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President Trump on Tuesday said in a tweet that Chris Krebs, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director, has been “terminated.” The president, who has continued to refuse to accept that he lost the election, said a recent statement by Krebs, in which he called the Nov. 3 election “the most secure in American history,” was “highly inaccurate.” There is no evidence to back Trump’s claims.

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the hiring of nine senior White House officials, including close confidants from his winning campaign, as he forged ahead with his transition.

Here’s what to know:
12:34 a.m.
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Trump fires top U.S. election security official who led efforts to debunk voter-fraud claims

By Colby Itkowitz

Trump fired top U.S. election security official Chris Krebs in a tweet over his agency’s efforts to dispel disinformation about voter fraud — claims perpetuated by the president and his allies.

Krebs, head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security, signaled last week that he expected to be terminated.

“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud - including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, ‘glitches’ in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more,” Trump tweeted, again making claims that have repeatedly been rejected by courts. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

A committee within CISA, which worked on protecting U.S. voting systems in the 2020 election, released a firmly worded statement Thursday calling the Nov. 3 elections “the most secure in American history” and contradicting any claims of widespread voter fraud.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the committee members wrote. “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

After the CISA release went out, Krebs retweeted an election law expert who called out Trump for spreading misinformation.

“Please don’t retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they’re made by the president. These fantasies have been debunked many times,” wrote David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, adding a link to a CISA Web page called Rumor Control that seeks to correct misinformation about voting in U.S. elections.

Earlier Tuesday, before Trump announced his firing, Krebs responded to allegations of computer fraud manipulating the election results, quoting a letter from election security experts that calls the claims “unsubstantiated” or "technically incoherent.”

12:06 a.m.
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Trump campaign challenges Nevada results

By Emma Brown

The Trump campaign said it is challenging Nevada’s election results under a state law that lets candidates contest an election based on allegedly fraudulent votes and other grounds.

In a document filed Tuesday, Republicans asked a state court in Carson City to declare Trump the winner of Nevada’s six presidential electors or to annul the election entirely, meaning no winner would be certified from Nevada. The document promises evidence of fraud but does not provide it.

The move comes in the wake of multiple lawsuits brought by Republicans seeking to block or delay vote-counting in Democratic-leaning Clark County, only to be rejected by judges who said they had presented little or no evidence of wrongdoing and fraud.

The election contest filed Tuesday reprises some of the previously rejected allegations, including the claim that Clark County officials violated state law by using a machine to verify some mail-ballot signatures rather than processing them all manually. Other claims include that officials did not allow for “meaningful” observation, that people voted improperly in the state and that some people were offered improper incentives to vote.

Under Nevada law, parties to the case may take depositions of any witnesses and the court must hold a hearing in five to 10 days.

Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria has said that his staff has forwarded isolated complaints about alleged voter fraud to the secretary of state for investigation but that overall he is confident in the county’s election system.

Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II said in a statement that challenges alleging fraud in Clark County “should be regarded as attempts to discredit the electoral process.”

“If we want to see our state and our country recover from this pandemic and prosper once again, we must come together,” McCurdy said. “As for this election, it’s time to move on.”

The Nevada secretary of state’s office declined to comment on the contest.

11:49 p.m.
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Trumps to skip Thanksgiving Mar-a-Lago trip

By Josh Dawsey

President Trump is no longer expected to go to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving next week, said Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump.

The president has gone every year since becoming president and usually golfs and hosts an elaborate feast. He was going to leave Tuesday, said a senior White House official familiar with the plans, but legal battles had made that unlikely.

Trump has largely stayed out of the public eye since losing the election, save for a brief Veterans Day appearance at Arlington National Cemetery and a Rose Garden appearance to tout coronavirus vaccine developments. Several aides have described him as deflated.

