The Associated Press
Updated: November 08, 2020 01:23 PM
Created: November 03, 2020 06:12 PM
The latest on the presidential campaign (all times Eastern):
12:30 p.m. Sunday
Former President George W. Bush says the American people "can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear."
He says in a statement that "no matter how you voted, your vote counted." And Bush says President Donald Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, with any unresolved issues to be "properly adjudicated."
Bush says now is the time when "we must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future."
Bush says he's spoken with Joe Biden and thanked the president-elect for what Bush says was "the patriotic message" in Biden's national address on Saturday night after being declared the election winner.
Bush says in a statement that while he and Biden have political differences, the former president says he knows Biden "to be good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country."
11:30 a.m. Sunday
Joe Biden began his first full day as president-elect the same way he does nearly every Sunday, heading to church near his home.
Biden entered St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, shortly after the start of 10:30 a.m. Mass. He typically arrives a bit late and leaves a few minutes early so the presence of Secret Service agents doesn't bother other attendees.
It felt like any other Sunday, except for a huge swarm of media camped near the church entrance — having anticipated Biden's arrival.
Biden entered with his daughter, Ashley, and his grandson, Hunter, the son of the president-elect's late son, Beau, a former Delaware attorney general.
Biden has no other public events on his schedule but is expected to swiftly move to begin appointing key members of his team for the transition to the White House, including a chief of staff.
11 a.m. Sunday
Donald Trump is spending his first day as a lame duck president golfing.
Trump arrived at his Virginia golf club just before 10 a.m. on Sunday for the second day in a row. He was welcomed by several protesters, including one who held a sign that read, "Orange Crushed."
Trump was also on the golf course Saturday when The Associated Press and other news outlets called the race for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, because he had won enough votes to deny Trump a second term.
Trump has yet to concede the race and is continuing to baselessly dispute the results even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.
10:25 a.m. Sunday
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to name former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler as co-chairs of the coronavirus working group he's launching this week.
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield announced the two public health experts would lead the task force during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Murthy and Kessler have been part of a group of experts and doctors that have briefed Biden on the pandemic for months throughout the campaign.
Murthy served as surgeon general during President Barack Obama's second term, and Kessler was FDA commissioner in the 1990s and now serves as board chair at the Centers for Science in the Public Interest.
Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night that he'd unveil the full COVID-19 task force on Monday. They'll be tasked with taking the proposals he's released during the campaign for dealing with the pandemic — which include investments in personal protective equipment and loans for small businesses as well as plans to implement more standardized public health guidelines — and turning them into a "blueprint" that he'll enact when inaugurated president next January.
Biden made President Donald Trump's mishandling of the pandemic a central focus of his campaign against the Republican and pledged if elected to make combating the pandemic his top priority.
10:15 a.m. Sunday
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says that President Donald Trump is within his rights to pursue recounts and legal challenges in close races that decided last week's election but urged Trump to dial back his rhetoric.
Romney told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he thought it was unlikely that a recount or legal challenges will change the outcome and suggested Trump "be careful in the choice of words."
The Republican senator, who has been a frequent critic of Trump's, says when a president says an "election was 'corrupt' or 'stolen' or 'rigged,' that that's unfortunately rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world."
Romney, who was the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, added that Trump's language also "discourages confidence in our democratic process here at home."
Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. The inauguration is in January.
10 a.m. Sunday
The highest-ranking Black member of Congress says President Donald Trump should concede the presidency to President-elect Joe Biden, although he says it's more crucial what the rest of the Republican Party does in the wake of the 2020 election.
U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina told CNN on Sunday that the GOP "has a responsibility here" and that he's watching to see "whether or not the Republican Party will step up and help us preserve the integrity of this democracy."
Clyburn also said he sees the United States as "teetering" following Trump's term, advising that "we had better get a hold of ourselves and this country and stop catering to whims of one person."
Clyburn also talked about his endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina's early primary, a nod that helped boost Biden to win that contest, gain momentum and ultimately clinch the nomination. Saying the field was full of good candidates, Clyburn said he "came to the conclusion that Joe Biden was our best bet."
9 a.m. Sunday
President-elect Joe Biden will launch an "agency review teams" this coming week. It's the group of transition staffers that have access to key agencies in the current administration to smooth the transfer of power.
