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Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a spokesman. The spokesman said the younger Trump tested positive earlier this week and has been since isolating.

Also today, Michigan’s top two Republican lawmakers said after meeting with Trump at the White House Friday that they have learned nothing new to change the outcome of the election in their state.

“We will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement issued late Friday.

Here’s what to know:
  • Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters.
  • Biden is trying to minimize as an irresponsible distraction the escalating attempts by Trump and his allies to undermine or overturn the presidential election results.
  • The chaotic effort to upend the U.S. presidential election has moved from the courtroom to traditionally mundane events in county seats and state capitals.
  • Here are the people Biden is picking to fill his White House and Cabinet.
  • Election results under attack: Here are the facts.
November 20, 2020 at 10:03 PM EST
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Bipartisan Maricopa County board votes unanimously to certify election results

By Amy B Wang

In a unanimous decision, the five-member Maricopa County Board of Supervisors — four of whom are Republicans — voted on Friday to certify its election results, another blow to Trump’s efforts to undermine Biden’s win in the state’s largest county with baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud.

The special meeting, live-streamed to the public, had none of the partisan rancor that had plagued a similar board meeting in Wayne County, Mich., earlier in the week. Instead, for nearly three hours, supervisors representing Arizona’s largest county questioned elections officials in painstaking detail about how votes had been cast and tabulated, an effort to show transparency and that the process had been airtight.

Board Chairman Clint Hickman (R) noted his own office had received 180 letters, 4,000 emails and nearly 3,000 voice mails about the election.

“I continue to hear from government leaders and the public about the integrity of Maricopa County elections,” Hickman said. “I have listened to and considered all theories about what might have happened. Let me be clear: There is no evidence of fraud or misconduct or malfunction in Maricopa County, and that is with a big zero.”

Other Republican supervisors — Bill Gates, Steve Chucri and Jack Sellers — vouched for the integrity of the process and praised their work as a model for bipartisanship. The board’s lone Democratic supervisor, Steve Gallardo, said it was one of the most important votes they would undertake, to protect “the will of the voters.”

Hickman closed out the meeting with a veiled but pointed message for those, including Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who were continuing to allege widespread voter fraud.

“I have learned a lot about the character of people in this community regarding this matter. I’ve been disheartened by individuals using this time to find relevancy or fundraise off this issue,” he said. “It’s time to dial back the rhetoric, conspiracies and false claims.”

Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Maricopa County, which includes the greater Phoenix area, since 1948. (Former president Bill Clinton won Arizona, but not Maricopa County, in 1996.)

November 20, 2020 at 8:11 PM EST
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Nevada judge rejects request to throw out election results and order a do-over

By Emma Brown

A Nevada judge on Friday rejected a request from GOP activist Sharron Angle to throw out the results of the Nov 3. election and order a do-over.

Angle’s lawyer, Joel Hansen, argued that the new state law expanding mail ballots during the covid-19 pandemic had exposed the election to “rampant” fraud and should be declared unconstitutional.

He said more than 1,400 people had voted in Nevada after registering to vote in California, and that another 8,000 people had voted in 2020 after not voting in any election since 2010 or before. He also provided declarations from an army of volunteers who — after going to the addresses associated with voter registrations they consider suspicious — found examples of voters who were no longer living at the addresses where they were registered.

Judge Gloria Sturman said she was not convinced that any of those people had actually committed fraud. But if they had, she said the appropriate remedy was to report them to state officials for investigation and possible prosecution.

It would not be appropriate, she said, for her to discard the votes of 1.4 million Nevadans who voted in the election because of a suspicion that a few thousand people may have cast votes illegally.

Hansen said that the wrongful votes his client had identified were from a preliminary investigation, and that there were undoubtedly more.

Sturman was unmoved. “To throw out an election based on what-ifs is a really extreme request,” she said.

Sturman also repeatedly returned to the practical impact of nullifying an election: It would mean many elected officials, including herself, would be unseated with no one to fill their jobs. “As a matter of public policy, this is just a bad idea,” she said.

Nevada’s statewide returns are set to be certified on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a Carson City judge will hear the Trump campaign’s arguments that the election results should be overturned or annulled. Key pieces of those arguments have already been rejected by multiple state and federal judges.

November 20, 2020 at 6:35 PM EST
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Donald Trump Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus

By Ashley Parker

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a spokesman.

The spokesman said the younger Trump tested positive earlier this week and has been since isolating.

“He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended COVID-19 guidelines,” the spokesman said.

Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this year.

