The latest on Biden's transition

By Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 8:01 p.m. ET, December 22, 2020
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12:08 p.m. ET, December 22, 2020

A review of Trump's schedule shows few official events since Election Day

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein

A US Marine stands guard outside the West Wing of the White House on Monday.
A US Marine stands guard outside the West Wing of the White House on Monday. Samuel Corum/AFP/Getty Images

Today marks seven weeks since Election Day and President Trump continues to remain largely behind closed doors, focusing on ways he can overturn the results of the election.

Trump has no public events listed on his schedule Tuesday, and has not had an official White House event on his schedule since Friday.

His last public appearance was Dec. 12, when he attended the Army-Navy football game and participated in an on-camera interview with Fox News. Trump last took questions from reporters on Dec. 8.

By the numbers:

  • 24 days with no public events at all listed on Trump’s schedule since Election Day (Note: these are not consecutive days)
  • 13 public appearances open to the press since election night
  • 30 official White House business events listed on the schedule, 17 of which were closed to the press
  • 1 on-camera interview (Fox News, Dec. 12)
  • 2 public appearance where Trump took questions from reporters (Thanksgiving and the Operation Warp Speed event)
  • 9 days spent on his golf course since Election Day
12:51 p.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Georgia Senate candidate Ossoff casts his ballot during early voting in Atlanta

From CNN’s Caroline Kenny

Jon Ossoff prepares to vote in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Jon Ossoff prepares to vote in Atlanta on Tuesday. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff early voted in Atlanta at the Metropolitan Library on the south side of the city.

Ossoff is one of two Democratic candidates vying to flip the Senate during the crucial Jan. 5 runoff election. Democrats need to win both seats to force a 50-50 Senate and gain control with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris eventually casting the tie breaking vote.

Ossoff didn’t make any remarks inside the polling location — he simply walked in the room, checked in and then walked over to the voting machine to cast his ballot. He said thank yous and then walked out a different door.

Overall, a very quick process. Ossoff was the only voter in the room at the time.

Prior to voting, Ossoff made some brief remarks, a condensed version of his stump speech, at a park across the street with young supporters gathered around him.

11:30 a.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Key things to know about Biden's expected pick for education secretary 

From CNN's Dan Merica, Jeff Zeleny and Kate Sullivan

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities

President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona as his education secretary, two people familiar with the matter say, a decision that could be one of the final Cabinet selections before Christmas.

A formal announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

Biden has set a goal of reopening most schools within the first 100 days of taking office, a position that has touched off controversy with some teachers' unions. 

Cardona has been a leading proponent of sending children back to school, saying too many students are falling behind during virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are some other key things to know about Cardona:

  • Biden has pledged to select a schoolteacher to serve as education secretary. Cardona fits that bill, starting his career nearly two decades ago as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut before becoming a principal. He was named the state's top education official in August 2019.
  • Cardona, whose parents moved from Puerto Rico to Connecticut, would be another high-profile Latino in the Cabinet if confirmed by the US Senate. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has urged Biden to select Cardona.
  • Cardona was appointed Connecticut's commissioner of education by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont in August 2019. He came to the role with two decades of experience as a public school educator from the city of Meriden, according to the state's government website, after beginning his career as an elementary school teacher and later serving for 10 years as a school principal. In 2013, Cardona became the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.
  • He served as co-chair of the Connecticut legislative achievement gap task force and as co-chair of the Connecticut birth to grade three leaders council, according to the state's website.

Read more here.

11:26 a.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Georgia Democratic senate candidate says he would have voted for stimulus package, "but $600 is a joke"

From CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Caroline Kenny and DJ Judd

Megan Varner/Getty Images
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Democratic candidate for Senate Jon Ossoff said that despite previous criticism of the Paycheck Protection Program and coronavirus relief packages, he’d would have voted for last night’s relief bill.

Ossoff is one of two Democratic candidates vying to flip the Senate during the crucial Jan. 5 runoff election.

“I would have voted for it because relief is eight months too late, but $600 is a joke," he told CNN on Tuesday before casting his vote in Georgia's special election.

