community as well. Kosgoulu, who spent many years on Capitol Hill, could serve as an emissary for Harris who, once inaugurated, will become the president of the Senate.

But the most important relationship of them all, is the one Harris builds with the President-elect.

"The first obligation is to do what is asked by the President of the United States," Moore, who served as director of White House political affairs to Bill Clinton and watched his relationship to Gore flourish, said.

8:19 a.m. ET, December 4, 2020

Trump's election-related lawsuits continue to fail in court. Here's where things stand. 

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

After more than 30 defunct lawsuits in 30 days, attempts by President Trump and his backers to overturn the election of Joe Biden as the next president have failed in court — sometimes repeatedly, with judges gutting claims and shutting down all possible legal avenues to interfere with the Electoral College.

The President's effort isn't stopping, with more lawsuits and appeals being filed almost daily and more than $170 million raised in response to pleas for cash from Trump.

But officials across the country confirmed that the 2020 vote was secure. Biden's victories have already been certified in six of the most closely contested states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. His wide Electoral College win over Trump is secured, and will be formalized this month.

Judges have rejected Trump's attempts so thoroughly over the past few weeks, they've shut down the cases on nearly every question they're asked.

One federal judge in Pennsylvania, Matthew Brann, wrote he couldn't do what the Trump campaign and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani wanted because it would be unconstitutional. A judge in Michigan, Timothy Kenny, explained point by point why witness statements suspecting fraud fell short.

A judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wrote in a concurring opinion last weekend, which denied a Republican attempt to throw out millions of absentee votes in the state, that the court shouldn't "lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters."

And yet, Trump's dreams linger in court. Ongoing cases still look to push false narratives of fraud — often built on their disbelief of Biden support in heavily Democratic cities and unhappiness with absentee voting.

Here's a look at the lawsuits the Trump campaign and allies have won and lost:

Read more here.