Vowing “to get right to work,” President-elect Joe Biden shrugged off President Donald Trump's fierce refusal to accept the election outcome as “inconsequential,” even as Democrats elsewhere warned that the Republican president's actions were dangerous.
Raising unsupported claims of voter fraud, Trump has blocked the incoming president from receiving intelligence briefings and withheld federal funding intended to help facilitate the transfer of power. Trump's resistance, backed by senior Republicans in Washington and across the country, could also prevent background investigations and security clearances for prospective staff and access to federal agencies to discuss transition planning.
As some Democrats and former Republican officials warned of serious consequences, Biden sought to lower the national temperature Tuesday as he addressed reporters from a makeshift transition headquarters near his home in downtown Wilmington.
See the latest updates below (all times Eastern):
5:06 p.m. Wednesday
North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis has won reelection to his U.S. Senate seat, confirming that Democrats must now win both runoff races in Georgia in January if they are to seize Senate control from the GOP.
Tillis earned a second term in the U.S. Senate by defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham.
Tillis’ victory gives the GOP at least 50 seats in the chamber early next year. But Senate partisan control won’t be decided until two runoffs are held in Georgia on Jan. 5. Two Democratic wins in the runoffs would create a 50-50 Senate, where Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would wield the tiebreaking vote.
12:15 p.m. Wednesday
President Donald Trump has won the state of Alaska.
The Republican nominee was awarded the state’s three electoral votes, pushing his Electoral College tally to 217.
His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won those states in 2016.
Biden has 290 electoral votes.
The Associated Press has still not called Georgia and North Carolina in the presidential race.
Control of the Senate won’t be decided until the new year after Republicans won a seat in Alaska on Wednesday. Incumbent Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. Neither party can lock the majority until January runoffs in Georgia.
11 a.m. Wednesday
Georgia election officials have announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand recount.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference Wednesday that his office wants the process to begin by the end of the week and he expects it to take until Nov. 20.
After results from the hand recount are certified, the losing campaign can then request another recount, which will be performed by machine, Raffensperger said.
President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by about 14,000 votes in the state.
6 a.m. Wednesday
More than one week after Election Day, the presidential race has still not been called in Alaska, North Carolina or Georgia. The states would not affect the outcome of the election, as Biden has already clinched the 270 electoral votes needed to win. However, Trump claims there is voter fraud in several crucial states. His campaign has not yet provided evidence of widespread voter fraud.
4 p.m. Tuesday
Biden delivered a speech on the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, the same day the high court heard arguments on its merits. It ruled eight years ago to leave the essential components of the law known as Obamacare intact, but is now controlled 6-3 by a conservative majority after President Donald Trump's appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Speaking after the arguments, Biden called the Republican-backed challenge to the law “cruel and needlessly divisive” and vowed to enact reforms to expand coverage when he’s in office next January, regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court case.
5:30 a.m. Tuesday
Biden will deliver a speech on the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, the same day the high court will hear arguments on its merits. It ruled eight years ago to leave the essential components of the law known as Obamacare intact, but is now controlled 6-3 by a conservative majority after President Donald Trump's appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
4 p.m. Monday
Despite President-elect Joe Biden's victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Donald Trump is “100% within his rights” to question election results and consider legal options.
The Republican leader said Monday the process will play out and “reach its conclusion.”
Trump has declined to concede the presidential race and is mounting legal fights, but there has been no indication or evidence of voter irregularities or fraud in the election.
McConnell's comments were his first public remarks after Biden was declared the winner on Saturday.
2:20 p.m. Monday
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden on an “apparent victory” but adding that President Donald Trump should be afforded the chance to challenge the results.
Collins won reelection last week over Democrat Sara Gideon. She asked voters who have questions about the results of the presidential election to be patient.
“First, I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory – he loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement. “Presidential transitions are important, and the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern on January 20th.”
Collins added that Trump’s desire to challenge the results should be handled in accordance with existing laws. Trump has so far refused to concede to Biden.
She says, “I understand that the president and others have questions about the results in certain states. There is a process in place to challenge those results and, consistent with that process, the president should be afforded the opportunity to do so.”
President-elect Joe Biden is imploring Americans to “wear a mask” to help fight the spread of the coronavirus — “no matter who you voted for.”
He says, "We are Americans, and our country is under threat.”
The Democrat said Monday the act could slow the death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic, which he noted could climb by 200,000 more before a vaccine is widely available.
Biden said, “Please, I implore you, wear a mask.” He noted masks could save the lives of older people, children and teachers and added: “It could even save your own life.”
Biden notes that he doesn’t take office until Jan. 20 but is assuming a public leadership role in the fight against the pandemic ahead of being sworn in.
12:05 p.m. Monday
President-elect Joe Biden is warning the United States is “still facing a very dark winter” as he unveils plans for addressing COVID-19 pandemic.