Ossoff went on to call his opponent, incumbent Sen. David Perdue, “a man who treats his senate office like it’s his E- trade account, who blatantly and flagrantly abuses his power to enrich himself.”

Ossoff added that Perdue "must make it clear where he stands" on challenging the results of the Electoral College. 

Read more about the relief package here.

10:22 a.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Here's which Biden Cabinet roles haven't been announced yet

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

President-elect Joe Biden has yet to announce several key roles in his incoming administration, including attorney general, labor secretary and commerce secretary.

Biden's goal was to have all —or most — of his remaining Cabinet selections announced by Christmas, a transition official previously told CNN, but prospects for reaching it are dimming.

The nominee for attorney general is no longer expected to be announced before Christmas, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN, as Biden continues deliberating on one of the most high-profile positions in his incoming administration.

Here are the positions that haven't yet been announced:

  • Attorney general
  • CIA director
  • Secretary of commerce
  • Secretary of education (CNN has reported that Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona is Biden's pick for his education secretary, according to two people familiar with the matter. A formal announcement could come as early as Wednesday.)
  • Secretary of labor
  • Small business administrator

Here's a look at who Biden has selected so far for his Cabinet and other top roles:

10:49 a.m. ET, December 22, 2020

More than 1.6 million votes have been cast so far in the Georgia Senate runoff election

From CNN’s Devon Sayers

Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images
Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images

Over 1.6 million ballots have been cast in the US Senate runoff elections in Georgia, according to election officials.

The key Jan. 5 election continues to gain national attention as it will determine which party controls the Senate.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

  • Total absentee ballots requested as of today: 1,294,911      
  • Total absentee ballots by mail accepted: 621,098  
  • Total in person: 1,057,526 
  • Total cast ballots: 1,678,624  

During the November 2020 general election, early voting at this same period was at just 1.9 million ballots.

President-elect Joe Biden stumped for the Democratic candidates last week. Trump was in Georgia at the beginning of December and has promised to return for another rally on January 4, the night before Election Day.

9:54 a.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Biden's attorney general announcement likely to slide until after Christmas 

From Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny

Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona as his education secretary, two people familiar with the matter say. It's a decision that could be one of the final Cabinet selections before Christmas.

Biden has set a goal of reopening most schools within the first 100 days of taking office, a position that has touched off controversy with some teachers’ unions. Cardona has been a leading proponent of sending children back to school, saying too many students are falling behind during virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cardona, whose parents moved from Puerto Rico to Connecticut, would be another high-profile Latino in the Cabinet. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has urged Biden to select Cardona. A formal announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

After the Department of Education, Biden will have five Cabinet seats still to name – chief among them, Attorney General.

That decision is no longer expected to be announced before Christmas, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN, as Biden continues deliberating on one of the most high-profile positions in his new administration.

The delay puts Biden well behind his recent predecessors in the timing of choosing a nominee to lead the Justice Department.

Former President Barack Obama, for example, selected Eric Holder on Dec. 1, 2008. Former President George W. Bush, whose election went into overtime for more than a month with the Florida recount, announced John Ashcroft on Dec. 22, 2000.

For Biden, the deliberations about whom he should nominate as attorney general have emerged as some of the more complicated of the transition.

As CNN has previously reported, two of the final contenders for the post are Judge Merrick Garland and outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones.

2:54 p.m. ET, December 22, 2020

Biden names more White House senior staff

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President-elect Joe Biden announced more members of his senior White House staff today, including longtime adviser Bruce Reed as a deputy chief of staff.

Reed traveled with Biden throughout the campaign and is a long-serving member of his close-knit circle of advisers.

He came under fire from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other liberals for his connections to tech firms and the business world, which likely complicated him from getting a higher-ranking position in the Biden administration.

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

Biden will deliver remarks this afternoon ahead of the Christmas holiday

President-elect Joe Biden will deliver remarks to the country this afternoon ahead of the Christmas holiday. He is set to speak in Wilmington, Delaware. 

His remarks come as the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccines continue across the US and the country surpassed 18 million cases yesterday.

Last night, Biden praised Congress' passage of a long-awaited Covid-19 rescue package after months of gridlock. He noted in his tweet, however, that "our work is far from over."

See Biden's tweet: