Biden begins transition plans as Trump refuses to concede

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 8:12 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020
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12:12 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

British and French leaders call President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on election

From CNN's Pierre Bairin in Paris and Katharina Krebs in London

The British and French leaders have called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on winning the US election. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a Tuesday tweet, "I just spoke to @JoeBiden to congratulate him on his election. I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic."

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron called President-elect Biden today at 5:30 p.m. local Paris time (11:30a ET) on Tuesday to congratulate him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election, the Elysee Palace told CNN.

Read the tweet from the UK PM:

11:38 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Only 4 Republican senators have congratulated President-elect Biden so far

As of Tuesday morning, only four Republican senators — Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Ben Sasse — have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his projected victory. 

Many have remained silent on the matter since major new organizations, including CNN, projected Biden will win the presidential election on Saturday.  

Several senior Republicans told CNN's Manu Raju and Ted Barrett Monday evening that Trump is within his rights to make his case court. But senators all were either doubtful about Trump's chances of overturning tens of thousands of votes in several key states — or wouldn't say if they agreed with the President that there was mass voting fraud.

A few, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, have explicitly said Trump should not concede. 

1:09 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Turkish President Erdogan congratulates President-elect Joe Biden

From CNN’s Gul Tuysuz in Istanbul

 

Adam Altan/AFP/Getty Images
Adam Altan/AFP/Getty Images

In a message released on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for his victory in the US presidential elections. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were declared the projected winners of the election on Saturday. 

“I congratulate you on your election success and express my sincere wishes for the peace and prosperity of the people of the United States of America,” Erdogan said in the message.  

“I reiterate our determination to work closely with the US administration and believe that the strong cooperation and alliance between our countries will continue to contribute to world peace in the future as it has until today,” Erdogan said. 

The US-Turkish relationship is deeply rooted and strategic in nature, Erdogan said.  

“The challenges we face on the global and regional level require us to further develop and strengthen these relationships based on our shared interests and values,” the message said. 

11:40 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Top Pentagon official resigns day after Defense Secretary fired by Trump 

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The Pentagon’s top policy official, James Anderson, resigned Tuesday, according to two US defense officials. The resignation comes the day after President Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Anderson has been serving as the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy since John Rood was fired by the Trump Administration in February of this year due to disagreements on a range of policy issues.

It was not immediately clear whether Anderson was asked to resign.

Anderson has been at the Pentagon since 2018, serving first as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities and later becoming the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy before taking over the top policy job upon Rood’s ouster.

His departure comes as some question the decision to make senior personnel changes at the Pentagon during a post-election transition period.

Trump announced he was firing Esper via Twitter on Monday, a move Democrats criticized as reckless.

Barbara Starr Reports:

10:52 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

McConnell re-elected unanimously for GOP leader

From CNN's Ted Barrett

Sen. Mitch McConnell was re-elected unanimously as Senate Republican leader, according to his spokesperson David Popp. 

Senate Republican leadership elections are still ongoing although no significant changes are expected, as CNN's Clare Foran reported this morning.

10:35 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Senate Democrats re-elect full leadership team

From CNN's Ted Barrett

The Senate Democratic Caucus re-elected Leader Chuck Schumer and the full leadership team by acclamation, according to a Democratic source.

Schumer added Sens. Cory Booker and Catherine Cortez Masto to leadership. 

Here's a look at the full leadership team:

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, leader
  • Sen. Dick Durbin, whip
  • Sen. Parry Murray, assistant leader
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee 
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, vice chair of the conference
  • Sen. Mark Warner, vice chair of the conference
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, chair of steering
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, chair of outreach
  • Sen. Joe Manchin, vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee 
  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin, secretary
  • Sen. Cory Booker – vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee 
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, vice chair of outreach
10:32 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

GOP senator says it would "hurt our chances" in Georgia Senate races if party doesn't scrutinize election

From CNN's Manu Raju

Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images

Republicans see the battle over the election results as important to their fight to keeping the two Senate seats in Georgia.

Republicans argue they need to spotlight to their supporters a voting system rife with problems — even though there's no evidence of widespread voting fraud. Doing so also could energize conservative voters who are listening to the President Trump's baseless claims that the election was rigged.

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham told CNN that Republicans would be at a greater risk if they didn't question the results and look into mail-in voting. Graham is calling for an investigation into how mail-in voting was conducted in the 2020 elections.

"I think what would hurt our chances in Georgia is if we don't put these systems under scrutiny," Graham said. "If you know about it, and you forgive it, you're legitimizing it. I'm not legitimizing it."

10:55 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle are making moves to possibly takeover the RNC, sources say

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle are making moves to expand their influence at the Republican National Committee, three GOP sources, including advisers to the President tell CNN. Some sources say they may seek to take over the party structure themselves. 

President Trump's eldest son and his girlfriend, a Trump campaign fundraiser and former Fox News host, have made it clear to campaign and White House officials they are unhappy with RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who they view as not having done enough to win a close race.

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle could seek leadership roles at the RNC to position the committee for a comeback run for the President in 2024, the sources said.

"Don Jr. and Kimberly have an eye on the RNC, through themselves taking over or somebody close to them taking over," a well-placed Republican Party source close to the White House said.

Trump Jr. is seen as a prolific fundraiser inside the party as well as a popular figure in his father's grassroots base.

Trump Jr. denied CNN's reporting he was seeking to take over the party. An associate of Trump Jr., Andrew Surabian, also said it's "100% incorrect" that the President's son is seeking a role at the RNC.

Guilfoyle and the RNC did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.

For some in the GOP, as distasteful as Trump Jr. leading or having significant influence over the RNC may sound, it's seen as better than purging the outgoing first family, which could backfire with the President's base, two sources close to the White House said.

"In order for Republicans to move forward they may have to do this," one of the sources said.

If Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle do not ultimately assume formal positions at the RNC, the sources said somebody close to the Trump family, such as longtime campaign adviser David Bossie, could become chairman.

"They don't want the ride to end," a Trump adviser said of Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle.

Other names to surface in the search for new RNC leadership include former chairman and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Ohio Republican Party chairwoman Jane Timken, sources said.

WATCH:

10:38 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Stacey Abrams is raising big money for Democratic Senate candidates facing Georgia runoffs

From CNN’s Dan Merica

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight has raised $9.8 million since Friday evening, an aide says, with the bulk of that haul going to Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

The fundraising comes from the website GAsenate.com. The ActBlue page splits the raised money three ways — Fair Fight and the two candidates.

Both Democrats and Republicans believe the simultaneous runoff elections could cost both parties tens of millions of dollars.