U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday was formally given the go-ahead by a federal agency to begin his transition to the White House, shortly after the battleground state of Michigan certified him as the winner there.
With the rapid-fire developments, Republican President Donald Trump's already languishing efforts to overturn his Nov. 3 election defeat appeared to be coming to a close.
The U.S. General Services Administration, an independent agency, informed Biden, a Democrat, that his transition - leading up to a January 20 inauguration – could officially begin.
In a tweet, Trump wrote that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy and her team should "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."
The move by the GSA means Biden's team will now have federal funds and an official office to conduct his transition over the next two months. It also paves the way for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to receive regular national security briefings that Trump also gets.
A statement by the Biden transition said meetings would begin with federal officials on Washington's response to the coronavirus pandemic, along with discussions of national security issues.
Earlier Monday, Biden announced that he will begin naming members of his Cabinet, appointing experts with deep foreign policy experience to key posts in line with his pledge to restore America's global ties and standing as a world leader.
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Some of the expected appointees also reflect Biden's promise to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the United States. He will announce the first of his Cabinet picks on Tuesday, according to incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Biden picked a number of people for top Cabinet and White House posts on Monday, including Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence, his transition team said.
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will act as "climate czar" and will sit on the National Security Council, "reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue."
Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated for Homeland Security secretary and Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.N. ambassador, it said in a statement.