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Trump loses string of election lawsuits, leaving few vehicles to fight his defeat

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 11/14/2020
a group of men on a stage: President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris take the stage at the Chase Center to address the nation November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. © Pool President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris take the stage at the Chase Center to address the nation November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Follow live updates from Globe staff and wire reports as Joe Biden has been projected as the winner of the election.

Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the 2020 presidential race, according to national news organizations, with a win in Pennsylvania.

♦ Other races are being called by the Associated Press as results come in. See the full presidential results here.

Click here for the latest updates.

Can Trump win with ‘fantasy’ electors bid? State GOP says no — 2:44 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Republican leaders in four critical states won by President-elect Joe Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively shut down a half-baked plot some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.

State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, several noted.

“I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud — which I haven’t heard of anything — I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,” said Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker, who says he’s been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. “They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people.”

The idea loosely involves GOP-controlled legislatures dismissing Biden’s popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors. While the endgame was unclear, it appeared to hinge on the expectation that a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would settle any dispute over the move.

Still, it has been promoted by Trump allies, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and is an example of misleading information and false claims fueling skepticism among Trump supporters about the integrity of the vote.

Progressives look to make early mark on Biden White House — 1:29 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Leading progressives are pressuring President-elect Joe Biden to embrace their policy agenda even as more centrist Democrats argue such proposals prevented the party from retaking full control of Congress.

For now, much of the lobbying centers on who Biden should — or should not — appoint to key posts as he builds out the administration that will take office in January.

The left-leaning think tank Progressive Change Institute partnered with more than 40 activist groups and on Friday released a detailed list of 400 progressive policy experts they want Biden to bring on. That follows a separate effort from more than half a dozen progressive groups this week that signed letters urging the president-elect against naming anyone with ties to major corporate interests to key Cabinet posts.

“Now is absolutely the moment to push Biden to do what’s necessary to meet the moment,” said David Segel, a former Rhode Island state representative and executive director of Demand Progress, which was among those signing the letters. “And that means a robust economic response, a robust health care response, a willingness to push back against concentrated corporate power that’s fomenting inequality. And he has a mandate to do all of that.”

The jockeying amounts to the opening round of what is likely to be a lengthy debate over the future of the Democratic Party. Some centrists have blamed losses in the House and a disappointing performance in the Senate on Republicans' ability to paint Democrats as having moved too far to the left.

That’s creating tension for a party that should be basking in the glow of defeating an incumbent president for the first time in nearly 30 years.

A rundown of the election lawsuits the Trump campaign has filed — 12:34 a.m.

By The New York Times

It is difficult to overturn an American election result, as President Donald Trump was reminded Friday, when his campaign lost in courts in Michigan and Pennsylvania and dropped a challenge in Arizona.

A losing candidate who is within striking distance — say a few hundred votes — might get lucky in a recount. Beyond that, he or she would need to show systemic fraud on a large scale.

Trump has shown nothing like systemic fraud in any of the lawsuits, 16 and counting, that his campaign and allies have filed since Election Day as they seek to block certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. The fraud claims are a smattering of unverified accusations about the voting or counting process, usually directly affecting too few ballots to change a state’s results.

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GOP captures second Democratic US House seat in California — 11:08 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Republican Young Kim has defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros in Southern California.

The contest was a rematch from 2018, when Cisneros delivered an upset in what had been a longstanding GOP district anchored in Orange County.

Kim’s victory Wednesday in the 39th Congressional District overcame President Donald Trump’s poor performance in heavily Democratic California, where he got only one-third of the votes. Kim won her race with 51% of the vote.

The former state lawmaker was born in South Korea and grew up in Guam. Another California Republican born in South Korea — Michelle Steel — defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda in another Orange County district.

Trump skips Southeast Asia summit for third year in a row — 10:56 p.m.

By The Associated Press

U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a virtual summit with his Southeast Asian counterparts on Saturday, the third year in a row that the U.S. is being represented at a lower level.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien said Trump regretted he was unable to attend the online summit with the 10-members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations but stressed the importance of ties with the region.

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Black Lives Matter meets QAnon as newest members of Congress arrive — 10:25 p.m.

By Luke Broadwater and Emily Cochrane, New York Times

Reps.-elect Cori Bush, a progressive Democrat wearing a Breonna Taylor face mask, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon-backing Republican whose entourage sported “Make America Great Again” gear, arrived at freshman orientation in Washington within minutes of each other Thursday, offering vastly different visions for their parties and for a new Congress.

The freshman class of the 117th Congress — featuring not only a surge of conservative women who upset centrist Democrats last week at the polls, but also left-leaning insurgents who ousted establishment Democrats in primaries — is undergoing an unusual pandemic-era acculturation on Capitol Hill.

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Wall Street shrugs, stocks rise even as Trump won’t concede — 10:01 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A huge fear for Wall Street coming into this month was a contested U.S. presidential election, one that could drag the market through more painful uncertainty.

Now, more than a week after Election Day, President Donald Trump and his allies are challenging the results in a number of states that gave Joe Biden enough Electoral College votes to claim victory.

And yet the S&P 500 has shot up more than 9% this month and closed Friday at a record high.

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Democrats to have fewer members of House in 2021 — 9:05 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Republicans will have at least 203 seats in the next House, giving them enough wins to assure that Democrats will have fewer members next year.

The GOP crossed the mark Friday night when The Associated Press declared Republican Young Kim the winner against Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros in Southern California.

Democrats have nailed down at least 219 seats and could win a few others when more votes are counted. That ensures they will hold the House for two more years but with a smaller, potentially razor-thin majority, a bittersweet finale to last week’s elections that has left them divided and with scant margin for error for advancing their agenda.

Democrats went into Election Day with a 232-197 House advantage, plus an independent and five open seats. It is possible that in the new Congress that convenes in January, they’ll have the smallest majority since Republicans had just 221 seats two decades ago.

Biden’s transition teams suggest tougher Wall Street oversight — 8:44 p.m.

By Alan Rappeport and Jeanna Smialek, New York Times

For four years, Wall Street has benefited from the Trump administration’s push to loosen bank rules and weaken post-crisis financial regulations. President-elect Joe Biden appears ready to shift things in the opposite direction, bringing back stricter oversight of the financial industry.