November 20, 2020 at 6:31 PM EST
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After White House meeting, GOP Mich. lawmakers say they’re not aware of information that would change election result

By Amy Gardner and Tom Hamburger

Michigan’s top two Republican state legislators said after meeting with Trump at the White House on Friday that they have learned nothing new to change the outcome of the election in their state.

“We will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election,” state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement issued late Friday.

The legislators traveled to Washington to meet with the president a day after Trump’s legal team held a news conference on Capitol Hill making clear that president still hoped to reverse the outcome of the election. The lawyers — Rudolph W. Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell — said one strategy would be to urge state legislators to block certification of Biden’s win and appoint electoral-college electors themselves who support Trump.

In their statement, the Michigan legislators also said that their state’s certification process should be “free from threats and intimidation.”

“Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” the statement said. “And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”

November 20, 2020 at 6:05 PM EST
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Some famous rappers backed Trump’s campaign. Did it matter?

By Clyde McGrady

In 1989, the FBI sent a letter accusing the rap group N.W.A of encouraging “violence against and disrespect” for law enforcement with its song, “F--- Tha Police.” The lead verse on that song — a righteous, venomous indictment of how police officers deal with young Black men — was written by Ice Cube, a 20-year-old artist who had become a gangsta rap revolutionary, channeling the anger of young, Black, inner-city men who felt America’s systems of authority were holding them back.

Flash forward another three decades, and Ice Cube was advising President Trump, who has backed police violence and railed against the Black Lives Matter movement, on how to connect with to young Black men who felt left behind economically. Specifically, Cube advised the Trump campaign on its “Platinum Plan,” which promised support for Black churches and businesses as well the “highest policing standards” for urban neighborhoods.

November 20, 2020 at 5:34 PM EST
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Georgia governor says he will follow state law, which requires him to accept certified election results

By Michelle Lee

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday said he would follow state law, which requires him to accept the certified election results from the secretary of state and affirm Biden’s lead over Trump.

In a brief statement Friday afternoon, Kemp did not explicitly say that he would certify the results but noted that he is required to do so by state law. Georgia law says the governor “shall” certify the results presented by the secretary of state, and the deadline to do so is 5 p.m. Saturday.

“State law now requires the governor’s office to formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate legal option if they choose,” he said in a statement.

“As governor, I have a solemn responsibility to follow the law, and that is what I will continue to do.”

Kemp said that he believed “the vast majority of local election workers did their job well under unprecedented circumstances.” But he said the mistakes uncovered in four of 159 counties through the statewide audit process were “simply unacceptable,” including thousands of ballots that were not scanned in one county.

Kemp called for election reforms, echoing recommendations made by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Friday morning.

The Trump campaign has said it plans to file a lawsuit in Georgia challenging its administration of the 2020 election. The campaign has until Tuesday evening to request another recount of the results, which would launch a process to rescan the presidential ballots that have already been hand-recounted and audited. State election officials have said they hope the hand recount reassures the public about the outcome of the election. Nonetheless, they have been preparing for a potential machine rescan recount.

November 20, 2020 at 5:09 PM EST
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Conservative Michigan advocacy group funded by DeVos family says Trump has lost

By Colby Itkowitz

The Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative advocacy group funded by the Trump-supporting family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has stated that President Trump has lost.

“The election is over. The results are in, and here in Michigan, they’re not going to change,” Tony Daunt, the Freedom Fund’s executive director, wrote in a statement.

The statement comes as Trump meets with Michigan GOP legislative leaders at the White House ahead of the state certifying the election results. Some Trump allies have called for the results in the state to be reversed by the GOP-majority legislature appointing Trump electors instead of Biden ones, citing baseless claims of vote fraud.

The fund accused Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of not taking those complaints seriously. However, it acknowledged that any investigation is not going to change the results in Michigan.

November 20, 2020 at 4:43 PM EST
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Michigan lawmakers arrive at the White House

By Amy Gardner

Michigan’s top Republican lawmakers arrived at the White House on Friday afternoon to meet with President Trump amid an urgent effort to keep them from endorsing the president’s baseless allegations of widespread election fraud and his attempt to delay their state’s certification of the vote.

State Senate President Mike Shirkey, House Speaker Lee Chatfield and other state GOP lawmakers were expected to meet with the president at 4 p.m. in what White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described as a routine visit with elected leaders.

But the visit comes as Trump has personally intervened to try to upend Michigan’s vote certification process. All 83 counties have certified their vote counts, giving President-elect Joe Biden a 156,000-vote margin of victory, and the state board of canvassing is scheduled to meet Monday to consider certifying the final state tally.

This week, the president called a GOP official who had voted to certify the results in Wayne County, home of Detroit. She and a fellow Republican board member subsequently tried to rescind their votes, a move the secretary of state’s office said was not permitted.