The teams will collect and review information such as budgetary and staffing decisions, pending regulations and other work in progress from current staff at the federal departments.
The teams are meant to lay much of the groundwork so that the thousands of new staffers and appointees who will take over in January will have a road map and guidelines for how to continue the federal government's work without pause, and how to shift the departments toward Biden's priorities.
Biden's campaign launched a transition team in May, and they've been working alongside designated staffers in President Donald Trump's administration on transition planning for months. But the agency review process begins in earnest after a new president is elected. Biden has just over 10 weeks to prepare before he is inaugurated.
On Monday, he plans to announce a team of scientists and experts that will work to craft a coronavirus response plan that can be enacted when he takes office.
Biden's transition team has also come out with a transition-focused website — BuildBackBetter.com — and is launching transition-focused social media accounts under the username "Transition46."
9:10 p.m. Saturday
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris brought their entire families on-stage with them to close out their victory party on Saturday night.
After delivering speeches outside of the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, the two were joined by their families to watch as red white and blue fireworks exploded in the sky. A collection of drones spelling out “USA” and outlining Biden’s logo flashed in the sky, prompting the Democrat to gaze at the sky with his mouth wide in delight. Biden’s wife Jill, seven grandkids, his son Hunter and daughter Ashley all gathered around him as the family enjoyed the display.
Harris, meanwhile, was joined by her sister Maya, her niece Meena and her husband, Doug Emhoff, as well as her two stepchildren. Harris wrapped her arms around a younger grand-niece as they watched the celebration, with more than 1,000 supporters dancing and waving American flags and Biden campaign signs. It was a celebratory ending to a day that was otherwise largely spent by the two Democrats waiting and watching as final returns rolled in.
9:05 p.m. Saturday
Joe Biden will unveil a group of scientists and experts to help him craft a plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
Biden announced his plans to launch the COVID-19 task force during remarks at his victory party Saturday night. He said those advisers would help him take the proposals he’s released during the campaign for dealing with the pandemic — which include investments in personal protective equipment and loans for small businesses as well as plans to implement more standardized public health guidelines — and turn those proposals into a “blueprint” that he’ll enact when inaugurated president next January.
Biden said the plan would be “built on bedrock science” and “constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern.” Biden made President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic a central focus of his campaign and pledged that his top priority as president would be managing the virus.
Biden said that “our work begins with getting COVID under control” , adding Americans “cannot repair the economy, restore our economy or relish life’s most precious moments” without doing so.
9 p.m. Saturday
In his first speech after securing the White House, President-elect Joe Biden is making an appeal to supporters of President Donald Trump.
Biden said Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, that “this is the time to heal in America” and pledged to be a president to represent even those who didn’t support him.
Noting”I’ve lost a couple times myself,” Biden said, “now, let’s give each other a chance.”
Trump has not conceded the race to Biden, pursuing legal challenges over ballot counts in several states.
Biden said “it’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” saying of his political opponents, “they are not our enemies. They are Americans.”
8:55 p.m. Saturday
Joe Biden is pledging to be a president “who seeks not to divide but to unify.”
Biden is delivering his first remarks as president-elect at a victory party in Wilmington, after he was officially declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday. Biden jogged onto the stage wearing a black suit, black mask and light blue tie. He pointed and waved at the screaming crowd gathered to hear him speak.
Echoing his campaign stump speech, Biden promised to be a president who “doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States,” and said he would work “with all my heart” to win the confidence of all Americans.
Biden touted the fact that he’s won more votes than any presidential ticket in history, calling his win “a convincing victory, a victory for the people.” He also said he was “surprised” by seeing the celebrations and an “outpouring of joy” in the wake of his win nationwide.
Biden said that “once again, America’s bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice.”
8:50 p.m. Saturday
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris is paying tribute to Black women who “so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”
Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first woman to be elected to the vice presidency.
Harris noted her ascension to the role comes 100 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified and 55 years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which expanded who could participate in American democracy.
She praised Joe Biden for having “the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country” by selecting a woman as his running mate.
“Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a county of possibilities,” Harris said.
The remarks were some of the most direct she has delivered about her history-making role as Biden’s running mate.
8:45 p.m. Saturday
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris says voters have “ushered in a new day for America.”
