White House transition to Joe Biden starts as President Trump relents

A reluctant US President Donald Trump on Monday allowed the transition to a new Joe Biden-led government to begin with the White House finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance to the transition process.

Without formally conceding the election to Biden, Trump gave the go-ahead for federal funds to start flowing to Biden so that he can carry out his transition duties before his 20 January inauguration as the 46th US president.
The General Services Administration on Monday ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the 3 November election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration and allowing Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on 20 January.
Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said in a tweet that he is directing his team to cooperate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.
Administrator Emily Murphy announced the decision after Trump’s efforts to subvert the vote failed. She also cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.” 
Trump had to finally back out after losing court battles and under pressure from leaders of his own Republican Party, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to "do what needs to be done." However, in the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"
But the Republican decision to sign off on the GSA's decision to work with the Biden transition team signaled the end of Trump’s resistance.
This means that Biden's team will now have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials.
This means that Biden's team will now have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials.
Biden's office has already announced a highly experienced group to be nominated for top US foreign policy and security posts. The GSA would now allow "support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power."
"In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies," Biden's transition director Yohannes Abraham said in a statement.
Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to "do what needs to be done."
In the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"
But the Republican decision to sign off on the GSA's decision to work with the Biden transition team signaled the end of Trump’s resistance.
This means that Biden's team will now have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials.
Biden's office, which hours earlier announced a highly experienced group to be nominated for top US foreign policy and security posts, said the GSA would now allow "support necessary to carry out a smooth and peaceful transfer of power."
"In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies," Biden's transition director Yohannes Abraham said in a statement.
Earlier, Biden announced a foreign policy and national security team, consisting mostly Barack Obama team veterans, including former State Department number two Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
Biden also named the first female head of intelligence, the first Latino chief of Homeland Security, the first woman as treasury secretary, and a heavyweight pointsman on climate issues -- Obama-era top diplomat John Kerry.
Avril Haines has been named director of national intelligence, and Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas will head the Department of Homeland Security, in what is seen as a reversal of Trump’s controversial immigration restrictions.
The list put out by Biden's team ahead of a formal announcement Tuesday demonstrated a push to bring back the US role of leader in multilateral alliances, in contrast to Trump's "America first" regime.
"They will rally the world to take on our challenges like no other -- challenges that no one nation can face alone," Biden tweeted. "It's time to restore American leadership."
Blinken, a longtime advisor to Biden, will spearhead a fast-paced dismantling of Trump's go-it-alone policies, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organisation and resurrecting the Obama-crafted Iran nuclear deal.
John Kerry has been named as new special envoy on climate issues, signaling the Democratic president-elect's policy on global warming threats.
Biden named career diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador while Jake Sullivan, who also advised Biden when he was vice president under Obama, was named national security advisor.
Biden is also bringing back 74-year-oid Janet Yellen, the Obama era Treasury Secretary, to manage the world's largest economy as Treasury secretary.
President Trump, meanwhile, has largely ended his public work duties, mostly heading out to a golf course he owns in Virginia more often than earlier.