The transition teams that Biden selected to review finance-related agencies are filled with proponents of stronger regulation, jarring industry groups that are suddenly fearful the moderate Democrat is preparing for an unexpected onslaught of corporate oversight. The burst of anxiety reflects the uncertainty surrounding Biden’s approach and worries of a sharp reversal from President Donald Trump’s steady rollback of regulations across the federal government.

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Trump loses lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan — 8:19 p.m.

By Alan Feuer, New York Times

President Donald Trump suffered multiple legal setbacks in three key swing states on Friday, choking off many of his last-ditch efforts to use the courts to delay or block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

In quick succession, Trump was handed defeats in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan, where a state judge in Detroit rejected an unusual Republican attempt to halt the certification of the vote in Wayne County pending an audit of the count.

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Attorneys representing Trump criticized by fellow lawyers for backing his false claims of widespread election fraud — 6:42 p.m.

By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

Lawyers nationwide are demanding that their colleagues stop representing President Trump since he is falsely claiming widespread voter fraud and such unfounded allegations are in violation of his duties under the US Constitution.

The Nov. 10 open letter is signed by more than 1,100 lawyers, many of them in with Massachusetts ties, including retired Supreme Judicial Court Justice Fernande RV Duffly, former federal judge Nancy Gertner, and Pamela Bergman, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.

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Biden is considering Sen. Angus King for intelligence post — 5:21 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden is considering Sen. Angus King of Maine to serve as his director of national intelligence.

King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, serves on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees.

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Trump suggests possibility of new administration — 5:10 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump says he refuses to have another lockdown as coronavirus cases surge across the country, but suggested one could be in the offing should he lose his legal challenges to overcome his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump, who spoke publicly Friday for the first time since his defeat, repeated his long-held argument that government restrictions meant to stem the virus cause more problems than they solve. But Trump, who has refused to concede his election loss, made clear that the decision might not be up to him.

“This administration will not be going to a lockdown,” he said. “Hopefully whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration it will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Biden, to be certain, has not said whether he would order a lockdown.

In the week since he defeated Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear a mask and view the coronavirus as a threat that has no regard for political ideology.

Trump touts fast progress in race for a vaccine — 4:53 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump is touting the fast progress in getting a vaccine available to counter the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 240,000 people in the United States. No vaccine has been formally approved, but Trump said one could be available to the general public as soon as April.

Trump spoke in the Rose Garden on Friday, his first comments since Election Day. He did not concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden but said his administration will never go to a lockdown that a Biden administration might recommend.

For now, it’s a question the president-elect would prefer to avoid. In the week since he defeated Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear a mask and view the coronavirus as a threat that has no regard for political ideology.

Trump on Friday called U.S. work on the vaccine the “single greatest mobilization in U.S. history” in pioneering and developing vaccines and therapies in record time -- five times faster than the 8 to 12 years it normally takes.

There have been more than 100,000 new confirmed U.S. cases reported daily for more than a week.

Far-right protesters, counterdemonstrators plan to gather Saturday in D.C. amid pro-Trump rallies — 4:34 p.m.

By Marissa J. Lang and Peter Hermann, Washington Post

Demonstrations in support of President Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the presidential election will descend on downtown Washington this weekend.

The events have been promoted by far-right media personalities, white nationalists, and conspiracists — several of whom announced plans to attend. Counterdemonstrations organized by antifascist and antiracism groups are being planned nearby.

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Pence: Trump committed to election legal fight — 4:26 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Vice President Mike Pence is telling young Republican supporters that President Donald Trump remains committed to pursuing legal challenges in hopes of overturning his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

Pence said in a Friday address to Young America Foundation’s fall college retreat: “We’re going to fight for an outcome in this election that wins us four more years.”

Pence offered the conservative group a pep talk as Trump continues to refuse to concede. On Friday, Trump again pressed baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, even as his own administration has said there is no evidence to support the claims.

Trump and Pence are scheduled to offer an update on positive developments in the race for a vaccine for the resurgent coronavirus later on Friday.

Maine AG, others say Barr jeopardizes confidence in election — 4:25 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said Friday he is joining a group of 23 attorneys general that is calling on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to follow traditional protocols about investigating voter fraud.

Frey and the other attorneys general cited a Nov. 9 directive from Barr to allow federal prosecutors to pursue allegations of voter fraud before results are certified. The group sent a letter to Barr that said the policy change “will erode the public’s confidence in the election.”

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Progressives pledge to keep pressure on Biden in White House — 4:23 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Leading progressives are pressuring President-elect Joe Biden to embrace their policy agenda even as more centrist Democrats argue such proposals prevented the party from retaking full control of Congress.

For now, much of the lobbying centers on who Biden should — or should not — appoint to key posts as he builds out the administration that will take office in January.

Read more

Top CEOs met to plan a response to Trump’s election denial — 4:21 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Only a few of America’s CEOs have made public statements about President Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss, but in private, many are alarmed and talking about what collective action would be necessary if they see an imminent threat to democracy.

On Nov. 6, more than two dozen CEOs of major US corporations took part in a video conference to discuss what to do if Trump refuses to leave office or takes other steps to stay in power beyond the scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration of former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Georgia hand tally of presidential race gets underway — 3:07 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Election officials in Georgia’s 159 counties started counting ballots Friday morning for a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.

The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin — Democrat Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump by 14,000 votes — meant a full hand count was necessary.

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Biden projected to win Georgia, Trump to gain North Carolina — 3:05 p.m.

By Lauren Booker, Globe Staff

Joe Biden is projected to have narrowly won in Georgia, according to national news organizations, such as CNN and The New York Times. President Trump is also projected to have won North Carolina.

Georgia has 16 electoral votes, and North Carolina has 15.

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President-elect Biden hasn’t spoken to McConnell — 3:01 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden has yet to speak with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the top Republicans who hasn’t urged President Donald Trump to concede last week’s election.

On a conference call with reporters Friday, Biden transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said Biden had spoken to some congressional Republicans but not to McConnell, despite the two knowing each other for years.

She says McConnell and Biden “have a long-standing relationship. Whenever they do engage, they won’t have to play a lot of catch-up.”

Psaki says Biden will have staffing announcements to make after spending a few days with his family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

She also says the transition has no interest in “having a food fight” with the General Services Administration, which has yet to recognize Biden’s win, preventing the formal transition period from beginning.

But Psaki says Biden’s team would like to get access to intelligence information that is currently being blocked “so that we can prepare to govern.”