Harris is speaking Saturday in her first address to the nation since she and Joe Biden were declared the winners of the presidential election.
Harris says voters chose hope, unity, decency, science and truth in choosing she and Biden over President Donald Trump.
Harris, the first woman to be elected vice president, wore a white pantsuit in tribute to women’s suffrage. She also opened her remarks with a tribute to the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, who said democracy is not a state but an act. Harris will also be the first Black woman to serve as vice president.
8:30 p.m. Saturday
Hundreds of cars filled the parking lot outside the Wilmington convention center in Delaware for a drive-in rally to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.
With temperatures mild Saturday night, more than 1,000 people sat on the roofs of their cars or milled around in small groups nearby, many cheering and waving American flags or Biden campaign signs. The smell of grilling meat hung in the air not unlike a football tailgate, and some of the attendees danced and sang, sweating through facemasks that appeared to be nearly universally worn.
The campaign set up cranes with towering American flags, an American-flag lined stage and projected a 10-story tall Biden-Harris logo over a digital American flag on the side of a hotel beside the convention center. Blue and red lights illuminated state flags perched on the roof of another nearby building.
Organizers first erected the stage on Tuesday night, expecting to hold a Biden Election Night party. As vote counting continued and no winner was declared, the campaign kept the stage intact and the parking lot remained surrounded by high security fences with police controlling all access in and out.
8:15 p.m. Saturday
“The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.”
That’s the message from a White House official Saturday, even as President Donald Trump is refusing to concede after losing to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has insisted he will contest the results and his campaign has launched a flurry of legal action in a handful of states trying to overturn Biden victories.
But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the Trump administration is following all statutory requirements that govern government transitions.
6:20 p.m. Saturday
The #Sharpiegate controversy may be over now that the attorneys who challenged the use of the markers to complete Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix told a court they’re dismissing their legal challenge.
Roopali Desai, an attorney for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said she received notice Saturday from the court that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit are now ending the case.
A copy of the dismissal notice provided to The Associated Press doesn’t specify a reason for dismissing the case, and Alexander Kolodin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, declined a request for comment.
Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate their ballot. But many social media users have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers to fill out their ballots.
The lawsuit alleged tabulation equipment was unable to record a voter’s ballot on Tuesday because she completed it with a Sharpie. One of the remedies sought by the lawsuit was for voters who used Sharpies to be present to watch workers count ballots, a proposition that the judge expressed skepticism about.
Election officials say votes wouldn’t be cancelled if ink from a Sharpie bleeds through the back side of ballots and that there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out if problems arise.
6:15 p.m. Saturday
News of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Saturday set off celebrations and protests as jubilant supporters and frustrated opponents took to the streets in California’s major cities. Supporters of President Donald Trump rallied outside the state Capitol in Sacramento and marched in Beverly Hills demanding a recount of votes. Meanwhile, people threw block parties in Oakland as they expressed hometown pride in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her history-making turn as the first Black woman elected to the second-highest office in the United States. Similar scenes played out in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities where people danced on the street and honked their car horns.
3:15 p.m. Saturday
President Donald Trump has returned to the White House and a very different Washington, D.C., after losing his reelection bid.
Trump’s motorcade returned from his golf club in Virginia via roads largely cleared of other cars and people Saturday afternoon.
But as he approached the White House, he was welcomed home with boos and raised middle fingers. Chants of “Loser, loser, loser” and profanities were also heard as his motorcade drove by.
Trump has so far refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
3:05 p.m. Saturday
Joe Biden has spoken to Barack Obama, reaching out to the former president with one of his first calls as president-elect.
Biden's campaign confirmed the phone call Saturday with Obama, whom Biden served under as vice president for eight years, but offered few details on what was said.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama took to Twitter to say that she was "beyond thrilled" that Biden had been elected president and that his running mate, Kamala Harris, is "our first Black and Indian-American woman" as vice president.
In a series of tweets, the former first lady said the pair would "restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House."
But Michelle Obama also warned supporters that voting in elections for candidates who win "isn't a magic wand."
"Let's remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos and division," she tweeted, in a swipe at President Donald Trump. "We've got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us."
