Minute-by-minute, state-by-state breakdown of the 2020 US presidential and senate results
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Creede Newton taking over from Joseph Stepansky.
Attorney General William Barr authorised federal prosecutors across the US to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election is certified.
The authorisation comes as Trump mounts legal challenges to the outcome of the election.
There is little evidence to support claims of irregularities. Barr’s authorisation, which came via a letter, told prosecutors to ignore “fanciful or far-fetched” claims.
Using a different legal strategy in their effort to challenge vote counts, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania arguing the state’s “two-tiered” voting system is illegal.
The campaign alleges “voters being held to different standards depending on how they chose to exercise their right to vote.” They say in-person voters and their votes were under more scrutiny than mail-in votes and argued this violates the US Constitution.
The lawsuit was filed today in a Pennsylvania federal court. Ostensibly the Trump camp hopes this will make its way to the US Supreme Court.
White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany said at a press conference with Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel that the election remains in question because of favouritism in Pennsylvania.
“Our position is clear. We want to protect the franchise of the American people. We want an honest, accurate, lawful count,” McEnany said. “What we have seen across the country is Democrat officials systematically trying to do an end run around the Constitution to tip the scales of the election in their favour.”
A Trump campaign lawyer said more than 600,000 ballots were counted outside the view of campaign observers. Trump’s campaign has continually alleged widespread fraud, although have not, to date, offered evidence.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Joe Biden won the election and will be the next president.
“The country will finally turn the page on one of the most divisive and chaotic chapters in our history,” Schumer said in remarks to the Senate.
“It is time to come together and heal, to unify once again, to fight not our political opponents but our common enemies, disease and poverty and injustice,” Schumer said. “The American people voted to place their faith in President-elect Biden to confront those challenges.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in his first public remarks since the election that Trump has a right to pursue legal challenges to the outcome.
Trump lost the popular vote nationally and lost in the Electoral College based on preliminary results.
“Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount,” McConnell said in remarks to the Senate which is reconvening in a lame-duck session.
“The core principle here is not complicated. In the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal allots must not be counted. The process should be transparent and observable, and the courts are here to work through concerns,” he said.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said Trump’s firing of Mark Esper as the defence secretary is evidence of Trump’s intent to “sow chaos” in his final days in office.
“It is concerning that reports show that this firing was an act of retribution by the President, allegedly for Secretary Esper’s refusal to send active-duty military troops to crack down on peaceful demonstrations against police brutality,” Pelosi said on Monday.
“Most disturbingly, however, the timing of this dismissal raises serious questions about Trump’s planned actions for the final days of his administration.”
A police chief in Arkansas has resigned after taking to social media following Biden’s presidenwin to urge violence against Democrats.
Lang Holland, the police chief in Marshall, a small city located about 100 miles (180 kilometers) north of the state’s capital Little Rock, vented his anger at Biden’s victory on Parler, a right-wing social media site.
“Never let them forget they are traitors and have no right to live in this Republic after what they have done,” read a screenshot of one of his posts which were no longer visible on Monday. “Death to all Marxist Democrats,” another post said. “Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!”
Holland resigned at the weekend following outrage over his posts from local residents and beyond. “The Marshall community does not in any way support or condone bullying or threats of violence to anyone of any political persuasion,” the local mayor, Kevin Elliot, said in a statement. “We are a welcoming community that is humbly working to build a bright future for ALL our citizens.”
(Captured from Marshall, Arkansas Facebook page) pic.twitter.com/zUJCvPOnog
— Viktoria Capek (@KATVViktoria) November 7, 2020
Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont sent this update from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Asa larger Trump rally gathered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a group of six Trump supporters kept vigil outside the convention centre in downtown Philadelphia under a giant American flag and a line of blue Donald Trump campaign flags.
Chris Schneider, who took a bus from Brooklyn, New York, to Philadelphia to attend the protest, said he was “puzzled” by the election results.
“How did Mr Biden and his team have such a big bump that happened after the polls closed?” he asked.”It’s puzzling. I don’t want to think that funny business happened, that’s why I’m here, I want to hear it right from the horse’s mouth. If Giuliani says that there was something going on, he’s my former mayor, and if Mr Giuliani believes that there’s credible evidence then I’m definitely going to listen to him.”