Even as hopes of a vaccine lifted stocks, Biden said Monday another 200,000 lives could be lost before it is widely available. Biden implores Americans to “wear a mask.”
Biden says he would be guided by science in laying out the framework of a pandemic response, starting with members of a task force to prepare for his administration’s transition to overseeing it.
11:10 a.m. Monday
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being briefed virtually on the coronavirus pandemic by a task force of experts their transition team announced only hours earlier.
The Democratic president-elect and vice president-elect sat at separate, individual socially distanced tables and took notes as the members introduced themselves on Monday.
Biden is also planning to give a speech on his planned response to the pandemic. Then Biden and Harris will hold hours of internal meetings about transitioning to the White House in January.
The task force briefing was at the Queen, a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden’s campaign built a studio and other communications infrastructure and has spent months organizing virtual meetings and speeches.
The first to speak during the briefing was former Food Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler. He is co-chairing the task force with former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University associated professor and associate dean whose research focuses on promoting health care equality for marginalized populations.
Also part of the group is Rick Bright, a whistleblower who was demoted after criticizing the Trump administration’s pandemic response. Bright had been head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
Journalists could watch only about two minutes of the proceedings and heard only the participants introducing themselves.
7:25 a.m. Monday
President-elect Joe Biden has announced the members of his coronavirus task force, which will put together a blueprint for fighting the pandemic.
The co-chairs are former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University professor and researcher.
Notable among the task force members is Rick Bright, a vaccine expert and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was reassigned to a lesser job because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug pushed by President Donald Trump as a COVID-19 treatment.
Other members include Luciana Borio, a biodefense specialist; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethics chair at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Atul Gawande, a Clinton administration health advisor and surgery expert; Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert who has studied HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; Dr. Julie Morita, a pediatric and immunization specialist; Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert and epidemiologist; Loyce Pace, a global health specialist; Dr. Robert Rodriguez, an emergency medicine expert who has researched mental health of COVID-19 responders; and Dr. Eric Goosby, an infectious disease expert who has worked in AIDS/HIV.
6 a.m. Monday
The Biden-Harris Transition team announced their COVID-19 Advisory Board. Former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith will lead the advisory board as co-chairs, according to an announcement made Monday.
There will be ten additional members. The board will help to guide the president-elect and vice president-elect in their federal response to the pandemic.
11:00 p.m. Sunday
The first ever public schedule release for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was sent out late-Sunday evening giving details on Biden's planned briefing with the transition COVID-19 advisory board, as well as plans to deliver remarks.
The statement reads:
On Monday, November 9, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a briefing in Wilmington, Delaware from the transition advisory board, which will include a photo spray.
After, President-elect Biden will deliver remarks on his plans to bear COVID-19 and build our economy back better, which will be polled press.
In the afternoon, President-elect Biden and vice President-elect Harris will hold briefings with transition advisers.
6:40 p.m. Sunday
A bipartisan group from the last three White Houses is urging the Trump administration to move forward “to immediately begin the post-election transition process.”
The call from the Center for Presidential Transition advisory board comes as the General Services Administration has yet to formally recognize Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect. That’s a necessary move to free up money for the transition and clear the way for Biden’s team to begin putting in place the transition process at agencies.
“This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successors,” members of the advisory board said in a statement.
The statement was signed by Bush White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and Health and Human Services secretary Michael Leavitt as well as Bill Clinton-era chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
5:05 p.m. Sunday
President-elect Joe Biden signaled on Sunday he plans to move quickly to build out his government, focusing first on the raging pandemic that will likely dominate the early days of his administration.
Biden named a former surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, David Kessler, as co-chairs of a coronavirus working group set to get started, with other members expected to be announced Monday.
Transition team officials said that also this week Biden will launch his agency review teams, the group of transition staffers that have access to key agencies in the current administration to ease the transfer of power.
The teams will collect and review information such as budgetary and staffing decisions, pending regulations and other work in progress from current staff at the departments to help Biden’s team prepare to transition.
White House officials would not comment on whether they would cooperate with Biden's team on the review.
12:30 p.m. Sunday
Former President George W. Bush says the American people “can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”
He says in a statement that “no matter how you voted, your vote counted.” And Bush says President Donald Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, with any unresolved issues to be “properly adjudicated.”
Bush says now is the time when “we must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future.”
Bush says he's spoken with Joe Biden and thanked the president-elect for what Bush says was “the patriotic message” in Biden's national address on Saturday night after being declared the election winner.
Bush says in a statement that while he and Biden have political differences, the former president says he knows Biden “to be good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
11:30 a.m. Sunday
Joe Biden began his first full day as president-elect the same way he does nearly every Sunday, heading to church near his home.
Biden entered St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, shortly after the start of 10:30 a.m. Mass. He typically arrives a bit late and leaves a few minutes early so the presence of Secret Service agents doesn’t bother other attendees.