11:24 p.m.
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Deadlocked board in key Michigan county fails to certify vote totals by deadline

By Kayla Ruble and Tom Hamburger

The two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted against certifying the ballot count in the Detroit area Tuesday evening, leaving the four-member board in a deadlock. The move means that the largest county in Michigan has failed to certify the vote by the Tuesday deadline. The issue now moves to state board, which has until Dec. 13 to reach a final decision certifying the winner of the election statewide.

10:45 p.m.
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Trump campaign is dealt another legal blow by Pennsylvania Supreme Court

By Amy Gardner

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court delivered yet another legal defeat to Trump on Tuesday, reversing a lower court’s ruling that Philadelphia had violated state law by not giving Republican poll watchers sufficient access to observe the vote count after the election.

The ruling came as opening arguments were underway in a related case in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where the president’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani had taken over litigation duties for the Trump campaign.

In that case, the Trump campaign initially argued that thousands of ballots should be discarded because of inadequate observer access, before dropping this request from an amended version of its lawsuit. But Giuliani indicated in court Tuesday that the campaign wanted to restore it. Lawyers for the state said they expect the Supreme Court ruling to lead to the dismissal of the federal case, too.

In the majority opinion, the state justices ruled that the Philadelphia canvassing board broke no laws in creating boundaries for observers in a space that was set up to preserve ballot security while also allowing for social distancing.

State law “requires only that an authorized representative ‘be permitted to remain in the room in which the absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are pre-canvassed,’ ” states the opinion, signed by five justices.

Even the Supreme Court’s two dissenters Tuesday, who argued that Philadelphia had not followed state law, wrote that their finding should not invalidate all votes counted in the facility.

“Short of demonstrated fraud, the notion that presumptively valid ballots cast by the Pennsylvania electorate would be disregarded based on isolated procedural irregularities that have been redressed — thus disenfranchising potentially thousands of voters — is misguided,” the dissent states.

9:44 p.m.
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Biden pandemic advisers add pressure for White House cooperation

By Anne Gearan

WILMINGTON, Del. — Doctors advising Biden on the coronavirus pandemic invoked the need for rapid distribution of a vaccine as they sought Tuesday to add pressure on Trump to begin cooperating with the man who defeated him.

Vaccine distribution is hard under the best of circumstances, former FDA commissioner David Kessler told reporters during a briefing arranged by the Biden transition office.

“We don’t have a day to waste” waiting for Trump and his aides, Kessler said.

Two weeks after the Nov. 3 election and 10 days after Biden was declared the winner, Trump has refused to acknowledge the results or to green-light normal cooperation between the outgoing administration and the incoming one.

Federal employees are at work designing the rollout for one or more vaccines now nearing initial distribution, but Biden’s team is blind to those plans, Kessler and two other doctors leading Biden’s effort said.

“There is valuable information inside the administration that you know is held by career officials, by other political appointees and others who have been working hard at the covid response for the last year. We need to talk to those individuals. We need to work together with them,” said former surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy.

Biden said Monday that Trump’s intransigence could cost lives as the country copes with a nationwide surge in cases this winter.

9:25 p.m.
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The election was a chance for Facebook and Twitter to show they could control misinformation. Now lawmakers are grilling them on it.

By Cat Zakrzewski and Rachel Lerman
Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 to discuss the measures they took to control misinformation. (Reuters)

Twitter and Facebook executives fielded familiar questions from lawmakers Tuesday about their moderation and labeling practices, and scratched the surface of their actions during the 2020 election.

Both social media companies took unprecedented steps to limit the spread of election misinformation both before and in the weeks following the vote, and eventually lawmakers got around to asking the executives about those actions. But first, lawmakers focused on their pet issues with the companies, including unsubstantiated claims of bias against conservatives and concerns that the platforms have become too dominant in the market.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were last before a Senate panel just three weeks ago, when they appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to answer questions about their companies’ content moderation practices.

