The latest on Biden's transition

By Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 8:07 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020
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4:56 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

More than 100 House Republicans file brief in support of Texas lawsuit

From CNN's Daniella Diaz and Kristin Wilson

More than 100 House Republicans have signed on to an amicus brief related to an application from Texas to the Supreme Court asking for an emergency order to invalidate the ballots of millions of voters in four battleground states that Joe Biden won.

Two notable Republican leaders on the list are House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer.

Names notably absent from the brief include House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Doug Collins, a Trump ally and Freedom Caucus member.

However, the following GOP House members from the four states being sued by Texas, whose own elections could be thrown into question in the unlikely event the suit is successful, have signed on to the amicus brief:


  • Rick Allen 
  • Buddy Carter 
  • Drew Ferguson 
  • Austin Scott 


  • Jack Bergman 
  • John Moolenaar 
  • Tim Walberg 
  • Bill Huizenga


  • John Joyce 
  • Fred Keller 
  • Mike Kelly 
  • Dan Meuser 
  • Scott Perry 
  • Guy Reschenthaler
  • Glenn Thompson


  • Tom Tiffany 

4:28 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

CDC director calls Biden's pick to lead agency "outstanding"

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Robert Redfield speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House on November 19 in Washington.
Robert Redfield speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House on November 19 in Washington. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he has called to congratulate infectious disease expert Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who President-elect Joe Biden selected to lead the public health agency.

Redfield said he "had a chance to give her a call and congratulated her." 

"I think she's a great choice ... My replacement, she's outstanding, I think she's gonna do great work," Redfield said during a Council on Foreign Relations virtual meeting on Thursday.  

Additionally, Redfield suggested that "the American public should have confidence in this transition." 

"My advice, you know, to her will continue as she asks me. We're here to help her succeed, and I'm sure she will. She's going to be leading what's really a group of extraordinary individuals," Redfield said.

4:05 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

Georgia and Wisconsin attorneys general file responses in Texas dispute

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

The attorneys general of Georgia and Wisconsin joined Pennsylvania and Michigan in a strong rebuke of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn President Trump's defeat in the election.

Georgia's Attorney General Christopher Carr put more emphasis than the others on the federalism implications of Texas’ lawsuit. 

“Texas presses a generalized grievance that does not involve the sort of direct state-against-state controversy required for original jurisdiction,” he said. 

Wisconsin’s Attorney General Joshua Kaul said that the Texas bid represents an “extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin’s and the other defendant States’ elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each State.” 

“And in any case, there is another forum in which parties who (unlike Texas) have standing can challenge Georgia’s compliance with its own election laws: Georgia’s own courts,” he wrote. 

4:17 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

Biden hopes to announce remaining Cabinet selections before Christmas

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden’s goal is to have his remaining Cabinet selections announced before Christmas, a transition official tells CNN, with no plans of delaying any decisions until the outcome of the Georgia runoffs determines control of the Senate.

This, of course, is contingent on Biden making up his mind and not delaying decisions, as he hears criticism and suggestions from outside supporters and advocates.

Several announcements are expected next week. CIA director is expected to be at the beginning of the week, with others grouped together later.

The timing of the attorney general announcement remains unclear, with sources offering conflicting indications of when it could happen.

A separate source today insists Biden has yet to reach a final decision, but others believe he has. But we do know the four finalists are Doug Jones, Merrick Garland, Sally Yates, Deval Patrick, with Jones and Garland seen as the top two options.

3:00 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

Pennsylvania blasts Texas effort to invalidate millions of votes

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

Pennsylvania filed a blistering brief at the Supreme Court Thursday opposing an attempt by Texas’s attorney general—supported by President Trump—to block millions of votes in four battleground states that went in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. 

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the lawsuit is “legally indefensible and is an afront to principles of constitutional democracy.”

 “What Texas is doing in this proceeding is to ask this Court to reconsider a mass of baseless claims about problems with the election that have already been considered, and rejected, by this Court and other courts,” he wrote.

“Texas has not suffered harm simply be-cause it dislikes the result of the election, and nothing in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution supports Texas’s view that it can dictate the manner in which four other states run their elections. Nor is that view grounded in any precedent from this Court. Texas does not seek to have the Court interpret the Constitution, so much as disregard it," he continued.

More on the Texas lawsuit: Although all 50 states have certified their election results and the Supreme Court swiftly rejected an emergency request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block election results in the commonwealth, the justices are now grappling with a new controversial bid from Texas, supported by President Trump and 17 other Republican-led states.