It felt like any other Sunday, except for a huge swarm of media camped near the church entrance — having anticipated Biden’s arrival.
Biden entered with his daughter, Ashley, and his grandson, Hunter, the son of the president-elect’s late son, Beau, a former Delaware attorney general.
Biden has no other public events on his schedule but is expected to swiftly move to begin appointing key members of his team for the transition to the White House, including a chief of staff.
Biden suggested during the campaign that his first call after being elected would be to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, but his advisers have not said whether the two have spoken yet.
The always-frenzied 10-week transition period before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20 already has been shortened by the extra time it took to determine the winner of Tuesday's election.
5 a.m. Sunday
Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia told reporters he looked forward to a “great partnership” with Washington. He cited challenges including the coronavirus and “ensuring a free and open” Indo-Pacific region, a reference to China’s disputes with its neighbors over control of vast tracts of ocean.
1:21 a.m. Sunday
World leaders on Sunday cheered Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president as a chance to enhance cooperation on climate change, the coronavirus and other problems after four years of President Donald Trump's rejection of international alliances.
Trump had yet to concede defeat, but Western and Asian allies expressed hoped for a fresh start following Trump's “American First” trade policies, withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and attacks on NATO and the World Health Organization.
10:40 p.m. Saturday
The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit Saturday in Arizona that seeks the manual inspection of potentially thousands of in-person Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix that they allege were mishandled by poll workers and resulted in some ballot selections to be disregarded.
The legal challenge against Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs centers on instances in which people are believed to have voted for more candidates than permitted.
When tabulators detect such an “overvote,” poll workers should give voters a choice to fix the problem, but the workers instead either pressed or told voters to press a button on the machine to override the error, leaving the devices to disregard the problematic ballot selections, according to the lawsuit.
8:50 p.m. Saturday
Addressing the country, Joe Biden said Saturday that people clearly spoke in casting their votes to choose the person to represent them for the next four years.
And for those who didn’t, Biden — specifically citing those who voted for President Donald Trump — said that he knows there’s disappointment.
But he sought to unify the country.
“Let’s give each other a chance,” he said.
He said the country needs to put away the harsh rhetoric and listen to each other, saying that we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.
He also said he’ll name a group of people Monday to convert his campaign’s plan for addressing the pandemic that will begin as policy when his term begins in January.
“This is a great nation,” he said, adding that there’s nothing that we've been unable to do when we’ve worked together.
8:35 p.m. Saturday
Kamala Harris is addressing the nation, saying voters chose Joe Biden to become the next president of America.
She thanked people for turning out in record numbers to make their voices heard.
Harris recognized how times have been challenging in recent months, noting pain and struggles, but also said there was resilience and other virtues that led people to vote and deliver a clear message, choosing “hope and unity,” “decency,” “science,” and “yes, truth.”
She also said while she may be the first woman in this office, she won't be the last — because children would see this country as one of possibilities.
8:15 p.m. Saturday
“The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.”
That’s the message from a White House official Saturday, even as President Donald Trump is refusing to concede after losing to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has insisted he will contest the results and his campaign has launched a flurry of legal action in a handful of states trying to overturn Biden victories.
But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the Trump administration is following all statutory requirements that govern government transitions.
6:55 p.m. Saturday
The #Sharpiegate controversy may be over now that the attorneys who challenged the use of the markers to complete Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix told a court they’re dismissing their legal challenge.
Roopali Desai, an attorney for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said she received notice Saturday from the court that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit are now ending the case.
A copy of the dismissal notice provided to The Associated Press doesn’t specify a reason for dismissing the case, and Alexander Kolodin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, declined a request for comment.
Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate their ballot. But many social media users have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers to fill out their ballots.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign filed a new lawsuit in Maricopa County, alleging in-person votes were incorrectly rejected on Election Day. The lawsuit claims that poll workers incorrectly walked voters through a process that was supposed to allow them to fix overvoting on their ballots. The lawsuit alleges that process disregarded the voters' choices in the overvoted races.
So far, Trump’s campaign and Republicans have mounted legal challenges in several states, but most are small-scale lawsuits that have already been tossed or do not appear to affect many votes.
6:20 p.m. Saturday
President Donald Trump broke his nearly six-hour silence on Twitter Saturday evening, tweeting about how he had received the most votes of any sitting president in U.S. election history — more than 70 million.
Trump also tweeted a claim about vote-counting issues, which Twitter flagged as “disputed.”
Trump’s tweets came when he arrived back at the White House after playing golf at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.
5:55 p.m. Saturday
In Fulton County, Georgia, an “issue involving reporting from their work” on Friday is forcing officials at State Farm Arena to rescan ballots, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger tweeted Saturday evening.
President-elect Joe Biden held a 7,547 vote lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia as of about 5:45 p.m., according to the Associated Press. Biden had earned more than 72% of the vote in Fulton County.
