Trump Campaign Wires $3M to Wisconsin to Cover Recount Request

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign on Wednesday filed for a partial recount in Wisconsin to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

The campaign wired $3 million to Wisconsin election officials to cover the cost of the recount request, which officials are expected to approve and order Thursday.

Trump’s campaign said in a statement that it is requesting recounts in two heavily Democratic counties: Milwaukee, which includes the city of Milwaukee, and Dane, which contains the state’s capital of Madison.

The campaign claimed “illegal” voting activity was carried out by Wisconsin election officials, without providing evidence of any widespread problems that could upend Biden’s more than 20,000-vote lead.

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As Georgia’s Hand Recount Ends, Count Shows Biden Still Ahead

Georgia election officials expect to release the results of a statewide audit by noon Thursday, as a handful of counties finish data entry from a full hand recount of 5 million presidential votes.

Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office said Wednesday afternoon that at least 21 of 159 counties show their risk-limiting audit is still in process, including some of the large jurisdictions in metro Atlanta. The deadline for the audit is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

“We cannot do the full quality-control process until all the data entry is in there,” he said. “We will likely be having to use every minute of that midnight deadline.”

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President-Elect Joe Biden Announces New White House Staff Picks

President-elect Joe Biden announced additional senior White House staff hires, tapping some of his longest-serving aides to serve alongside newer players in his orbit in key roles in the West Wing.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus who served as Biden’s campaign co-chair, will lead the White House Office of Public Engagement. The post gives him broad reach to help advance Biden’s agenda across the federal government and to work with state and local governments, and also as a “point of entry” for outside groups, according to Anita Dunn, a Biden transition adviser who also played a top campaign role.

“This new role will allow me to offer advice to the president when he wants, maybe sometimes when he doesn’t want it,” Richmond said. “I’ll also be in an office in the West Wing. When you talk about the needs of Louisiana, you want someone in the West Wing.”

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President Trump Fires Top Cybersecurity Official Christopher Krebs

President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday night that Christopher Krebs, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, had been fired effective immediately.

Why it matters: Krebs, who is responsible for securing voting technology, has drawn bipartisan praise for his handling of the election and debunking of misinformation. Reuters recently reported he expected to be fired after he pushed back against false claims that Democrats “rigged” the election, a claim that Trump has heavily promoted.

Our thought bubble: Krebs is a universally respected figure even in the notoriously fractious world of cybersecurity and information security, notes Zach Dorfman, author of Axios’ Codebook newsletter.

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Where Trump and Republican Election-Related Lawsuits Stand

Washington — As President-elect Joe Biden lays the groundwork for his transition to the presidency, President Trump still refuses to acknowledge his defeat and is instead looking to the courts to rescue his chances for a second term in the White House, though in most cases unsuccessfully.

Since Election Day, the number of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and Republican voters in an effort to halt the certification of election results has swelled to more than a dozen, with the legal battles focused on a handful of key battleground states where Mr. Trump lost. The president continues to claim the cases provide him a pathway to victory over Mr. Biden, but they involve too few ballots for him to close the president-elect’s 5.5 million-vote lead or change the outcome of a state’s race. Mr. Biden secured 306 electoral votes to Mr. Trump’s 232.

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Trump’s National Security Advisor Acknowledges Biden’s Victory, Vows ‘Professional Transition’

The White House’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, on Monday promised President-elect Joe Biden an orderly transfer of power, a departure from other Trump administration officials who have shunned any perception that President Donald Trump lost the election.

“If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner — and obviously things look that way now — we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council,” O’Brien said in a virtual interview at the Global Security Forum. “There’s no question about it.”

O’Brien said he trusts Biden to stock his team with qualified foreign policy hands, including those who have served in previous presidential administrations, and to ensure a continuity of leadership for the United States.


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Third GOP Senator Comes Out Against Federal Reserve Board Nominee

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said on Monday that he opposes Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve board, but he won’t be in Washington this week to vote against her.

“I oppose the nomination of Judy Shelton because I am not convinced that she supports the independence of the Federal Reserve Board as much as I believe the Board of Governors should. I don’t want to turn over management of the money supply to a Congress and a President who can’t balance the federal budget,” Alexander said in a statement.

Alexander, who is retiring at the end of his term, is the third GOP senator to oppose Shelton. GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have also said they will vote against her.

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US Military Anticipates Trump will Issue Plan to Withdrawal Troops

(CNN)US military commanders are anticipating that a formal order will be given by President Donald Trump as soon as this week to begin a further withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before Trump leaves office on January 20, according to two US officials familiar.

The Pentagon has issued a notice to commanders known as a “warning order” to begin planning to drawdown the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and 2,500 in Iraq by Jan 15, the officials said. Currently there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.
The Pentagon and White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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Republicans Urge the Trump Administration to Begin Formal Transition Process

As President Trump continues to refuse to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, Republican governors and officials called on the Trump administration to begin the transition process.

“It’s clear that, certainly, based on what we know now, that Joe Biden is the president-elect and that transition, for the country’s sake, it’s important for a normal transition to start through,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “The president can go on his other track and his legal track. We should respect that, but we also need to begin that process.”

However, DeWine also said the president’s legal challenges to the election should be allowed to play out.


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Trump Admits Biden Won Then Insists He’s Not Conceding

(CNN)President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time on Sunday that Joe Biden won the presidential election, but the President refused to concede and blamed his loss on a string of conspiracy theories.

Most news networks declared Biden the victor more than a week ago. Since the call was made, Biden has given a victory speech and gotten his transition team up and running. But Trump, who had questioned the validity of the election before votes had even been cast, is continuing to dig in his heels on unsupported legal challenges lodged by his allies over vote counts in several states and asserting that the fight has only begun.
“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump said in one Sunday morning tweet. In another, he stood by his false belief he may be able to win the election and refused to concede, writing, “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go.”

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