ICYMI: Your TPM Weekend News Roundup

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November 13, 2020 5:46 p.m.

Trump Hampers Biden Transition

  • In a sign that the Trump White House isn’t accepting the reality of a Biden victory, General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy has yet to sign a letter needed for the former VP to formally begin the transition process to the White House.
  • The White House also reportedly directed officials not to cooperate with the Biden team.
  • Nevertheless, Biden is moving ahead in building his staff. On Wednesday night, Biden announced that Ron Klain would serve as his chief of staff. Klain previously served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president, and also coordinated the Obama administration’s response to Ebola.
  • The transition team also released a list of agency review teams as it look ahead to building an administration. See if you recognize any of the names on the list here.
  • The Biden team, for its part, isn’t too worried about the roadblocks so far.

Womp: Legal Challenges Land With A Thud

  • The Trump campaign’s efforts to challenge Biden’s decisive electoral win have not been going well.
  • The campaign on Monday sued Pennsylvania officials in an effort to toss out Biden’s win in the key swing state. The suit recycled a bunch of old, debunked claims about the process.
  • Late in the week, the law firm representing Trump’s efforts in Pennsylvania withdrew.
  • Two legal efforts to whip up a so-called “SharpieGate” conspiracy in Arizona have also fallen flat.

COVID Rages

  • President Trump said that after the Nov. 3 election, no one would be talking about the coronavirus anymore. If only.
  • Cases are spiking across the country at a level that we have not yet seen since the pandemic first hit the U.S. earlier this year.
  • Meanwhile, there appears to be a growing COVID-19 outbreak among aides in Trump’s orbit: HUD Secretary Ben Carson, campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski and a number of Republican National Committee staffers have tested positive in recent days.
  • Josh Kovensky has a good rundown of why this latest COVID surge is so bad, and why it’s likely to get even worse.

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