White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to say on Friday when President Donald Trump will concede the election to Joe Biden while claiming that the current occupant of the Oval Office was denied an orderly transition by his predecessor.
McEnany ended her 15-minute briefing, her first in two months and in which she only took a few questions, with the false claim President Trump was not given an easy, early transition to power.
‘I would note just as we talk about transfer of power in the election and its worth remembering, this president was never given an early transition of power. His presidency was never accepted,’ she said.
Then-President Barack Obama hosted Trump in the Oval Office on November 10 – two days after the 2016 presidential election – to congratulate him on his win and let the transition process begin.
Hillary Clinton also conceded the election to Trump.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to say when President Donald Trump will concede the election to Joe Biden
President Trump and his legal team are trying to overturn the election results
But McEnany used her podium in the White House briefing room to relive a litany of complaints from this administration about their treatment.
She brought up the fact several Democrats skipped Trump’s inauguration ceremony; the counter intelligence investigation into President Trump’s 2016 campaign, when the FBI was probing Russia’s actions in that election; special counsel Robert Muller’s probe; and the impeachment process.
‘Many sought to undermine him, discredit him, delegitimize him, and deny him his victory,’ she said. ‘There were no calls for unity or calls for healing.’
‘Let us not forget the inexcusable transition or lack thereof that President Trump had to endure in 2016 and for years into his presidency,’ she said closing out her briefing.
The White House press secretary held out hope that Trump could score legal victories in court that may give him a second term in office.
‘There is ongoing litigation, what we know 74 million Americans have voted for this president and more votes than any president has gotten in history,’ she said at her first press briefing since October 1.
‘There are very real claims that the campaign are pursuing,’ she said of the campaign’s ongoing litigation in battleground states Biden won.
‘We are taking it day by day and we will wait for that litigation as it plays out,’ she noted.
Biden received nearly 80 million votes and leads in the electoral college with 290 votes to Trump’s 232. States are in the process of certifying their results and the electoral college meets December 14 to certify the election.
McEnany argued the large number of mail-in ballots – more than 65 million Americans used that system of voting – raised questions about the results.
‘This is a system that has never been tried in American history – mass mail-out voting – it’s one we have identified as being prone to fraud,’ she said.
Multiple studies have shown that there is very little voter fraud in mail-in voting and there have been no reports of major fraud this year.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, in her first press briefing since October 1, took few questions
Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, both Republicans, and visit Trump in the White House Friday
Trump’s legal team – led by Rudy Giuliani – has shown no evidence of mass voter fraud and most of their lawsuits have failed. Giuliani held a bizarre press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Thursday where he repeatedly argued he had proof of voter fraud but refused to show it.
The president, meanwhile, continues to pursue every avenue available to try and stay in the White House.
He is meeting with Michigan Republicans – Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield – at the White House on Friday afternoon as part of his frantic, long shot attempt to overturn the results.
The meeting isn’t on the president’s public schedule, which is not reflective of all his daily activities, but comes as Trump is said to be obsessed with figuring out a way to stay in the White House.
McEnany declined to say what the president would speak to them about but did say it was not an ‘advocacy’ meeting.
‘They will be meeting later on. This is not an advocacy meeting. There will be no one from the campaign there. He routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country,’ she said.
The president and his allies appear to be pursing the questionable legal theory that if the states don’t certify the election results, the Republican-controlled state legislatures can intervene and appoint pro-Trump electors in states Biden won. Those electors would cast their ballot for Trump when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14 – thereby handing him the presidency.
Election experts say there is no scenario in which this could happen and even some Republican lawmakers in those states have dismissed the idea.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, held a press conference on Thursday where he claimed evidence of voter fraud but refused to provide proof
McEnany also refused to address when the transition process may begin.
The head of the General Services Administration has not signed off on the ascertainment process, which formally lets the Biden team contact the federal agencies.
‘GSA will make the determination at the right moment. Right now, there’s a constitutional process being played out there are questions being asked in court but the GSA will determine when ascertainment is reached,’ she said.
She claimed the White House was following all the legal requirements when it came to the transition process.
‘There was a presidential transition act that determines exactly what an administration needs to do in advance of an election and we have done everything statutorily required and we will continue to do that,’ she said.
Trump’s efforts are increasingly being seen as grasping at straws in his unlikely attempt to overturn Biden’s victory.
In Pennsylvania, his legal team suggested in a filing Wednesday that the judge order the Republican-led state legislature to pick delegates to the Electoral College in a bid to toss the state’s 20 electoral votes to Trump. A judge canceled an evidentiary hearing in the case.
In Arizona, the Republican Party is pressuring county officials to delay certifying results. The GOP lost a bid on Thursday to postpone certification in Maricopa County, the state’s biggest county. Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes, and Maricopa County put him over the top – making him the second Democrat in seven decades to carry the state.