The latest on Biden's transition

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:07 p.m. ET, December 9, 2020
7 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:42 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

YouTube will remove new content that alleges fraud surrounding outcome of 2020 presidential election

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Getty Images
Getty Images

YouTube said Wednesday that it will now begin to remove new content posted to its platform that “misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.”

The company said the decision comes after enough states certified election results to determine Joe Biden as the US President-elect. 

If the company is able to keep to its commitments, YouTube’s announcement could have an impact on high-profile right-wing channels and personalities, including President Trump and One America News Network, which have spread conspiracy theories suggesting that Biden’s victory is illegitimate. 

“For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come,” YouTube said in a blog post

9:22 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

Despite SCOTUS blow, Trump continues to tweet about election cases

From CNN's Allie Malloy

President Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 8.
President Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 8. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Despite the Supreme Court delivering a crushing blow to Trump's long shot bid to invalidate President- elect Joe Biden's victory, Trump is continuing to tweet on court cases and claiming the rejected SCOTUS case was “not my case.”

This is Trump’s first reaction to the Supreme Court’s denial of a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block certification of the commonwealth's election results. 

“This was not my case as has been so incorrectly reported. The case that everyone has been waiting for is the State’s case with Texas and numerous others joining. It is very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET. How can you have a presidency when a vast majority think the election was RIGGED?” Trump tweeted.

Trump is likely referring to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who filed a brash and sweeping complaint Tuesday that asked the court to overturn Biden's wins in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. 

"We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!" Trump also wrote Wednesday.

10:39 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

The NAACP wants Biden to create a Cabinet-level civil rights envoy

From CNN's Eric Bradner

The head of the NAACP planned to push President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to create the role of civil rights czar, following a model Biden has already established in naming John Kerry to a Cabinet-level position as a climate envoy, during a virtual meeting Tuesday.

The proposal was to come during a virtual meeting Biden and Harris held with the leaders of civil rights organizations Tuesday in Delaware. It's part of an effort by Black leaders, who delivered Biden to victory in the Democratic primary, to hold him to his promise to nominate the most diverse Cabinet in history.

"We oftentimes as a country talk about the reaction to history as opposed to talking about the opportunity of the future as it relates to diversity and equity. And that's what we want to lean into," NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in an interview before the meeting in which he previewed the proposal.

In a statement, the NAACP called the position it is proposing the "National Advisor on Racial Justice, Equity and Advancement."

Johnson said the call for a civil rights czar is modeled after corporations that have tapped top-level diversity and inclusion officers, and that those posts have been most effective when those officers report directly to the company's leader.

He wouldn't name specific individuals he'd like to see named to such a post, saying he first wanted to "see if there's buy-in by this administration so that we can really see the position come to life."

10:10 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

HHS Secretary Azar says he’s already met with the Biden transition team

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt and Andrea Diaz

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that he has already met with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and is willing to meet with Biden's pick for HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra, as well.

“I will be in touch with him as is appropriate. One has to be respectful of the Senate confirmation processes, but I’ll be in touch,” Azar said. 

Although Azar didn't have a set date for when he would meet with Becerra, he added that he wants to ensure a "full cooperative professional transition." He said his priority is protecting Americans through the coronavirus pandemic.  

“I want to ensure that any transition is as smooth, as professional as possible, because we’re about ensuring the health and well-being of the American people, and that's what matters to me,” he added. 

Biden yesterday introduced key members of his health team, including Dr. Anthony Fauci who will serve as chief medical adviser to the President on Covid-19 and will also continue in his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Biden also laid out three objectives for battling the pandemic: vaccinating at least 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office, signing a mask mandate and aiming to safely reopen schools.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he would be willing to meet with President-elect Joe Biden. Azar said he would be willing to meet with Biden's nominee Xavier Becerra.

Watch:

10:39 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

Biden's nominee for defense secretary would make history if confirmed 

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden named retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee for secretary of defense, the Biden transition team announced Tuesday. He is set to formally introduce his nominee at an event this afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware.

The former commander of the US Central Command would make history as the first Black person to lead the Pentagon if confirmed by the US Senate.

