Stock Markets
Daily Stock Markets News

Donald Trump shows transition will be as turbulent as his presidency

Trump’s refusal to concede the election, delusional tweets about states tipping his way and failure to so far grant President-elect Joe Biden access to federal funding and resources to power up his administration mean America is in for a rocky 71 days. Trump may be a lame duck, but he retains the authorities of the presidency until noon on January 20, and his chokehold on the Republican Party was if anything strengthened by winning 70 million votes last week. So the President has the power — institutional and political — and apparently the motivation to create a great deal of disruption before returning to civilian life.
Attorney General William Barr, who has shown a propensity for using his own power to advance the President’s political aspirations, on Monday told prosecutors they should examine unsupported allegations of voting irregularities before states certify results in the coming weeks. The move will raise concerns of a fresh attempt by the Trump administration to overturn the will of voters, but like the President’s campaign, Barr’s memo failed to produce any evidence of fraud. However, it did lead the top election crimes prosecutor to quit in protest over the change in policy.

And Trump waited only two days after the election was called for Biden to start exacting retribution on those he sees as enemies inside his administration.

He sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper, apparently because he showed insufficient loyalty to the President’s political goals. And a senior administration official told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Esper is worried Trump will next fire CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The pair is said to be at risk for putting US national security ahead of the President’s desire to use the intelligence services to pursue his “deep state” conspiracy theories.

Esper’s firing reflected the President’s capacity to rock key agencies of the government in his remaining weeks in office to make it easier to enforce his will and create disruption in the government that could hobble Biden’s early days in office.

“Frankly, he can do a lot of damage, by destabilizing every major agency, by firing a whole series of senior leaders,” Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday.

Monday’s developments emphasized that while Biden’s margins in states where the result of the election have yet to be finalized make any overturning of results almost impossible, Republicans are seeking to create a shadow over his triumph in order to delegitimize his presidency in the minds of millions of conservative voters. That may end up being Trump’s most destructive legacy.

A transition that is more important than normal

Trump agency tasked with transition process has yet to recognize Biden's victory

Traditionally, and in accordance with law, an outgoing administration makes available financing, office space and other federal resources to make the business of inheriting an entity as vast as the multi-trillion dollar US government as smooth as possible, on the principle that even political opponents share a desire to preserve the national interest. Typically, this process begins within hours of an election being called.

New administrations swiftly send “landing teams” into federal agencies to get up to speed in operations, to consider staffing needs and to receive briefings on vital programs. In national security and military departments, incoming officials learn of covert activity under way, behind-closed-doors diplomacy and threat information that a new president needs to know. The process also allows officials to get a jump on establishing their national security clearances.

The current transition is even more critical given the raging coronavirus pandemic that is as bad now as it has ever been and a consequent economic crisis.
But so far, Trump-appointed General Services Administration administrator Emily Murphy has yet to trigger the procedure to initiate the transition — known of ascertainment — as the President continues to insist baselessly that his second term is being stolen by Democrats.

His attitude — hardly surprising after his consistent prioritization of his personal and political goals — and the organizational roadblocks mean the next few months will be as acrimonious and chaotic as the previous three-and-a-half years of his presidency.

“I think this is going to be the most hostile and tumultuous presidential transition in modern history, at least since the 1932 transition in the middle of the Great Depression,” said Rebecca Lissner, a non-resident scholar at Georgetown University and co-author of the new book “An Open World” that lays out a new roadmap for US foreign policy.

“What we need to fear is what can happen when you have an outgoing Trump administration that actively hobbles the incoming Biden team whether by virtue of incompetence or…

Read More: Donald Trump shows transition will be as turbulent as his presidency

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.