2:35 p.m. Saturday
Several hundred people have gathered outside President Donald Trump's Virginia golf club after his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The crowd includes dozens of Biden supporters celebrating his win, singing, "Hey hey hey, goodbye" and chanting, "Lock him up!" — a chant frequently heard at Trump rallies, directed at people he doesn't like.
There are also dozens of Trump supporters, many waving large Trump flags and chanting, "We love Trump!" A convoy of trucks festooned with pro-Trump and American flags has been driving up and down the street, with one driver jeering at the gathered press.
There's horn honking, cowbell ringing, whistle-blowing and plenty of cheering.
Trump was golfing when a flurry of media outlets, including The Associated Press, declared Saturday morning that Biden had won the election.
He is now on his way back to the White House.
2:15 p.m. Saturday
The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is welcoming the election of Joe Biden, calling him "a strong supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship."
Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday in a statement that he looks forward to working with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris "to further strengthen the bond between North America and Europe."
He added that "US leadership is as important as ever in an unpredictable world."
President Donald Trump had been a ferocious critic of NATO during his 2016 campaign and repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. from the alliance upon assuming office.
Trump pressed members of the alliance to boost their defense spending – a priority of his predecessors as well — in furtherance of collective defense. He also pushed the alliance to turn its focus from Russia to emerging threats from China and terrorism.
2:10 p.m. Saturday
Congressional Republican leaders have been notably silent on President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but several GOP allies of President Donald Trump are disputing the outcome.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted Saturday: "The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do." He added, "When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is."
Other rank-and-file Republican lawmakers took a similar approach, insisting on waiting for some other verification of the results.
"Voters decide who wins the election, not the media," tweeted Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. "I fully support President Trump as he continues to fight for every legal vote to be counted."
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
2:06 p.m. Saturday
Minnesota's Governor Tim Walz and other politicians tweeted out congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris after the announcement of Biden's victory.
Congratulations President-Elect @JoeBiden on a decisive, historic victory. The people have spoken. It's time to put politics aside and heal.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) November 7, 2020
Minnesota's ready to work in partnership with you to get the virus under control and put our economy back on track. Let's get to it!
Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on this victory. I know them to be strong, kind, empathetic leaders — and leaders who will lift up the best of who we are. I look forward to working with them both in Washington.— Tina Smith (@TinaSmithMN) November 7, 2020
2 p.m. Saturday
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who found himself at the center of President Donald Trump's impeachment, is congratulating Trump's replacement, President-elect Joe Biden.
In a Saturday tweet, Zelenskiy said "Ukraine is optimistic about the future of the strategic partnership with the United States." He added that the two countries "have always collaborated on security, trade, investment, democracy, fight against corruption. Our friendship becomes only stronger!"
A 2019 call from Trump to Zelenskiy, in which he asked the new Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden and the Democratic National Committee, sparked an intelligence community whistleblower complaint that resulted in Trump's impeachment last year.
Trump was eventually acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.
1:40 p.m. Saturday
Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The Utah Republican tweeted Saturday that he and his wife know Biden and Harris "as people of good will and admirable character." He says, "We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."
Romney, President Donald Trump's most vocal critic within the Republican Party, said Friday that Trump was "damaging the cause of freedom" and inflaming "destructive and dangerous passions" by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising unspecified legal challenges.
Romney had said earlier in the year that he wasn't voting for Trump. He didn't say for whom he did vote, however.
1:25 p.m. Saturday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer jointly called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on a "tremendous" victory.
That's according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.
The aide described it as a "happy call." Biden's wife, Jill, also joined the conversation Saturday.
The aide says Pelosi and Schumer look forward to working with the new Democratic administration to achieve "great things" for the American people. The two did not get along with President Donald Trump.
Another senior Democratic aide says Schumer was celebrating on the streets of Brooklyn during the call and held up his phone so Biden could hear the crowds cheering for his "historic victory." The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private call.
1:10 p.m. Saturday
Former President Barack Obama says he "could not be prouder" to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has "got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way," because he will enter the White House facing "a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has."
Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, "I know he'll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote."
He adds: "I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support."
Biden served as Obama's vice president for two terms.
1 p.m. Saturday
Two former Democratic presidents are offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Bill Clinton tweeted that "America has spoken and democracy has won." The 42nd president also predicted Biden and Harris would "serve all of us and bring us all together."
Jimmy Carter, the 39
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