They are asking the Supreme Court for an emergency order to invalidate the ballots of millions of voters in four battleground states — Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.

2:07 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

The White House will get a deep clean when Biden moves in

From CNN's Kate Bennett

A member of the White House cleaning staff sanitizes the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on October 5, 2020.
A member of the White House cleaning staff sanitizes the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on October 5, 2020. Win McNamee/Getty Images

When the White House welcomes a new first family it gets a thorough cleaning in the five hours allotted for the turnover. But with a global pandemic raging — and an outgoing President whose orbit is rife with people shunning public health guidelines and coming down with Covid-19 — this Jan. 20 is expected to include a deeper, more exhaustive cleaning, according to a White House official.

It's one of many changes expected around how the White House operates when President-elect Joe Biden takes over. His campaign has diligently modeled public health guidelines with mask wearing and social distancing even as he campaigned against outgoing President Trump, who instead held large rallies packed with people, many of whom did not wear masks.

While there are not "firm plans" for execution, the agency in charge of things, the General Services Administration, is handling what will be a "thorough disinfecting and cleansing" of every surface in the 55,000 square foot mansion.

Here's what else to expect:

  • Rugs and window treatments, if kept, will be deep-cleaned, according to the official.
  • The executive residence will be deep-cleaned and likely sprayed "in the same manner as the West Wing and the rest of the White House has been since Covid regulations and guidelines were implemented months ago."
  • The official said the details of the cleanser and timing of rounds of cleansing, and how many, are all questions for the GSA.

In November, after at least two outbreaks of Covid-19 occurred in the White House, one affecting the first family, GSA contracted a company to regularly "mist" disinfectant cleaner throughout the interior.

Press have witnessed some of the current cleaning, which involve staff in full hazmat-looking suits misting widely used areas such as the briefing room.

These misters are now a frequent and welcome presence to those who work in the building, as science has determined the highly contagious coronavirus can linger on surfaces, as well as be passed through air.

The misters and the cleaners will have to tackle the White House's 132 rooms, which consist of 16 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, six levels of the residence, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and at least three elevators.

1:21 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

This Republican senator isn't ruling out objecting to election results in Congress

From CNN's Ted Barrett, Ali Zaslav, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images
Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Rand Paul told CNN he is not ruling out joining a member of the House to object and challenge election results on Jan. 6 when Congress meets in a joint session to accept the votes of the Electoral College.

“We’re still looking at all the legal stuff that’s happening with the legal cases and we’ll make our decision after we’ve seen all the legal challenges,” the Kentucky lawmaker said.

Under the rules, any House member can join a senator to raise objection to a state’s electoral college results. Doing so would spark debate and votes. The expectation isn’t that anyone could overturn the results of the election, but it would be a political spectacle.

House conservatives have said they plan to mount an objection on the House floor, but it’s unclear if a senator would join the effort. Both Paul and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have left that option open

2:54 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

Biden announced a slate of new key administration picks today. Here's who he selected. 

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday announced a slate of new Cabinet nominees and picks for top roles in his administration.

Here's who he announced:

  • Denis McDonough for secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Tom Vilsack for Agriculture secretary
  • Marcia Fudge for secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Susan Rice, former national security adviser during the Obama administration, as his director of the Domestic Policy Council
  • Katherine Tai, who oversaw trade enforcement for China during the Obama administration, as his nominee for United States Trade Representative

All of Biden's picks except Rice will require confirmation by the United States Senate to serve in their roles.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to introduce these key administration members at an event on Friday in Wilmington, Delaware, the transition team said. CNN had previously reported all of these administration picks.

The picks reflect how Biden is turning to longtime advisers and experts in their respective fields for top posts in his administration. Many have close ties with Biden and developed relationships with the President-elect while working in the Obama administration.

Here's who else Biden has picked so far for his Cabinet.

12:40 p.m. ET, December 10, 2020

Harris' husband Doug Emhoff will join Georgetown Law next month

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Douglas Emhoff, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ husband, will become a member of Georgetown University's faculty in January, according to a release from the law school.

He will serve as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice, teaching related coursework starting with “Entertainment Law Disputes” in the upcoming spring semester. A two credit course, according to the transition.

He will also serve as a Distinguished Fellow of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy, as part of a new entertainment and media law initiative that will include a speaker series and other projects, the release added.

The transition added that the role will be “separate and apart” from his role as second gentleman, and Emhoff will continue to work with the Biden-Harris transition team to develop the portfolio he will focus on to support the work of the incoming administration.

“I’ve long wanted to teach and serve the next generation of young lawyers,” Emhoff said in a news release. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Georgetown community.”