"Today, I ask Lloyd Austin to once more take on a mission for the United States of America—this time as the secretary-designate of the Department of Defense. I know he will do an outstanding job," Biden wrote in an op-ed published by The Atlantic on Tuesday.

"In his more than 40 years in the United States Army, Austin met every challenge with extraordinary skill and profound personal decency. He is a true and tested soldier and leader. I've spent countless hours with him, in the field and in the White House Situation Room."

Austin has worked closely with Biden in the past. While Biden was vice president, Austin served as the vice chief of staff of the Army and commanding general of US forces in Iraq, and later the commander of CENTCOM. Biden and Austin had discussions on a range of issues, including those in the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

Austin would need a congressional waiver to be confirmed for the civilian post because federal law requires seven years of retirement from active duty before taking on the role. Austin retired from active-duty service only four years ago.

Though the use of the waiver is rare, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis received a waiver from Congress in 2017 to serve as President Trump's defense secretary.

Some Democrats in Congress at the time expressed concerns about setting aside the precedent of maintaining civilian leadership in the military, but the waiver was ultimately approved by both chambers, allowing Mattis to serve in the position until his departure in December 2018.

8:18 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

These are Biden's 3 objectives for curbing Covid-19 in his first 100 days

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that in consultation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, his newly announced chief medical adviser, he has outlined three objectives for his incoming health team.

First, for his initial 100 days in office he will ask every American to wear a mask. The President-elect said he would sign an executive order on his first day in office to require masks, "where I can under the law, like federal buildings, interstate travel on planes, trains and buses."

Second, he said his team will help get "at least 100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days."

Biden said his third priority is to get kids back into schools. He said that if Congress provides the necessary funding and states and cities put strong health measures in place, "My team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.

Biden has named Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, as his nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was US surgeon general in the Obama administration, as his nominee for surgeon general. Becerra would be the first Latino to lead HHS if confirmed by the United States Senate. Murthy will also require Senate confirmation.

Read more here.

8:15 a.m. ET, December 9, 2020

Electoral College electors will cast votes on Monday. Here are key dates to watch until Inauguration Day.

Analysis from CNN's Zachary B. Wolf and Will Mullery

Americans who went to the polls on Election Day didn't actually select the President directly.

They were technically voting for 538 electors who, according to the system laid out by the Constitution, meet in their respective states and vote for president and vice president once the popular vote totals are completely counted and certified. The electors are set to meet Monday to cast their votes for US president.

These electors are collectively referred to as the Electoral College, and their votes are then forwarded to the president of the Senate, who counts them in a joint session of Congress after the new year. 

Here's a look at some key dates from now until Inauguration Day:

Dec. 14

  • Electoral votes cast: In law, this date is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This year it falls on Dec. 14. Six days after disputes are supposed to be settled, electors are supposed to meet in their respective states and cast votes for US president. They certify six sets of votes and send them to Washington. Many states have laws requiring their electors to support the winner of their state's election and can levy fines against faithless electors who go their own way.

Dec. 23

  • Electoral votes must arrive in Washington: The certified electoral votes have nine days to get from their states to Capitol Hill.

Jan. 3

  • New Congress is sworn in: Members of the House and new members of the Senate take the oath of office at noon. This is the official start of the 117th Congress.

Jan. 6

  • Electoral votes counted: Members of the House and the Senate all meet in the House chamber. The president of the Senate (that’s Vice President Mike Pence) presides over the session and the Electoral votes are read and counted in alphabetical order by two appointees each from the House and Senate. They then give their tallies to Pence, who announces the results and listens for objections. If there are objections or if there are, somehow, multiple slates of electors put forward by a state, the House and Senate consider them separately to decide how to count those votes.There are 538 electoral votes — one for each congressman and senator plus three for Washington, DC. If no candidate gets 270, the 435 members of the House decide the election. Each state gets a vote. The House has until noon on Jan. 20 to pick the President. If they can't, it would be the vice president or the next person eligible in the line of presidential succession.

Jan. 20

  • Inauguration Day: A new president takes the oath of office at noon. In a disputed election, if the House has not chosen a President but the Senate has chosen a vice president, the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House makes a choice. And if there's no president-elect and no vice president-elect, the House appoints a president until one is chosen.