Schneider said Giuliani had raised claims about dead people voting. At a press conference on Saturday, the Trump campaign pointed to a single case of a deceased woman who had voted and died before the election – however, she may have voted early.
The Trump campaign has not yet filed evidence in court regarding the claim. Giuliani said he would file a lawsuit in federal court Monday. As of 14:40 ET (19:40 GMT) on Monday, he had filed no new cases. “If Trump lost fair and square, that’s fine, I accept that result,” Schneider said. “If not, we have another big issue to deal with.”
David Bossie, Trump’s campaign advisor who is leading a raft of legal challenges to state election results, has contracted COVID-19, a reporter for Bloomberg has tweeted, citing sources.
Bossie, who is not a lawyer, had been tapped to lead the legal challenges after Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tested positive for coronavirus last week.
Trump and his allies have alleged, without evidence, widespread fraud in the election and have pledged to challenge results and seek recounts in states across the US.
A Twitter account for Biden’s dogs – Champ and Major – began tweeting on Monday.
“Welcome Everyone. We’re The First Dogs Of The United States. You can call us DOTUS-Elect,” the profile for the White House-bound dogs said.
— Champ & Major Biden 🐶 (@FirstFamilyDogs) November 9, 2020
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Trump ally who has conspicuously refrained from acknowledging Biden’s victory in the presidential race, will congratulate “whomever is elected” when “the time is right”, his vice president said Monday.
Bolsonaro, a far-right politician sometimes called the “Tropical Trump”, is among the few world leaders not to congratulate Biden after he was declared the winner of last week’s election – a fact that has drawn criticism from the Brazilian leader’s opponents.
Referring to Trump’s accusations that the vote was marred by widespread “fraud,” Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said Bolsonaro was waiting for those allegations to be resolved.
“I believe the president is waiting for the end of that whole mess, the argument over whether there were fake votes or not, before he comments,” said Mourao. “Clearly, when the time is right, he will send Brazil’s congratulations to whomever is elected.”
Brazilian president Bolsonaro has refrained from congratulating a winner of the 2020 presidential election amid Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud [AFP]
Ivana Trump, the president’s former wife, has told People Magazine “I just want this whole thing to be over with, one way or the other”, while saying that Trump needs to accept that he lost.
“He’s not a good loser,” Ivana, the mother of Trump’s three oldest children, said of Trump. “He doesn’t like to lose, so he’s going to fight and fight and fight”.
Ivana said she does not foresee Trump staying in politics after he leaves office: “I don’t think he has a choice,” Ivana says. “He’s going to go down to Palm Beach and play golf and live the normal life, I think. This is the best choice for what he can do.”
She added the president first has to face the reality: “He has to go and declare that he lost. But he hates to be a loser, that I’m sure of…But if he loses, he loses. He has plenty of money, places to go and live in and enjoy his life.”
The White House is instructing federal agencies to fire political appointees of Trump who are looking for job opportunities after Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Biden, the Associated Press has reported.
A senior administration official told the news agency that presidential personnel director John McEntee, the president’s former personal aide, told White House liaisons at departments that they should terminate any political appointees seeking new work while Trump has refused to accept the electoral results.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Trump’s term ends at noon on January 20. Several thousand political appointees across the government will see their jobs end by that date.
Senator Susan Collins, one of the more moderate Republicans in the chamber, congratulated President-elect Biden on his “apparent victory” on Monday and urged a transition process that ensures he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are ready to govern on January 20.
“He loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement. She was one of just a few Republican senators to congratulate Democrat Biden after he won enough electoral votes on Saturday to clinch the US presidency.
Collins also acknowledged Trump should have the opportunity to challenge results from Tuesday’s election. Trump has not conceded.
My statement on the 2020 Presidential election results: pic.twitter.com/8NY1WpaJpC
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 9, 2020
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that his decision to wait for an official US election result before congratulating Biden does not mean he believes there was fraud.
“Waiting doesn’t mean that we’re going to endorse (claims) that there was fraud. We don’t know that,” Lopez Obrador said at his daily news conference. “We want to act prudently. Let’s wait for the authorities to resolve it. Then we will speak out.”
Lopez Obrador said Saturday that he would wait for “all legal issues” in the US presidential election to be settled before offering any congratulations, even as such messages poured in from many other world leaders.
Trump is already telling aides he’s considering a 2024 presidential bid, two sources familiar with discussions told Axios.
The report is the strongest indication yet that Trump is beginning to accept he has lost the election, the news site notes.
US presidents can only serve two terms, but they do not need to be consecutive.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday his government will have close ties with the US under President-elect Biden and they have a shared interest in tackling climate change.
Johnson, who was once dubbed “Britain Trump” by Trump himself, again congratulated Biden on his victory.
“This country has had a good relationship with the White House over the last few years, but it has a good relationship with the White House for many, many years and I have no doubt we will continue to have a very, very strong, and very close relationship with our American friends,” Johnson said at a media conference.
“One thing that is very exciting that you are already seeing from the incoming administration is their willingness to join the UK in the campaign to tackle climate change,” Johnson said, declining to answer a question about whether it was time for Trump to throw in the towel.
Trump has tweeted that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has been terminated.
Trump said Christopher C Miller, counterterrorism head, will be Acting Secretary of Defense.
NBC News had previously reported that Esper, long at odds with president, particularly in his opposition to sending active-duty military troops to respond to racial justice protests over the summer, had prepared a letter of resignation following the election but before Biden claimed victory.
…Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has congratulated Biden and Harris, a UN spokesman said on Monday.
Guterres “reaffirms that the partnership between the United States and the United Nations is an essential pillar of the international cooperation needed to address the dramatic challenges facing the world today,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
Speaking on-camera in Wilmington, Delaware, the Democratic president-elect said after meeting with a panel of coronavirus advisers that his administration will take charge of production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the US.
“With cases rising once more, it’s imperative that we ramp up our production of personal protective equipment to make sure our brave health care workers have what they need to do battle safely against this virus,” Biden said.“We’re going to get states, cities and tribes the test and the supplies they need,” he said.
“I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around once, we’re sworn into office on January 20,” he said.
Biden also called for an end to the division and partisanship of the election campaign: “This election is over. It is time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric designed to demonise one another. It’s time to end the politicisation of basic responsible public health steps like mask wearing and social distancing.”
Biden, speaking after a coronavirus briefing from his newly launched task force, has pledged a science-based response to the pandemic, while saying the nation is “still facing a very dark winter” despite positive news on vaccines.
Biden urged Americans to wear masks, saying it is “not a political statement” and will save thousands of lives. He added the task force, which he launched on Monday, would create a blueprint for his administration’s response.
Biden, joined by vice president-elect Harris, gave the remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, standing in front of a stage that said “office of the president-elect”.
Canada is sure the US administration of President-elect Biden will reinforce the message to China that its policy of arbitrarily detaining foreign citizens is not working, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday after speaking with Biden on the phone.
“(China’s) approach around coercive diplomacy is ineffective and extremely preoccupying for democratic nations around the world,” he told a news conference. After Canadian police picked up a top Chinese executive on a US arrest warrant in late 2018, Beijing imprisoned two Canadian citizens.
“I am extremely confident that the incoming American administration will continue to be a good partner to Canada and other nations around the world as we look to impress upon China the approach they are taking is simply not working … (and) the importance of returning the two Canadians,” said Trudeau.
Housing Secretary Ben Carson has tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, an ABC reporter said on Twitter. He becomes the latest victim of a second outbreak affecting the White House and top advisers to Trump.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has frequently appeared at public events without wearing a mask, was diagnosed last week along with several other staffers.
Carson had attended a mostly maskless election night party at the White House.
NEWS: Sec. Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. His deputy chief of staff says he's "in good spirits & feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery." Carson attended the election night party at the White House
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 9, 2020
Turkey will congratulate the winner of the US election after the result of the vote is finalised, a spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party said on Monday, two day after Biden clinched victory over Trump.