Trump says he may visit supporters at rally in Washington — 2:43 p.m.

By Bloomberg

President Donald Trump said he might stop by a Saturday rally in Washington, D.C., planned by his supporters, as he continues to refuse to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

“Heartwarming to see all of the tremendous support out there, especially the organic Rallies that are springing up all over the Country, including a big one on Saturday in D.C. I may even try to stop by and say hello,” Trump tweeted on Friday.

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Her ‘Decency 2020’ sign went missing in Cambridge. Then it suddenly reappeared — 2:36 p.m.

By Diti Kohli, Globe Correspondent

West Cambridge resident and registered Independent Barbara Piette woke up a few days before Election Day to a sad sight. The “Decency 2020” sign posted by her front gate — merchandise she purchased directly from the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris campaign — had vanished overnight.

Then last Saturday, shortly before news outlets nationwide called the presidency for Biden, she found the missing sign on her front steps. Attached was a typed note.

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US appeals court rejects effort to block late ballots in Pennsylvania — 2:27 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Friday rejected an effort led by a Republican congressional candidate to block about 9,300 ballots that arrived after Election Day.

The three-judge panel, led by Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Brooks Smith, noted the “unprecedented challenges” facing the nation this year, especially the “vast disruption” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith said the panel sought to uphold “a proposition indisputable in our democratic process: that the lawfully cast vote of every citizen must count.”

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Michigan judge denies Trump supporters' bid to block certification of election results in Detroit — 2:16 p.m.

By Bloomberg

A Michigan judge rejected a lawsuit by supporters of President Donald Trump seeking to block certification of the election results in Detroit and surrounding Wayne County on the grounds that the counting of ballots there was plagued by widespread fraud.

Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny ruled Friday that the suit failed to show why he should halt the certification or order an audit of the vote tally in Michigan’s largest city, which voted heavily in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden.

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Trump to speak at White House about vaccines — 2:02 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The White House says President Donald Trump will make remarks Friday on Operation Warp Speed, the multi-agency effort to get a vaccine to the public quickly and safely.

Trump has avoided public gatherings since Election Day and has declined to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

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McEnany wears 2 hats as WH press secretary, campaign adviser — 1:59 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A White House press secretary who refers questions to the White House?

Kayleigh McEnany is wearing two hats, one as a Trump 2020 campaign adviser and the other as the White House press secretary, charged with articulating the administration’s policies and positions to the press and the public.

The dual role raises questions about the appropriateness of taking on both tasks while drawing a taxpayer-financed salary of $183,000 a year.

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What to watch for in the post-Election Day mix — 1:31 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The US election is over. Democrat Joe Biden is president-elect, and incumbent Donald Trump has not acknowledged that. And there’s a lot still going on — in the courts, in the recount arena, and in the limbo of transition from one American chief executive to another.

Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, oversaw AP’s election coverage. Here, she breaks down some of what’s still percolating in the aftermath of the presidential election and what it might mean.

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Pelosi calls for stimulus talks without offering new proposals — 1:14 p.m.

By Bloomberg News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called again for negotiations with Republicans on a fiscal-stimulus package, saying the spike in COVID-19 cases is a “red alert,” while stopping short of offering new proposals for a compromise.

“Our focus in the lame-duck continues to be on COVID relief — this is a red alert,” Pelosi said at a press briefing Friday at the Capitol, referring to the congressional session preceding the installation of the new administration in January. “I urge Republicans to acknowledge the crisis and come to the table to work on Covid relief.”

The House returns to session next week, with no public schedule for any renewal in stimulus negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on whom the White House this week effectively placed in charge of representing the Republican side on the issue, underscored Thursday his opposition to a package of the size Pelosi wants.

Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer Thursday reiterated that their $2.4 trillion proposal needs to be the starting point for talks. McConnell has advocated for about $500 billion, a top-line number well below the Trump administration’s roughly $1.9 trillion negotiating position before Election Day.

Supreme Court goes idle on Trump-related disputes and time is running out — 11:31 a.m.

By The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - Has the Supreme Court hit the pause button on all things Trump?

The justices for more than three weeks have been holding on to President Trump’s last-ditch plea to shield his private financial records from Manhattan’s district attorney.

And all has been quiet on the election front.

Justice Samuel Alito last Friday directed Pennsylvania elections officials to segregate mail-in votes received in the three-day window following Election Day, and said he was referring the matter to the full court for further action.

No further action has come. Nor has the court acted on a separate request from the Trump campaign, pending for a week, to intervene in the case.

There is no deadline for the court to answer those questions, so the justices appear to be taking their time during the president’s battle to dispute his election defeat - and maybe even allowing the clock to run out.

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More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel — 11:29 a.m.

By The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - More than 130 Secret Service officers who help protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to isolate or quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers, according to three people familiar with agency staffing.

The spread of the coronavirus - which has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team - is believed to be partly linked to a series of campaign rallies that President Trump held in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to the people, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the situation.

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What Biden’s election could mean for student loans — 9:50 a.m.

By The New York Times

The federal government is the primary lender for students who borrow money for college and graduate school, and the Education Department directly holds more than $1.4 trillion in student debt. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will have the ability to make changes that can directly affect millions of borrowers' monthly bills.

Here’s what you need to know.

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RNC to spend at least $20 million on Georgia’s Senate races — 9:44 a.m.

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Republicans are flooding Georgia with cash and field operatives as they look to keep Democrats from seizing control of the Senate under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

The Republican National Committee said Friday it is funding more than 600 staffers in the state with an investment of at least $20 million ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs for the seats held by GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Democrats are eying victories for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the respective races to create a 50-50 tie in the chamber, which would be decided by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

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Trump floats improbable survival scenarios as he ponders his future — 9:39 a.m.

By The New York Times

At a meeting Wednesday at the White House, President Trump had something he wanted to discuss with his advisers, many of whom have told him his chances of succeeding at changing the results of the 2020 election are thin as a reed.

He then proceeded to press them on whether Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver him the electoral votes he needs to change the math and give him a second term, according to people briefed on the discussion.

It was not a detailed conversation, or really a serious one, the people briefed on it said. Nor was it reflective of any obsessive desire of Trump’s to remain in the White House.

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As soon as Trump leaves office, he faces greater risk of prosecution — 8:04 a.m.

