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Biden transition gets US government approval to move forward

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By Euronews  with AP
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at The Queen theatre Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at The Queen theatre Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)   -   Copyright  Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

The US government gave the green light for President-elect Joe Biden's transition, recognising him as the "apparent president-elect" in the November 3 election.

The US General Services Administrator, Emily Murphy, gave the go ahead for Biden to coordinate with federal agencies ahead of the January 20 inauguration, stating in a letter to the president-elect that her decision came following "recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results."

US President Donald Trump, who for weeks has claimed that he won the US election, tweeted that he would recommend the team cooperate with the transition.

"I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same," Trump tweeted.

He continues to refuse to concede the election, however, stating that his team is "moving full speed ahead" and "will never concede."

A growing number of Republicans had also acknowledged Biden's victory after being silent on Trump's claims of fraud.

Murphy, a Trump appointee, had faced criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner.

The move prevented Biden's team from receiving highly classified national security briefings and working with government agency officials on plans for the incoming administration.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” she wrote in a letter to Biden.

Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden transition, said the decision “is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Murphy's action “is probably the closest thing to a concession that President Trump could issue.″

The decision by Murphy came after the key state of Michigan certified the victory of Joe Biden and a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to prevent certification in Pennsylvania.

Some of Trump's allies had expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors in states that do not certify.

“The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th,” Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said.

Trump's efforts are expected to continue despite his futile attempts to throw out votes.

He had reportedly grown frustrated with his legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, which has been the subject of mockery due to several erratic public appearances.