Ankara, which has been at odds with its NATO ally Washington over a host issues, from differences in Syria policy to Turkey’s purchase of Russian missile defence systems, said at the weekend it will continue working with the next US administration.
Speaking at a news conference after an AK Party meeting chaired by Erdogan, Omer Celik said Ankara would congratulate and call the next US president once the result is set, “out of respect for the United States and the American people”.
While most countries were quick to congratulate Biden, others, including Russia and China have remained silent on the results of the presidential contest. US states are currently finalising their vote counts, which could take weeks. Biden will technically not officially be elected until states’ electoral votes are approved by Congress in early January, although any challenges to the results will likely be resolved before then.
A helipad set up at Trump’s Florida golf club Mar-a-Lago will be removed after Trump leaves office, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.
Trump often visited the estate during his presidency, with the town approving the helipad so Marine One, the presidential helicopter, could land there, the publication reported.
However, helicopter trips to and from the Mar-a-Lago will no longer be available on January 20, when Trump leaves office, according to the decision by the town council.
Al Schmidt, a Republican part of a trio of commissioners who run elections in Philadelphia, has said his office has received death threats as the city continues to count votes.
Schmidt, in an 60 Minutes interview published on Monday, detailed unfounded allegations of election fraud in the city. Trump has repeatedly pushed that baseless narrative. On Thursday, two armed men without gun permits were arrested outside of the convention centre where votes are being counted.
Schmidt said there had been “calls to our offices reminding us that ‘This is what the Second Amendment is for, people like us’” referencing the constitutional amendment that allows US citizens to own guns.
“That’s a not so veiled death threat,” correspondent Bill Whitaker responded. “Yes, for counting votes in a democracy,” Schmidt said.
Trump plans to hold campaign-style rallies in support of a raft of litigation his allies have launched, or are set to launch, to challenge election results in states across the country, according to Axios.
Trump and his allies have pushed unfounded allegations of voter fraud. They have launched several lawsuits, including many that have already been rejected by judges.
Trump plans to brandish obituaries of people who allegedly voted after they died, according to the news site. Trump’s campaign is also sending teams across the country to oversee the raft of recounts it plans to request, Axios reported.
President-elect Joe Biden has announced the members of his coronavirus task force, which will put together a blueprint for fighting the pandemic.
The co-chairs are former Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr David Kessler and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University professor and researcher.
Notable among the task force members is Rick Bright, a vaccine expert and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging he was reassigned to a lesser job because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug pushed by Trump as a COVID-19 treatment.
Other members include Luciana Borio, a biodefence specialist, Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethics chair at the National Institutes of Health, Dr Atul Gawande, a Clinton administration health adviser and surgery expert, Dr Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert who has studied HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, Dr Julie Morita, a paediatric and immunisation specialist, Dr Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert and epidemiologist; Loyce Pace, a global health specialist, Dr Robert Rodriguez, an emergency medicine expert who has researched mental health of COVID-19 responders, and Dr Eric Goosby, an infectious disease expert who has worked in AIDS/HIV.
Germany will “stand together” with the US to overcome global challenges from the coronavirus pandemic to global warming, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.In a statement that was markedly warm compared with her remarks four years ago when Donald Trump took the White House, Merkel underlined the “friendship of both countries that has stood the test of time”.She pointed to President-elect Joe Biden’s “decades of experience in foreign policy” and recalls “good encounters and talks with him”.Merkel also said Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris – “as the first woman in this office and as a child of two immigrants” -was an “inspiration” for many.
President Donald Trump is facing pressure to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s team to ensure a smooth transfer of power when the new administration takes office in January.
The General Services Administration is tasked with formally recognising Biden as president-elect, which begins the transition. But the agency’s Trump-appointed administrator, Emily Murphy, has not started the process and has given no guidance on when she will do so.
Scoop: the nonpartisan Presidential Transition Center, former W. Chief of staff Josh Bolten, and former UT Gov. Mike Leavitt call on the GSA to ascertain that Biden has won.
Until they do, Biden’s transition can’t officially begin.