By The New York Times

President Trump lost more than an election last week. When he leaves the White House in January, he will also lose the constitutional protection from prosecution afforded to a sitting president.

After Jan. 20, Trump, who has refused to concede and is fighting to hold onto his office, will be more vulnerable than ever to a pending grand jury investigation by the Manhattan district attorney into the president’s family business and its practices, as well as his taxes.

The two-year inquiry, the only known active criminal investigation of Trump, has been stalled since last fall, when the president sued to block a subpoena for his tax returns and other records, a bitter dispute that for the second time is before the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling is expected soon.

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Biden has room on health care, though limited by Congress — 6:03 a.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden is unlikely to get sweeping health care changes through a closely divided Congress, but there’s a menu of narrower actions he can choose from to make a tangible difference on affordability and coverage for millions of people.

With the balance of power in the Senate hinging on a couple of Georgia races headed to a runoff, and Democrats losing seats in the House, Biden’s proposals for a public health insurance option and empowering Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices seem out of reach. Those would be tough fights even if Democrats controlled Congress with votes to spare.

But there’s bipartisan interest in prescription drug legislation to limit what Medicare recipients with high costs are asked to pay and to restrain price increases generally. Biden also could nudge legislation to curb surprise medical bills over the finish line.

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Georgia hand tally of presidential race to begin Friday morning — 5:32 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Election officials in Georgia’s 159 counties are undertaking a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.

The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin — Democrat Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump by 14,000 votes — means a full hand count is necessary.

The final numbers in the audit count will almost definitely be slightly different than the numbers previously reported by the counties but the overall outcome should remain the same, said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system for the secretary of state’s office. The results will not be released piecemeal as the counties finish counting but instead will be announced once the full tally is complete, he said, adding that the results of the new count from the audit is what will be certified.

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Denying Biden victory, Pompeo heads to countries where leaders have congratulated president-elect — 4:34 a.m.

By The Associated Press

After refusing to acknowledge President Donald Trump’s loss in last week’s election, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving Friday on a trip to Europe and the Middle East, to countries where leaders have all congratulated former vice president Joe Biden for his victory.

But the usual foreign policy issues are likely to be overshadowed by the extraordinary moment in global politics: Most of the world has accepted the results of America’s election, while the United States' top diplomat — as well as its president and much of his Republican Party — have not.

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How Susan Collins defied Democrats — 4:01 a.m.

By The Associated Press

If Republicans are able to hold onto their majority in the US Senate, the remarkable staying power of Susan Collins will be a big reason why.

Collins defied prognostications of doom from Washington’s consultant class to score perhaps the most unexpected victory of the 2020 cycle, hanging a lopsided loss on a Democratic challenger despite a pile of outside Democratic money and open hostility from the leader of her party, President Donald Trump.

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China congratulates Biden on being elected US president — 3:28 a.m.

By The Associated Press

China on Friday became one of the last major countries to congratulate Joe Biden on being elected US president.

“We respect the choice of the American people,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “We congratulate Mr. Biden and (vice presidential running mate) Ms. Harris.”

Wang added, “at the same time, the result will be confirmed according to US laws and procedures.”

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Growing number of Republicans say Biden should have access to classified briefings — 11:25 p.m.

By The Washington Post

An increasing number of Senate Republicans said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should be granted access to classified briefings during the presidential transition, an acknowledgment of the election results despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that he will win.

Republicans have sought to delegitimize Biden’s victory, amplifying Trump’s baseless claims about widespread election fraud and endorsing the president’s legal challenges as he refuses to concede. Only four of the 53 Senate Republicans have congratulated Biden.

But several Republicans said Thursday that Biden should be afforded some of the privileges of an incoming president while still declining to say he won.

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Aide says Biden will appoint ‘COVID coordinator’ — 10:50 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain says President-elect Joe Biden will appoint a “COVID coordinator” who will lead the administration’s pandemic response.

Klain, speaking on MSNBC Thursday night, says the individual will have “direct access” to the president and will brief him daily on the pandemic. They will also have a team of people underneath them, who will coordinate vaccine distribution, address supply chain disruptions and improve access to testing.

Klain served in a similar role in 2014 under President Barack Obama, when he was the administration’s Ebola response coordinator.

His comments illuminate how the incoming Biden administration is considering addressing the pandemic when Biden enters office next year. This week, he announced a panel of doctors and public health experts tasked with turning his campaign trail proposals for tackling COVID-19 into actionable plans.

Pennsylvania judge sides with Trump — 9:25 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Pennsylvania judge has sided with President Donald Trump’s campaign and ordered counties not to count a small number of mail-in or absentee ballots for which the voter didn’t submit valid identification within six days after the Nov. 3 election.

The injunction issued Thursday by Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt deals with an as-yet unknown number of ballots that may number a few thousand or fewer.

While the Trump campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, called the order a “win,” the ballots affected may not have been tabulated and are unlikely to affect the outcome in Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press called the presidential contest for Democrat Joe Biden on Saturday after determining the remaining ballots in Pennsylvania would not allow Trump to catch up.

Biden held an approximately 55,000-vote margin Thursday night. But Trump has refused to concede, and his campaign and Republican allies have several lawsuits pending.

The court order affects a subset of about 10,000 ballots that arrived within three days of polls closing, a period allowed by the state Supreme Court because of concerns over the pandemic and delays in the U.S. Postal Service.

Analysis: No, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have won — 9:09 p.m.

By James Pindell, Globe Staff

We can still debate whether or not Bernie Sanders would have won the 2016 presidential race had he, and not Hillary Clinton, been the Democratic nominee. But there should be no debate about 2020.

No, Sanders wouldn’t have won. Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t have won either. And while it is less clear how moderates like Amy Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg would have ended up, there are strong reasons to believe they wouldn’t have won either.

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Top officials: Nov. 3 election most secure in US history — 7:50 p.m.

By The Associated Press

The state and federal officials and election technology companies who run U.S. elections say in the strongest such statement to date that the Nov. 3 presidential election was the most secure in American history.

The statement emailed to reporters Thursday by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency — which spearheaded federal election protection efforts — comes as President Donald Trump continues to insist without foundation that the election was stolen from him.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” says the statement. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”

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Obama troubled by GOP ‘going along with’ Trump — 7:47 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Former President Barack Obama says he’s troubled by the Republican officials who are “going along with” President Donald Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.

Obama made the comment in an interview Wednesday with CBS News. The full interview is set to air Sunday on CBS' “60 Minutes.”