3:45 p.m. Saturday
President Donald Trump returned to the White House and a very different Washington, D.C., after losing his reelection bid.
Trump’s motorcade returned from his golf club in Virginia via roads largely cleared of other cars and people Saturday afternoon.
But as he approached the White House, he was welcomed home with boos and raised middle fingers. Chants of “Loser, loser, loser” and profanities were also heard as his motorcade drove by.
Trump has so far refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
2:45 p.m. Saturday
Several hundred people gathered outside President Donald Trump’s Virginia golf club after his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The crowd includes dozens of Biden supporters celebrating his win, singing, “Hey hey hey, goodbye” and chanting, “Lock him up!” — a chant frequently heard at Trump rallies, directed at people he doesn't like.
There are also dozens of Trump supporters, many waving large Trump flags and chanting, “We love Trump!” A convoy of trucks festooned with pro-Trump and American flags has been driving up and down the street, with one driver jeering at the gathered press.
There’s horn honking, cowbell ringing, whistle-blowing and plenty of cheering.
Trump was golfing when a flurry of media outlets, including The Associated Press, declared Saturday morning that Biden had won the election.
He is now on his way back to the White House.
2:25 p.m. Saturday
Congressional Republican leaders have been notably silent on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, but several GOP allies of President Donald Trump are disputing the outcome.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted Saturday: “The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do.” He added, “When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is.”
New outlets' calling of the election are not official. The official count of electoral votes is held in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Other rank-and-file Republican lawmakers took a similar approach, insisting on waiting for some other verification of the results.
“Voters decide who wins the election, not the media,” tweeted Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. “I fully support President Trump as he continues to fight for every legal vote to be counted.”
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
1:10 p.m. Saturday
Former President Barack Obama says he “could not be prouder” to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has “got what it takes to be president and already carries himself that way,” because he will enter the White House facing “a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming president ever has.”
Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, “I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”
He adds: “I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”
Biden served as Obama's vice president for two terms.
12:58 p.m. Saturday
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to address the nation on Saturday night.
His presidential campaign announced that Biden and his wife, Jill, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff will appear at a drive-in rally outside the convention center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden clinched the White House over President Donald Trump late Saturday morning with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He later added Nevada to his column for a total of 290 electoral votes with three states uncalled.
The outdoor stage in Wilmington features projections of the Biden-Harris logo, colored lights and a line of towering American flags. Outside the security fence, people were already arriving with Biden campaign signs and chanting, “Joe! Joe!” and yelling, “We did it!” Cars in the area honked.
12:17 p.m. Saturday
Democrat Joe Biden has won Nevada, adding to his Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump, according to the AP.
Biden clinched Nevada on Saturday afternoon, shortly after he won the presidency by taking Pennsylvania.
Trump had made a strong play in Nevada, holding several rallies there in the final stretch of the campaign. Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won Nevada in 2016, and Republicans saw an opening to expand their electoral map.
The pandemic has pummeled Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, especially, hampering Trump’s ability to make inroads in the state.
Nevada is also home to a large Hispanic population, a voting bloc that typically leans Democratic.
The last Republican presidential candidate to win Nevada was George W. Bush in 2004.
12:02 p.m. Saturday
President-elect Joe Biden released a statement after the Associated Press declared him the winner.
Here is the full statement:
"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris.
In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.
"With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.
"We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together."
11:52 a.m. Saturday
President Donald Trump released a statement soon after the Associated Press called the race for Joe Biden.
Here is the full statement:
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
11:30 a.m. Saturday
Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump and will become the 46th president of the United States, the Associated Press has declared.
11:05 a.m. Saturday
President Donald Trump cut into Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona, lessening Biden’s lead by nearly 7,000 votes after Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, and others released results for a slew of new ballots.
Biden’s lead was cut down to 20,573, according to the Associated Press, which declared Biden the winner in the state earlier in the week.
In Maricopa County’s 11 a.m. ET update, Trump earned 26,992 votes to Biden’s 19,513 votes.
It was the last large-scale release of ballot information expected from the state’s largest county.
10 a.m. Saturday
President Trump took to Twitter as the results gradually expanded Joe Biden’s lead in must-win Pennsylvania. On Saturday, Trump repeated baseless allegations of election fraud and illegal voting, but they were quickly flagged as potentially misleading by the social media platform.
8 a.m. Saturday
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the nation's attention remains focused on states that are too close to call. There was intense focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by nearly 29,000 votes, and Nevada, where the Democrat led by more than 22,000. In Georgia, Biden leads Trump by a thinner margin, just over 7,000. In Arizona, Biden leads by more than 29,000 votes.
The prolonged wait added to the anxiety of a nation facing historic challenges, including the surging pandemic and deep political polarization.
Check back here as we report on major updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.