8:47 p.m.
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Raffensperger deputy on Graham call confirms his boss’s account of conversation

By Amy Gardner

A top deputy to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who was on a call between his boss and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) confirmed Tuesday that he heard Graham suggest that Raffensperger should try to discard whole counties’ worth of absentee ballots, including legal ones.

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting systems implementation manager, told reporters Tuesday that Graham asked Raffensperger questions about how the state’s signature verification process works. In Georgia, if voters’ ballot envelope signatures don’t match the signatures on file, those ballots are rejected and the voters are notified and given a chance to fix the deficiency.

Raffensperger told The Washington Post on Monday that Graham asked him if partisan bias might cause some invalid signatures to be accepted, and, if those invalid signatures could be identified in large numbers, whether all of the absentee ballots from those counties could be tossed out.

Sterling confirmed those details. “What I heard were discussions of absentee ballots, if there were a percentage of signatures that weren’t truly matching, is there some point where we could go to a court and throw out all of the ballots,” he recalled.

Sterling also repeated Raffensperger’s assertion that, barring court intervention, the secretary doesn’t have the power to take such a step, as counties administer elections in Georgia.

“I could see that Sen. Graham wanted to go one way and Secretary Raffensperger wanted to go another way,” he said.

In response to The Post’s report Monday evening, Graham, a supporter of President Trump, said he was simply trying to learn more about the integrity of the election in a key state that helped President-elect Joe Biden to victory. Graham said he also spoke to election officials in two other states where Biden won with razor-thin margins, Arizona and Nevada — but the secretaries of states in both quickly denied speaking with him.

Graham’s inquiry with Raffensperger came on the same day that a Trump supporter in Atlanta, lawyer Lin Wood, filed a lawsuit alleging that Raffensperger had violated the Constitution by altering the state’s signature-matching rules as part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed by Democrats.

The suit claimed that people of color were disproportionately harmed by the state’s signature-matching rules. In the settlement, Raffensperger and Democrats agreed to require multiple county election officials, rather than just one, to agree that a signature doesn’t match before a ballot is disqualified. The settlement also gave voters more time to fix rejected ballots.

In the lawsuit filed Friday, Wood argued that the new signature-matching requirements are cumbersome and make it more likely that county election officials won’t bother verifying signatures at all.

In fact, in several states with extensive experience with mail voting, such signature-verification procedures are standard.

The suit also criticized Raffensperger for instituting a ballot-tracking system as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the increased demand for mail voting. That system “increased pressure” on local election officials to process ballots quickly, making it less likely that they would properly verify signatures.

8:26 p.m.
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Analysis: Trump and allies pitch yet another woeful voter-fraud theory in Nevada

By Aaron Blake

Trump’s and his allies’ scattershot hunt for voter fraud appears to have landed on its new target: a race in Nevada that elections officials have moved to redo because of ballot discrepancies.

To hear Trump and his allies tell it, it’s something amounting to a voter-fraud smoking gun. As usual, the truth is far less compelling.

“Big victory moments ago in the State of Nevada,” Trump tweeted, adding that the “County Commissioner race, on same ballot as President, just thrown out because of large scale voter discrepancy. Clark County officials do not have confidence in their own election security. Major impact!”

The language they use, though, is highly misleading and sometimes demonstrably false.

7:56 p.m.
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House Republicans retain McCarthy, other top leaders in the next Congress

By Mike DeBonis

House Republican lawmakers, fresh off surprise gains in the general election, voted to keep their top leadership team in place. Remaining in their jobs are Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.), all of whom ran unopposed.

While in past elections, McCarthy has had to fend off grumbles from his most conservative colleagues, he will enter the coming Congress at the apex of his power and influence, supported by members across the party’s ideological spectrum. That is, in part, a testament to the party’s performance, winning at least 11 House seats from Democrats and beating widespread expectations of GOP House losses — including within the party itself.

Joining the Republican caucus next year will be at least 17 women and seven non-White members, greatly bolstering the diversity of the GOP ranks. That was a key priority for McCarthy, who endorsed several of those incoming members in competitive GOP primaries.