Obama is promoting his new book, “A Promised Land.” The release date comes just days after Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, was elected president over Trump.

Obama says the false claims about voter fraud are “one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally.” He says it puts the U.S. on a “dangerous path.”

Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden. Obama says the false claims of voter fraud appear to be motivated by Trump not liking to lose.

Baker says he would veto any attempt to change law that allows him to name interim senator — 7:45 p.m.

By Danny McDonald and Matt Stout, Globe Staff

Amid swirling speculation about the potential of Senator Elizabeth Warren landing a Cabinet post in president-elect Joe Biden’s administration, Governor Charlie Baker said that he would veto any legislative attempt to change the law that gives him the authority to name a senator in the case of a vacancy.

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Mass. Republican Party, in bid to drum up donations, pushes debunked voter fraud claims — 6:45 p.m.

By Matt Stout, Globe Staff

The head of the Massachusetts Republican Party on Thursday parroted several of the baseless voting fraud claims that President Trump has been pushing, including citing without proof that “dead people voted.”

Jim Lyons, the state party chairman, signed a fund-raising appeal Thursday afternoon that charged that President-elect Joe Biden is “falsely posing as the winner of the 2020 presidential election” — offering similar rhetoric as many leading Republicans who have refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory.

Voting fraud is extremely rare, and officials in Massachusetts and elsewhere have said they’re not aware of any evidence of widespread cheating.

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For Pence, the future is tied to Trump as much as the present is — 6:07 p.m.

By Annie Karni and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

For four years, Vice President Mike Pence has walked the Trump tight rope more successfully than anyone else in the president’s orbit, staying on his good side without having to echo his most incendiary rhetoric.

But in the final weeks of Pence’s term, his relationship with President Trump is facing what may be the vice president’s toughest challenge yet.

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Senate readies vote on Judy Shelton, granting Trump another opportunity to shape Federal Reserve — 6:05 p.m.

By Rachel Siegel, Washington Post

The Senate as soon as next week could vote to confirm President Trump’s controversial Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton to a seat on the central bank’s board of governors, giving the president another chance to shape the long-term direction of one of the government’s most powerful entities.

Senate Republicans signaled on Thursday that they planned to vote on her long-pending nomination during the lame-duck session of Congress next week.

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Amid Pentagon upheaval, military leaders face a fraught next few months — 6:00 p.m.

By Missy Ryan, Dan Lamothe, Greg Jaffe and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

A major shake-up of the Pentagon’s civilian leadership has thrust top military officers into a fraught position amid mounting concerns that the White House could use a chaotic transition period to push through potentially destabilizing decisions or attempt to block the handover to a Biden administration.

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Democrat to seek full recount in tight US House race in Iowa — 5:19 p.m.

By The Associated Press

A Democrat trailing by 47 votes in the nation’s tightest congressional race announced Thursday that her campaign would request a full recount in the southeastern Iowa district.

Rita Hart’s campaign noted that her contest against Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been marked by two tabulation errors that, when discovered, flipped the lead between the two back and forth in recent days.

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Biden, top congressional Democrats demand new economic relief bill before year’s end — 4:23 p.m.

By Erica Werner, The Washington Post

President-elect Joe Biden and Congress’s top Democratic leaders took a united stand on Thursday, demanding a new economic relief package to address the dramatically worsening coronavirus pandemic before the end of the year.

But compromise remained elusive as Republicans showed no sign of agreeing to Democrats' demands for a multi-trillion-dollar deal. Democrats accused Republicans of refusing to confront the pandemic and instead acquiescing to President Trump’s false insistence that he won last week’s presidential election.

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President-elect Biden talks with Pelosi, Schumer — 3:37 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden has spoken with the top two Democrats in Congress — but not their Republican counterparts yet.

Biden’s transition team announced Thursday that he spoke by phone with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, thanking them for their congratulations and expressing “his commitment to uniting the country after a hard-fought campaign.”

The three spoke about “intensifying” the country’s coronavirus response and coping with the economic fallout the pandemic has inflected. They also discussed the “urgent need” to use the lame duck congressional session to approve bills on slowing the spread of COVID-19, as well as economic relief for “working families and small businesses, support for state and local governments trying to keep front-line workers on the payroll,” expanded unemployment insurance and expanded access to affordable health care.

Biden said Tuesday that he had not spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though the two have been friends for years.

Biden headed to Rehoboth Beach home with family — 2:13 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Joe Biden is heading to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for some time with his family for his first break from transition work since he became president-elect last weekend.

The Bidens own a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, a small beach town about 90 miles from his house in Wilmington. It’s a favorite retreat of the Bidens, and the president-elect has returned there to mull over major decisions in the past. He spent time holed up in his Rehoboth home in August, while he considered his vice presidential pick.

Biden is not expected to have public events until at least Saturday night, when he returns to Wilmington, though aides say he’s expected to continue private transition meetings.

Biden’s transition work continued this week, with the announcement of his agency landing teams, groups of staff and volunteers tasked with gathering information at the federal agencies to help smooth the transition of power. Biden is expected also to review options for top-level staff and Cabinet appointees in the coming weeks.

Georgia secretary of state isolates after wife’s virus test — 2:00 p.m.

By The Associated Press

After his wife tested positive for the coronavirus, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger plans to get tested and to quarantine just as the state is preparing for a hand tally of the presidential race, his office said.

Tricia Raffensperger tested positive Thursday, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told The Associated Press. Brad Raffensperger was en route to get tested and plans to self-quarantine as a precaution even if his test is negative, Fuchs said.

If the secretary of state tests positive, Fuchs said she and other members of his staff who have been in close contact with the secretary will get tested and quarantine.

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Biden tells pope he hopes to work with him — 1:59 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden has spoken by phone with Pope Francis as he continues to talk with leaders around the world.

Biden’s campaign said in a statement that the president-elect thanked the pontiff for “extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation” for Francis' “leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world.”

Biden also said he’d like to work with the pope to further “a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants.”

Biden is just the second Catholic to be elected president in U.S. history, and the first after John F. Kennedy. He has spoken openly about the importance of faith in his life and attends Mass near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, nearly every week.

Biden has spoken this week with several foreign leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump adviser Lewandowski positive for virus — 12:45 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lewandowski recently traveled to Pennsylvania to assist President Trump’s efforts to contest the state’s election results. He said Thursday he believes he was infected in Philadelphia and he’s not experiencing any symptoms.

