U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name the first members of his Cabinet on Tuesday, reportedly including former deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken as his choice to lead the State Department.
Blinken has close ties to Biden after serving in high-level national security roles while Biden was vice president during the Obama administration. His expected nomination was reported by multiple news organizations late Sunday.
Also among the expected Cabinet picks are Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a former assistant secretary of state for Africa, as Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Jake Sullivan to be Biden’s national security adviser.
No concession, new fraud allegations
While Biden is transitioning to become the country’s 46th president at his inauguration on January 20, Trump has refused to concede the election. On Sunday, the outgoing U.S. leader told his followers on Twitter, “We will find massive numbers of fraudulent ballots...Fight hard Republicans.”
But Trump’s legal fight has been fruitless so far, with his campaign losing or withdrawing 34 lawsuits claiming vote and vote-counting fraud in key battleground states Biden was projected to win to claim a four-year term in the White House.
Trump has not upended the vote count in any state, leaving intact Biden’s unofficial 306-232 majority vote in the Electoral College. It determines U.S. presidential elections, not the national popular vote, although Biden leads there, too, by more than 6 million votes.
Trump’s legal team filed an appeal Sunday after its latest courtroom defeat contesting the election came late Saturday in Pennsylvania, whose 20 electoral votes Biden won by an 81,000-vote margin.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann declared that the Trump campaign had presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” in its effort to throw out millions of votes in Pennsylvania and hand the state’s electoral votes to Trump.
“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” Brann wrote.
Republicans urge Trump to accept loss
After Brann’s decision was announced, a key Republican Trump supporter in the state, Senator Pat Toomey, urged the president to accept his election loss.
“President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania,” Toomey said. “I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country.”
Another Trump adviser, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, told the ABC show, “The conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.”