McCarthy’s leadership is also a reflection of the close relationship he has cultivated with Trump, who speaks frequently with the 55-year-old Californian about political strategy and has quieted much of the right-wing dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s style.

Now, while Trump is set to influence Republican politics from the sidelines, McCarthy will have a muscular minority and a political tail wind as he seeks to become the first Republican House speaker from California after the 2022 midterms.

Scalise and Cheney will remain in their posts after speculation that a Democratic rout could have threatened McCarthy’s hold on the top job, sparking a leadership battle between the two junior leaders.

“House Republicans will use every available opportunity to fight against Democrats’ socialist agenda while uniting the country behind a bold conservative vision that delivers results for hard-working families,” Scalise said in a statement.

7:28 p.m.
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Trump’s new Pa. lawyer previously said lawsuits ‘will not reverse this election’

By Teo Armus

Moments after the presidential race was called for Joe Biden, Marc A. Scaringi took to his talk radio show to question President Trump’s dubious legal campaign to challenge the election results in some swing states.

“At the end of the day, in my view, the litigation will not work,” the Harrisburg, Pa., lawyer said on iHeartRadio on Nov. 7. “It will not reverse this election.”

Barely a week later, Scaringi is now playing a key role in one piece of that litigation, representing the Trump campaign in what may be its last stand in Pennsylvania — an unlikely lawsuit intended to block the Keystone State from certifying its election results.

6:46 p.m.
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Loeffler agrees to debate Warnock ahead of Senate runoff election in Georgia

By John Wagner

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) has accepted an invitation to debate Democrat Raphael Warnock ahead of their Jan. 5 runoff election for a Senate seat from Georgia, according to the Atlanta Press Club, the event’s host.

The debate between Loeffler and Warnock, who previously accepted the invitation, will take place Dec. 6, the club said.

Their race is one of two for Senate seats from Georgia, which will determine whether Republicans have a slim Senate majority or a 50-50 split in the chamber.

On Monday, the Atlanta Press Club said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) had declined an invitation to debate Democrat Jon Ossoff, the two candidates in the other runoff election.

Ossoff has confirmed that he will participate. Perdue will be represented by an empty lectern if he does not change his mind, the organization said.

“That is not our preference,” the group noted in a news release. “The Atlanta Press Club works hard to provide a platform for all candidates running for public office.”

Both debates are scheduled to take place live in the studios of Georgia Public Television.

6:04 p.m.
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How a Biden presidency could advance transgender rights — and lead to backlash

By Samantha Schmidt and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
President-elect Joe Biden mentioned the transgender community during his first speech after he was announced as the projected presidential winner on Nov 7. (The Washington Post)

On Nov. 7, when major news outlets called the election for Biden, the transgender community watched as the president-elect specifically mentioned them in his victory speech, the first U.S. president-elect in history to do so.

It was only one word, but the mention of the transgender community in Biden’s acceptance speech was a symbolic shift from a presidential administration that has spent the past four years repeatedly erasing protections for transgender people — in health care, federal employment, federal prisons, homeless shelters and other housing services receiving federal funds.

5:59 p.m.
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Analysis: Angry at vaccine makers, Trump is pushing a last-minute plan to lower drug prices

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Trump is infuriated that Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccine candidates are highly effective after the presidential election, even though company officials insisted that the timing wasn’t politically motivated.

Now the president is trying to get back at the pharmaceutical industry in the waning weeks of his administration.

The Department of Health and Human Services may soon release a proposal to lower drug prices in the Medicare program through what’s known as the “most favored nation” price. The policy, dreaded by the industry, would require drugmakers to accept the lowest price from the government for medicines paid by comparably wealthy countries in Europe and elsewhere.

It’s not clear that the incoming administration would keep such a regulation — so the move is viewed as a final, desperate effort to give Trump the ability to claim the “win” on lowering drug prices he’s sought for years.