Trump’s invitation to Shirkey and Chatfield ratcheted up alarm among current and former elected officials in Michigan, who expressed fear that he would pressure them into embracing his unfounded claims of massive voter fraud in Detroit and encourage the state canvassing board not to certify the vote.

One of the two Republicans on the state canvassing board, Norman Shinkle, told The Washington Post on Thursday that he was leaning toward seeking a delay and requesting an audit of the vote, citing debunked conspiracy theories touted by Trump and his attorneys about voting machines.

“Right now the idea to check into some of these accusations seems to make sense to me,” he said.

November 20, 2020 at 4:29 PM EST
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Georgia certifies election results, including Biden’s victory over Trump

By Michelle Lee

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has officially certified the state’s general-election results, including Biden’s narrow lead over Trump.

The certification affirmed Biden as the winner in the state by 12,284 votes, after a hand-recount of roughly 5 million votes cast for president, the largest recount of its kind in U.S. history. The secretary of state’s office on Thursday announced the results of the hand recount, which found that Biden led Trump by 12,284 votes in the audited results. The final votes resulted in a 0.0099 percent variation from the original margin.

The announcement came after a mix-up earlier in the day, when election officials issued a correction that the certification was still ongoing, despite earlier sending a news release that the process was complete.

The election results will be submitted to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) for his certification, which is due Saturday afternoon and is considered a pro forma action to accept the secretary of state’s tally. Kemp was set to hold a news conference at 5 p.m. Friday.

The governor is not involved in the administering or finalizing of the state’s results, according to the secretary of state’s office. The Trump campaign has until Tuesday evening to request another recount of the results, which would launch a process to re-scan the presidential ballots that have already been hand-recounted and audited. State election officials have said that they hope the hand recount reassures the public about the outcome of the election.

Nonetheless, election officials across Georgia have been preparing to re-scan the ballots in anticipation of a potential request from the Trump campaign.

Biden’s narrow lead has prompted a barrage of attacks from Trump and other top Republicans in Georgia who have repeatedly sought to question the integrity of the election in the state.

November 20, 2020 at 3:48 PM EST
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Biden camp claims there’s mounting pressure on Trump to concede

By Anne Gearan

WILMINGTON, Del. — Biden remained mostly out of sight Friday, his 78th birthday, but his staff said that public pressure is mounting on Trump to end his long-shot quest to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.

Until Trump relents and allows the formal handover of power to begin, Biden and his incoming White House team cannot communicate with federal health authorities managing the coronavirus response or start other bureaucratic tasks.

“This isn’t a game, who gets to talk to him,” Biden transition official Yohannes Abraham said during a briefing for reporters. “Our inability to start our formal agency review process has the potential to have real impacts on families across the country. In fact, there’s a growing chorus of national leaders who are calling upon [the General Services Administration] to move forward with the transition and sounding the alarm about the potentially harmful impact of further delays.”

Abraham cited statements from the American Medical Association and others warning that the delay could hold up efficient distribution of vaccines now nearly ready for use and from business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pushing for the transition process to move ahead.

Transition official Jen Psaki cited a “shared running out of patience” among Biden, other Democrats, national security officials, business leaders and others as Trump refuses to concede nearly two weeks after Biden was declared the winner.

“We’ve seen that escalate externally,” Psaki said, including among business leaders concerned about the economic repercussions of the current limbo.

Biden met Friday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in Wilmington. Biden, seated at a large desk with the lawmakers spread far to his left and right, did not respond to shouted questions during a brief photo opportunity. All three Democrats wore face masks.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet acknowledged that Biden won the election.

November 20, 2020 at 3:34 PM EST
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Trump seems to acknowledge a change in administrations

By Colby Itkowitz

In a rare public appearance since the election, Trump gave remarks in the White House briefing room about the coronavirus vaccine and drug prices, during which he seemed to acknowledge his time as president may be coming to an end.

Discussing his administration’s efforts to lower prescription drug costs against the wishes of pharmaceutical companies, he said, in a seeming reference to his successor, “I just hope they keep it. I hope they have the courage to keep it, because the powerful drug lobby, Big Pharma, is putting pressure on people like you wouldn’t believe.”

The president again did not take any questions from reporters; he hasn’t since the week of the election.

While Trump seemed to indicate that his policies may end with his term, he continued to claim he won the election. His remarks were mostly focused on health care, but he did divert into a brief lament about the election, claiming everyone was against him.

Big Pharma ran millions of dollars of negative advertisements against me during the campaign, which I won, by the way,” Trump said. “But, you know, you’ll find that out — almost 74 million votes. We had Big Pharma against us. We had the media against us. We had big tech against us. We had a lot of dishonesty against us.”