Lewandowski appeared with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani at an event last Saturday outside a landscaping company and lobbed unfounded accusations of voter fraud as the race was called for Trump’s challenger, now-President-elect Joe Biden.

Lewandowski was also at the election night party at the White House last week linked to several virus cases.

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Post-election warfare clouds chances for COVID relief bill — 12:44 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden’s top allies on Capitol Hill adopted a combative posture on COVID-19 relief on Thursday, accusing Washington Republicans of dragging their feet in acknowledging Biden’s victory while doubling down on a $2 trillion-plus relief bill that’s a nonstarter with congressional Republicans.

The message from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. — both of whom witnessed disappointing outcomes in House and Senate races last week — was that Republicans should concede the presidential election was won by Biden and immediately return to negotiations on COVID relief, with the Democrats' $2.4 trillion “HEROES Act” as the starting point.

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With COVID and Trump both raging, governors are left to face the pandemic alone — 12:19 p.m.

By The Associated Press

With a coronavirus vaccine months away and a distracted, lame-duck president, governors are stirring as America’s first line of defense against the pandemic’s winter onslaught.

The pending departure of President Donald Trump, who has scoffed at the disease’s potency, could provide cover for strict new measures. The Republican leaders of Nebraska, Maryland, Utah, Ohio and Iowa tightened virus restrictions for their states this week, and Democrats warned residents of difficult months ahead. Many have little choice but to act, as the virus sets daily records and reality sets in among constituents.

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Graham giving $1M to help Georgia’s GOP senators — 9:25 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was just reelected in South Carolina, says he’s donating $1 million of his campaign money to help two GOP senators win runoff races in neighboring Georgia.

Graham told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that Republicans need to counter a “tsunami of liberal money” flowing into Georgia ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections, which will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate. Democrats already control the House, and Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect after beating President Donald Trump in their White House contest.

In the Georgia runoffs, Democrat Jon Ossoff is looking to unseat Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Raphael Warnock is facing off against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Arizona’s GOP attorney general rejects Trump’s unfounded voter fraud claims — 6:34 a.m.

By The Washington Post

As President Trump’s campaign plows on with lawsuits featuring unfounded claims of voter fraud in lost battleground states, Arizona’s Republican attorney general on Wednesday rejected the president’s conspiracy claims and said he’s unlikely to overtake President-elect Joe Biden in the state.

“It does appear that Joe Biden will win Arizona,” state attorney general Mark Brnovich said in a Wednesday interview with Fox Business host Neil Cavuto. “There is no evidence, there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change.”

Brnovich, the first high-ranking Republican in Arizona to reject Trump’s fraud claims in the state, added that Trump would have to win 65% of the less than 50,000 remaining votes to edge out a victory, a dubious outcome based on expert analysis and historical trends. It would be “very, highly unlikely to happen,” Brnovich said.

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Democrats, GOP take different approaches on Georgia Senate blitz — 4:27 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Jon Ossoff took the stage in Columbus and looked out over a parking lot filled with cars, with supporters blaring their horns in approval as he declared that “change has come to Georgia.”

Hours earlier, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler stepped to a microphone in suburban Atlanta and addressed hundreds of eager supporters packed into the Cobb County GOP headquarters. The freshman senator and her Florida colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, stirred the crowd with their insistence that the change offered by Ossoff and his fellow Democratic Senate hopeful Raphael Warnock means “radical elements” would control Washington.

Those opening salvos of Georgia’s twin Senate runoff campaign -- Ossoff looking to unseat Republican Sen. David Perdue and Warnock facing off with Loeffler -- showcase starkly different approaches the two parties are taking to the unusual circumstances that make this newfound two-party battleground the epicenter of a national battle for control of the Senate.

Both sides are playing to core supporters, the most reliable voters among the 5 million who split their ballots roughly evenly between the two parties in the first round. But for Democrats, it’s seemingly a more piecemeal, voter-by-voter approach, while Republicans are pushing a broad branding message through mass media. Whichever strategy proves more effective on Jan. 5 will help determine the ambitions and reach of President-elect Joe Biden’s tenure depending on which party ultimate controls the chamber.

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GOP Senator says Biden should get intelligence briefings — 3:45 a.m.

By The Associated Press

President Donald Trump has not authorized President-elect Joe Biden to lay eyes on the ultra-secret daily brief of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence.

National security and intelligence experts hope Trump changes his mind, citing the need for an incoming president to be fully prepared to confront any national security issues on Day One.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., predicted that the issue of whether Biden will get access to the intelligence brief will be resolved soon.

“I’ve already started engaging in this area. ... And if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in and push and say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task,” Lankford told KRMG in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday.

He said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also should be getting the briefings, which should not be a problem because she already has security clearances as a member of the Senate intelligence committee.

“Our adversaries aren’t waiting for the transition to take place,” says former Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who was chairman of the House intelligence committee. “Joe Biden should receive the President’s Daily Brief starting today. He needs to know what the latest threats are and begin to plan accordingly. This isn’t about politics; this is about national security.”

Biden has decades of experience in foreign affairs and national security, but he likely has not been privy to the latest details about how Iran is back to enriching uranium, or the active cyber attack operations of Russia, China and Iran. China’s crackdown on Hong Kong is heating up. And the threat from Islamic extremists, although curbed, still remains.

Biden is trying to play down the significance of the delay in getting access to the PDB.

“Obviously the PDB would be useful but, it’s not necessary. I’m not the sitting president now,” Biden said Tuesday. He didn’t answer a question about whether he’d tried to reach out to Trump himself on this or any other issue, saying only, “Mr. President, I look forward to speaking with you.”

World leaders talking to Biden about the virus, other issues — 1:36 a.m.

By The Associated Press

World leaders spoke to President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday about cooperating on the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other issues, even as President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede complicates the US post-election transition.

In his conversations with key Asian allies, Biden seemed intent on easing their uncertainties about a less-engaged Washington, which built up during the four years of Trump’s “America First” approach.

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Few legal wins so far as Trump team hunts for proof of fraud — 12:23 a.m.

By The Associated Press

During a Pennsylvania court hearing this week on one of the many election lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump, a judge asked a campaign lawyer whether he had found any signs of fraud from among the 592 ballots challenged.

The answer was no.

“Accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step,” said the lawyer, Jonathan Goldstein. “We’re all just trying to get an election done.”

Trump has not been so cautious, insisting without evidence that the election was stolen from him even when election officials nationwide from both parties say there has been no conspiracy.

On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Philadelphia, the Democratic stronghold that helped push President-elect Joe Biden over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the race. The president accused a local Republican election official, Al Schmidt, of ignoring “a mountain of corruption & dishonesty.” Twitter added a label that said the election fraud claim is disputed.

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In op-ed, Elizabeth Warren details what she thinks a Biden-Harris administration should do on Day One — 12:08 a.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Elizabeth Warren said President-elect Joe Biden should address a wide range of issues, including student loan debt, drug prices, and racial equity on his first day in office.

The Massachusetts senator wrote that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won the election with the “most progressive economic and racial justice platform of any general election nominee ever,” and there are several immediate actions they can take through “executive orders and agency action.”

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Who are contenders for Biden’s Cabinet? — 11:36 p.m.

By The New York Times

President-elect Joe Biden has signaled his intention to draw from a diverse cross section of America in building his Cabinet. Unlike President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, which is more white and male than any in nearly 40 years, Biden’s list of likely top advisers promises to reflect 21st-century sensibilities.

Biden’s transition team, led by former Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware, a longtime confidant, already has been working on a list of candidates.

These are names that have emerged as possible picks for posts.

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State Department sets business-as-usual course while ignoring Biden — 9:47 p.m.

By The Washington Post

The many foreign leaders who have tweeted good wishes to President-elect Joe Biden and called him directly cannot rely on the State Department to forward congratulatory missives through diplomatic channels.

The department has been collecting those messages but will not turn them over to the Biden team until President Donald Trump’s General Services Administration, which so far has refused to authorize a transition, gives the go-ahead.

“I’ve found myself saying formally that I can’t OK the delivery of a message to the president-elect because he’s not officially that,” said a current official. “They go into some box somewhere.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week discussed the state of affairs in a telephone call with politically appointed ambassadors, according to a second current official and a former official familiar with the matter, telling them not to forward congratulations through official channels.

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Biden chooses longtime adviser Ron Klain as chief of staff — 8:07 p.m.

By The Associated Press

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to reprise his role as his chief of staff, installing an aide with decades of experience in the top role in his White House.

Klain will lead a White House likely to be consumed by the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread unchecked across the nation, and he’ll face the challenge of working with a divided Congress that could include a Republican-led Senate. Klain served as the coordinator to the Ebola response during the 2014 outbreak.

In a statement Wednesday night, Biden suggested he chose Klain for the position because his longtime experience in Washington had prepared him for such challenges.

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The surging coronavirus finds a federal leadership vacuum — 6:03 p.m.

By The New York Times

When senior Food and Drug Administration officials held their morning call one day this week, they received a sobering warning from the agency’s chief, Dr. Stephen Hahn, who had just gotten off the phone with the White House: Block out “all the craziness” afoot and stay focused on fighting the pandemic, he said.

There are plenty of distractions. President Trump is pushing to overturn the results of the election, and his only public statements about the coronavirus in the past few days were to make clear his pique that good news about a vaccine had not come until after Election Day — even as the average number of new daily infections topped 123,000, average daily deaths passed the 1,000 mark and COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a record high of 61,964.

Vice President Mike Pence canceled a vacation at the last minute this week as the virus numbers grew worse, but the White House coronavirus task force that he leads has been all but publicly silent. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff who is infected with the virus, declared last month, “We are not going to control the pandemic,” and said the focus should instead be on the longer-term goals of developing vaccines and treatments.

Meantime, the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s emergency reserve, has only 115 million N95 masks, far short of the 300 million the administration had hoped to amass by winter, Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, who retired Monday as the national supply chain commander, said in a recent interview, although he added that the government is continuing to expand its supplies of protective gear.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution publishes front page editorial condemning Loeffler and Perdue for ‘reckless’ accusations — 4:29 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff

The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a portion of a scathing editorial condemning Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue at the top of its front page on Tuesday in a rebuke to their criticism of Georgia’s recent election.

“Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have assaulted Georgia’s election system,” the editorial board wrote. “That is dangerous behavior, both for this state and for the nation.”

It’s rare for a newspaper to run an editorial on its front page. It came after Loeffler and Perdue released a statement urging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to resign from office over unspecified election mismanagement.

Loeffler and Perdue did not make any specific allegations in their statement, which was released on the same day President Trump’s campaign was making baseless allegations of systemic voter fraud in the state.

While President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump by more than 10,000 votes in Georgia, the race has not yet been called by major news organizations and the state on Wednesday announced it would conduct a hand recount of all ballots.

There is no proof that people stole maiden names to vote — 3:52 p.m.

By The New York Times

It started Monday evening with a tweet that pushed an unfounded rumor that a Michigan mother’s vote had been stolen by an impersonator using her maiden name. The tweet came with a hashtag: #MaidenGate.

Soon, the claim that unauthorized people had cast votes under the maiden names of real voters started trending online. On Monday and Tuesday, more than 70,000 posts pushing #MaidenGate appeared on Twitter, peaking at 2,000 between 2:10 and 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to Dataminr, a tool for analyzing social media interactions.

Beyond Twitter, the #MaidenGate rumors spread to Facebook, YouTube and groups associated with Stop the Steal, which have promoted the false narrative that Democrats stole the election from President Donald Trump.

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EU says looking forward to better ties with US under Biden — 2:15 p.m.

By the Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Wednesday said it looked forward to better relations with the United States under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, and expressed hope the presidential transition will not be “bumpy.”

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell warmly congratulated “Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their historic victory” and said the 27-nation bloc looked forward to better relations than under President Trump.

“It is not a secret, (either), that in the past 4 years things have become complicated,” Borrell told legislators at the European Parliament. Both sides, despite being longstanding allies, disagreed over key topics from trade and security to the fight against climate change.

The EU is expected to invite Biden soon to videoconference talks in an attempt to give new impetus to the trans-Atlantic alliance.

“You can rest assured that we are ready to engage fast with the new administration,” Borrell said. But he also alluded to the political problems remaining in the U.S. where Trump has yet to concede defeat. Biden is steadfastly pushing forward with preparations for his presidency.

“We still have to wait until (the) 20th of January because as you know very well it is a quite long transition ahead. Let’s hope it is not going to be a bumpy transition,” Borrell said.