🔒 now, paywall gone in 30. Letter here. pic.twitter.com/9DIBrQLlet
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) November 8, 2020
The advisory board of the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition also urged the Trump administration to “immediately begin the post-election transition process and the Biden team to take full advantage of the resources available under the Presidential Transition Act.”
Estonia’s far-right Interior Minister Mart Helme resigned after his comments about the US election calling Joe Biden a “dirtbag” sparked outrage from government colleagues.
Mart Helme said the “deep state” had helped Biden win and called him a “corrupt dirtbag” on his Sunday radio show, without giving any evidence for his assertions.
Helme told reporters he was stepping down to preserve the governing coalition but added: “You can’t muzzle me, no one can muzzle me.”
Germany’s economy minister said there were “great expectations” that there would be “a return to multilateral approaches to international trade” after Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.
“We want to return to an active transatlantic trade agenda as soon as possible, and gradually,” said Peter Altmaier.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is waiting for official results from the US presidential election before congratulating a winner, the Kremlin said.
“We consider it correct to wait for the official results to be finalised. I want to remind you that President Putin repeatedly said he will respect the choice of the American people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Peskov added that Putin had repeatedly said he was ready to work with any US leader and that Russia hoped it could establish dialogue with the new US administration to find a way to normalise relations.
China joins Russia, Brazil and Mexico in declining to recognise Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.”I noticed that Mr Biden has declared victory of the election. We understand that the presidential election result will be determined following the US laws and procedures,” said Wang Wenbin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, at a regular press briefing in Beijing.After declining to acknowledge Biden’s victory despite repeated questions from reporters, Wang said: “We hope the new US government can meet China halfway.”
Mexico’s foreign minister said there was “huge potential” for US ties, a day after the Mexican leader said it was too soon to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”From what I heard from Joe Biden’s speech, it is clear that there is going to be a cooperation policy at a global level and with Mexico,” Marcelo Ebrard told El Universo newspaper.”What we see coming is a step with a huge potential,” he added.President Lopez Obrador has managed to maintain cordial relations with Trump – visiting him in July – despite the US leader’s remarks when he branded Mexican migrants “rapists” and drug dealers during his 2016 election campaign.
Stocks, oil and high-yielding currencies rallied on Monday after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US election, as traders are hoping lawmakers will now focus on passing a new stimulus for the world’s biggest economy.
Observers said the focus will now be on Biden’s economic and foreign policy approach, with optimism for a less tumultuous leadership following four years of the bombastic real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
“Mr Biden is perceived in Asia as being likely to re-engage in international trade, a positive for Asia,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.
Traders are now looking to Capitol Hill hoping for a fresh rescue package for the economy after lawmakers failed to hammer out anything despite months of haggling, though any new plan will not likely be as big as what would be expected from a Democrat-led Congress.
The Trump campaign’s election night watch party in the White House East Room has become another symbol of President Donald Trump’s cavalier attitude towards a virus that is ripping across the nation and infecting more than 100,000 people a day.
The White House has been increasingly secretive about outbreaks. Many White House and campaign officials, as well as those who attended the election watch party, were kept in the dark about the diagnoses, unaware until they were disclosed by the press.
“The administration was cavalier about the risks of the virus for themselves and for the country. And that’s one reason why we have so many cases,” said Dr Joshua Sharfstein, a public health professor at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health.
Donald Trump’s inner circle is divided over his refutation of the results showing Joe Biden won the 2020 election, with his wife Melania and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner reportedly urging him to concede and move on.
.@jonkarl: “Virtually everybody in the president’s inner circle … are fully aware that this is over. There have been conversations, conversations that I am told include the first lady about how to convince him to make a graceful exit.” https://t.co/sPlwnHbr7y pic.twitter.com/ErQQvmH8m4
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2020
Kushner has approached him to concede, two sources told CNN. The first lady, according to another source, has told Trump it is time to accept the election defeat.
However, after the report emerged, Melania Trump later tweeted: “The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”
The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 8, 2020
Joe Biden will win the popular vote by over 4 million votes. The Democratic nominee for president has now won the popular vote in 7 out of the last 8 elections. One person, one vote. Democracy must rule.
Yes. We should abolish the electoral college.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 8, 2020