He then complained that Pfizer waited until days after the election to announce the results of their successful coronavirus vaccine trial, suggesting the drug company didn’t want to give him that boost.

“They thought they’d come out with it a few days after the election and it would have probably had an impact. Who knows? Maybe it wouldn’t have. I’m sure they would have found the ballots someplace, the Democrats,” Trump said, referring to his baseless claim that fraudulent ballots turned up after election night to advantage Biden.

November 20, 2020 at 2:21 PM EST
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Pence strikes far different tone from Trump as he returns to the campaign trail

By John Wagner and Josh Dawsey

Vice President Pence struck a markedly different tone from Trump about the status of the presidential race as he campaigned in Georgia on Friday for the state’s two Republican Senate candidates in January’s runoff elections.

Speaking at a rally in Canton, Ga., Pence did not concede the presidential election and vowed to fight in court. But unlike Trump or his lawyers, the vice president made no claims of a rigged election or widespread fraud and seemed to leave open the possibility that the Republican ticket could lose.

“We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted. We’re going to keep fighting until every illegal vote is thrown out,” Pence said. “And whatever the outcome, we will never stop fighting to make America great again.”

The twin runoffs in Georgia have taken on added significance because they are likely to determine which party controls the Senate.

If Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler prevail, the GOP will maintain control. But victories by both of the Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, would give Democrats control if there is a Democratic vice president in office to break ties.

Pence acknowledged that possibility in his remarks, saying, the Republican Senate majority could be the last line of defense for all that we’ve done to defend this nation, revive our economy and preserve the God-given liberties that we hold dear.”

During his remarks, Pence did not mention the presidential election results in Georgia, which are expected to be certified Friday in Biden’s favor.

Much of the speech was a tribute to Trump’s work in office — and Pence often spoke in the past tense.

November 20, 2020 at 1:19 PM EST
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Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claims 'advocacy’ isn’t purpose of Trump meeting with Michigan GOP lawmakers

By Colby Itkowitz

In her first White House press briefing in almost three months, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made several misleading and questionable claims.

Asked why Trump summoned Michigan GOP state legislative leaders to the White House for a meeting mere days before the state is set to certify the results of the election, McEnany claimed it wasn’t campaign related.

“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.

McEnany, who for weeks leading up to and following the election, has gone on television as a campaign spokeswoman, claiming that the role is separate from her day job as press secretary, declined to comment on how the Trump campaign imagines it would get the election results overturned.

I will leave it to the campaign to make those determinations as to how to proceed,” she said.

McEnany also falsely claimed that Trump “was never given an orderly transition of power."

In 2016, two days after the election, President Barack Obama invited Trump to the White House to discuss the job and a smooth transition. Trump even thanked Obama for the transition efforts in his inaugural speech.

“Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition,” Trump said. “They have been magnificent.”

November 20, 2020 at 11:53 AM EST
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Michigan Democrats hope state GOP leaders summoned to White House won’t be cajoled by Trump

By Colby Itkowitz

Michigan Democrats on Friday declined to pass judgment on their GOP colleagues meeting with Trump at the White House later in the day, saying they were hopeful that the lawmakers would emerge unwilling to try to alter the outcome of the election.

Trump has summoned Michigan GOP legislative leaders Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield to the White House in an apparent effort to convince them to ignore Biden’s popular-vote win in the state and seat Trump electors instead.

State Sen. Jeff Irwin (D) on a call with reporters ahead of that meeting likened it to their “getting called into the principal’s office.” He said he hoped his GOP colleagues wouldn’t give in to Trump’s demands.

Senator Shirkey has already stood up and said that the will of the voters ought to be respected and I’m hopeful that when he emerges from this meeting with President Trump that he’s going to stand by the voters of Michigan, stand up for Michigan voters, show them that our system does have legitimacy,” Irwin said.

The president “today is trying to cajole, bully and maybe even bribe them into doing something that would be a disaster for our country. It would damage our legitimacy, that would ruin our prestige around the world, and that would cause a tremendous instability in our country,” he added.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (Mich.), also on the call, wouldn’t rule out calling for an investigation into Trump’s attempts at interfering in the election results, but said she also is reluctant to create more division.

A lot of discussions going on right now about what the right thing to do is,” Dingell said. “We need to see what’s going to happen out of this meeting. Do I think it’s a totally inappropriate meeting? Yes, but … I want to see what actions occur.”

Dingell added, “We are not going to let these people in the White House undermine a democracy that has lasted for 200 years, that makes us the greatest country in the world.”