Trump has variously stunned and disappointed the Europeans — most of them members of the NATO military alliance that America leads — by slapping tariffs on EU exports and pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump marks Veterans Day in first public appearance since his election loss was declared — 12:33 p.m.

By the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Trump participated in the Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, emerging in public for the first time since his failed reelection bid to take part in the annual presidential rite.

Trump was joined at Arlington National Cemetery by first lady Melania Trump as well Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.

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Trump wins Alaska, Republicans hold onto Senate seat, according to AP — 12:26 p.m.

By the Associated Press

President Donald Trump has won the state of Alaska.

The Republican nominee was awarded the state’s three electoral votes, pushing his Electoral College tally to 217.

His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won those states in 2016.

Biden has 290 electoral votes.

The Associated Press has still not called Georgia and North Carolina in the presidential race.

Control of the Senate won’t be decided until the new year after Republicans won a seat in Alaska on Wednesday. Incumbent Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. Neither party can lock the majority until January runoffs in Georgia.

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Biden marks Veterans Day with visit to Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia — 11:30 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Joe Biden is marking Veterans Day with a visit to the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia.

The president-elect is making a brief foray out with his wife, Jill, to the memorial, where he is laying a wreath.

Biden’s son Beau was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard and died in 2015 of brain cancer. Biden often spoke emotionally of his son’s service on the campaign trail.

Jill Biden made military spouses and families one of her signature issues when Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president, and aides say that may be one of her focal points as first lady.

Biden otherwise is spending his Wednesday in private briefings with his transition team.

Boris Johnson calls Trump the ‘previous’ president — 11:27 a.m.

By The Associated Press

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called Donald Trump the “previous president” of the United States and said it was “refreshing” to talk to President-elect Joe Biden.

Johnson has had a warm relationship with Trump. He congratulated Biden on his election victory in a phone call on Tuesday.

Johnson told British lawmakers on Wednesday that he and Biden discussed plans to “stick up for NATO and to work together in the fight against climate change” -- issues on which Trump and the British leader have starkly different views.

Johnson says it was “refreshing” to have that conversation and he looks forward to “many more.”

He says he has had “a good relationship with the previous president” and it’s “the duty of all prime ministers to have a good relationship with the White House.” But he says he was “delighted to find the many areas in which the incoming Biden-Harris administration is able to make common cause with” British lawmakers.

Georgia officials announce a hand recount of the presidential election results — 10:58 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference Wednesday that his office wants the process to begin by the end of the week and he expects it to take until Nov. 20.

After results from the hand recount are certified, the losing campaign can then request another recount, which will be performed by machine, Raffensperger said.

President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by about 14,000 votes in the state.

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Biden warns Johnson of Brexit risk to Northern Ireland peace — 10:22 a.m.

By The Washington Post

Joe Biden used his first phone call with Boris Johnson as U.S. president-elect to warn the British leader not to compromise peace in Northern Ireland in his pursuit of Brexit.

During the course of a 20- to 25-minute conversation on Tuesday, Biden “reaffirmed his support” for the 1998 deal that put an end to the violence in Northern Ireland, according to a statement from the president-elect’s team.

A British official confirmed that Biden raised the Good Friday Agreement in the context of Brexit negotiations, and that Johnson responded by promising the president-elect that Britain would uphold the peace accord. Biden spoke later to Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, and again made a point of emphasizing his backing for peace in the region.

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Pence postpones trip to Florida island as Trump fights election — 9:42 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

Vice President Mike Pence is postponing his a trip to Sanibel, Florida — a regular vacation spot for his family — as President Donald Trump fights to try to reverse his re-election defeat, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The vacation had been planned since before the election, but will be postponed until later this fall, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named to discuss information not yet public.

Pence said in a February speech that he’s been vacationing in Sanibel for 30 years. “The president goes to Palm Beach; I go to Sanibel Island,” he said.

Barack Obama to give first interviews since the election — 9:03 a.m.

By Shannon Larson, Globe Staff

Barack Obama will be interviewed on “60 Minutes” and “CBS Sunday Morning” for segments airing this Sunday, according to CBS News, in what will be the former president’s first interviews since the presidential election.

His vice president, Joe Biden, defeated incumbent Donald Trump to win the presidency, national news outlets projected on Saturday.

Obama appeared with his wife Michelle on “60 Minutes” after he was elected president exactly 12 years ago, according to CBS News. He will speak with Gayle King for “CBS Sunday Morning,” and Scott Pelley for “60 Minutes.”

Both interviews are being conducted in Washington, D.C., according to CBS News, and focus on the upcoming release of Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land.”

What went wrong with polling? Some early theories — 8:27 a.m.

By The New York Times

Asking for a polling post-mortem at this stage is a little bit like asking a coroner for the cause of death while the body is still at the crime scene. You’re going to have to wait to conduct a full autopsy.

But make no mistake: It’s not too early to say that the polls' systematic understatement of President Donald Trump’s support was very similar to the polling misfire of four years ago, and might have exceeded it.

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Trump to emerge from White House to mark Veterans Day — 8:26 a.m.

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Trump will participate in the Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Ceremony on Wednesday, emerging in public for the first time since his failed reelection bid to take part in the annual presidential rite.

Trump has spent the last several days holed up at the White House tweeting angry, baseless claims of voter fraud after his election loss.

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Trump campaign sues to stop Michigan from certifying election — 8:13 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

President Trump’s campaign has filed another lawsuit in Michigan challenging the election results.

The federal lawsuit, which the campaign said it filed late Tuesday, seeks to stop the state from certifying results that show Democrat Joe Biden leading by almost 146,000 votes.

The campaign asked a judge to stop Michigan from certifying fraudulent ballots, those received after Election Day, those processed when observers weren’t present, and any counted with defective tabulating machines or software. At least two prior suits contesting the state’s election results have already been rejected by Michigan judges.

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Postal worker recants ballot-tampering claims — 8:11 a.m.

By The Washington Post

A Pennsylvania postal worker whose claims have been cited by top Republicans as potential evidence of widespread voting irregularities admitted to U.S. Postal Service investigators that he fabricated the allegations, according to three officials briefed on the investigation and a statement from a House congressional committee.

Richard Hopkins’s claim that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation. Attorney General William Barr subsequently authorized federal prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations of voting irregularities and fraud before results are certified, a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy.

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